It is safe to say that unless you have been living in a cave for the past week – everyone has heard about the attacks on the French Magazine ‘Charlie Hebdo’ in their Paris office on Wednesday 7th January 2015.
Why did the gunmen target Charlie Hebdo?
In 2006, Charlie Hebdo had reprinted cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) which were originally printed in a Danish daily – Jyllands-Posten.
Unlike other religions where there are sculptures and pictures of the various Gods (for Hindus) and of other religious figures such as Jesus (Christianity), Guru Nanak (Sikhism) or Buddha (Buddhism), it is not the case for Islam. Not only do we not have pictures or idols of our God but even the prophets who we believe were sent down from Allah.
In Islam, we believe that the final messenger of Allah – Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was sent from Allah to restore an unaltered, pure religion that the previous prophets who came before him, had tried to teach the people. As Muslims, if we are able to blindly trust the words and follow the footsteps of this great man that had once walked the earth, then it is disrespectful and completely unnecessary for people belonging to other faiths to then create cartoon images of the Prophet (peace be upon him). I genuinely cannot understand the reason behind why cartoon images of the Prophet (peace be upon him) was printed in the first place in Denmark let alone being reprinted in France. It is disgusting behaviour from both countries. If as Muslims, we have accepted the teachings of our religion without any imagery or cartoons of our Prophet then it is simple courtesy that as people belonging to other faiths that you respect this and do not publish offensive images.
It is because of this that these two terrorists: Cherif and Said Kouachi thought that they would take it upon themselves to get ‘revenge’ for what had happened in 2006. I hope you have noticed how I mentioned ‘terrorists’ and not ‘Muslims.’ Why? Because quite frankly after what they have done – it would be a disgrace to call them Muslims. I have mentioned this in my previous posts, but for those who haven’t read it – I’ll say it again: In verse 5:32 of the Qur’an, it states: ‘If anyone slays a person, it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people.’ This is because as Muslims, we believe that no- one is permitted to take a life except for God himself, therefore killing another innocent is as if you’re almost taking the power of God into your own hands, which is a major sin in the religion. In our Holy Book. Our Holy Qu’ran. It tells Muslims not to kill other people. Therefore whatever justification these two men had, makes no difference. They might have thought they have done a ‘good deed’ by getting revenge for the Prophet but they’re wrong. There is no justification.
In fact it is because of these terrorists – my religion, my Prophet (peace be upon him) is once again going to be disrespected as the Charlie Hebdo magazine are publishing 3 million copies tomorrow (Wednesday 14th January) with a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) on the front cover.
What makes this worse is that a columnist, Zineb El Rhazoui told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme “Our friends died because of small drawings, because of a joke… And they must accept humour also.”
The killings should not have happened. They were completely unacceptable and in any way am I not condoning what has happened.
But, to call cartoons of our Prophet (peace be upon him) ‘a joke’ is preposterous. If it was a ‘joke’ then many Muslims around the world would not have been horrified and disgusted as well as being deeply offended by this. This is essentially mocking and disrespecting our religion.
When at school, children are taught about ‘Freedom of Speech’ yet they are still punished if they make offensive remarks. If the children of this generation are being taught to respect other religions that may be different to their own then why is it such an alien concept some adults.
To conclude, I think that the murders that the two terrorists have committed is absolutely disgusting and completely against the peaceful religion of Islam. However, I strongly believe that the cartoons that have been published and that are yet to be published tomorrow by the Charlie Hebdo magazine, is absolutely disrespectful and unnecessary.