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Muslims stand up for Charlie Hebdo

Muslims stand up for Charlie Hebdo

Asif Arif, a Parisian lawyer who directs Cultures & Beliefs, writes in the Huffington Post that Muslims stand with Charlie Hebdo after the attacks:

Already on the horizon we see Islamophobes and skeptics of Islam taking great lengths to announce that all of this can be blamed on Islam. But I must emphasize, through this short opinion piece, that Muslims support Charlie Hebdo. They stand with them because they cherish freedom of the press and, more importantly, they have a fundamental and primary respect for life that only God can remove.

Therefore, I am with Charlie Hebdo. I am with the families of the journalists, designers, and employees who were assassinated. With all my heart I share their sorrows, the loss of a loved one is one of most inhuman things that can be done to anyone. But as a Muslim and as a person who has written often on the questions surrounding Islam in France, I have to let you know that Islam, the Prophet of Islam, is not what these people have done: these people have committed murder, period…

These individuals acted in the name of a prophet who was always patient, even when he faced injustices. In this same vein, there is a tradition where the founder of Islam walked in the streets every day and was assaulted by a woman who attacked him with garbage. Even though he had the chance to demand justice, this shows proof of his patience. The day that the woman did not throw garbage at him, he assumed she was sick. He asked her if she was well because he had not been assaulted with filth. Is this not true Islam, the Islam of patience and the battle that rages inside of one’s self? Is this not the message of the founder of tolerance? What beautiful messages people miss when they think that the only Islam is one of coercion, of weapons, and of violence.


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JC Fisher

Personally, I don’t feel a need to (re-)post gratuitously insulting images of Muhammad “just to show I can”. Well-deserved insulting images of violent Islamicists are another story!

Rod Gillis

PS: English media in Canada are not running the cartoons; but the major French language Quebec dailies are, including Le Devoir in Montreal which has the cartoon on its online version home page. Take a look at the cartoon and ask yourself, is this really worth killing for?

Rod Gillis

The notion that the images are “gratuitous” is contestable. They may well serve a satirical politcal purpose. There is also the further question about self-censorship being used selectively under duress. Besides, once directly linked to the murders of a dozen people working in the free press, the images are no longer gratuitous, they are part of the story. Lots of people find lots of cartoons offensive based on subjective criteria.That is not the only consideration.

There are several things that need to be held in tension here. Inter-faith dialogue among the Abrahamic religions i.e., Judaism, Christianity and Islam is important. It is important to stand with Muslims and against a backlash against Islam. It is important to make room in our countries for more Muslim refugees. But as a matter of the common good it ought to be important to stand for freedom of expression especially in a politcal context, which is what Charlie Hebdo has been doing.

Rod Gillis

Good thing that some Muslim leaders are now saying Je suis Charlie.However it is important to face the fact that freedom of expression is not known, and has not been known, as a priority value for religionists of all types. Islam has particular problems in this regard. The satirical magazine was fire bombed and its staff lived under death threats because of satirical content published about Islam. Last night journalist Neil MacDonald commented on national TV here about the intimidation that media face when dealing with satire and Islam. He referenced the controversy faced by the media group that presents the American cartoon series South Park. He notes that even his own network, in reporting on yesterday’s massacre, showed Charlie’s cartoons on everything except the issue that got everyone killed–Cartoons and Islam. I’ve attached a link to his piece. Hopefully it is available in your viewing area. His comment is focused on the actual hard question in this tragedy.

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