Musings

On Charlie Hebdo, Freedom of Speech and Terrorism

The recent Charlie Hebdo tragedy has sparked international outrage for various reasons other than the merciless shootings. For some reason it has been reduced to either an act of terrorism (in all its jihadist-ridden, Islamophobic connotations) or an attack on the freedom of speech.

What some people fail to recognise is that it is only a violation of the freedom of speech when both sides have an equal view of the concept. Yet the freedom of speech which the west is so proud of is built on a history of oppression where the legacy is still present until now. Many immigrants/ex-colony nationals etc. may not have the same access to the freedom of expression, let alone understand the concept.

And the fact that the killing was wrong and unjustified does not mean that the satirical illustration of the Prophet (pbuh) is right. Yes it is satire. Yes they critique all religions not just Islam. But different to other religions, in Islam it is forbidden to illustrate Prophet Muhammad because that is how we respect him as our prophet. Using such a controversial way of depicting the Prophet for satirical means would be viewed by Muslims as mockery instead of a political critique. Freedom of expression comes hand in hand with respect. And should not the freedom of faith be respected as much as the freedom of speech?

Why not attack cartoons with cartoons then, instead of guns?
Well then the question should be: why not call it a hate crime instead of terrorism?
The media finds it so easy to associate all Muslim-related crimes with jihadism (whatever that means) yet White mass-shooters would be called mentally challenged.

So yes, in this case it should be called as a hate crime too. It’s a barbaric, revengeful act of hatred carried out by some mentally deranged people who happen to call themselves Muslims, because no able-minded person in their right minds would take a gun and shoot a dozen people, including a Muslim cop, just like that.

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