When images that insult 1.7 billion people on Earth are labelled as “freedom of speech”, you know that something is seriously wrong with the world we’re living in. No, I’m not justifying the response to the publications. I am, however, shocked by how contradicting the world is right now because if such disrespect is allowed to be expressed so freely, we’re basically living in a place where ethics are nonexistent.
What I’ve understood during these past few days is that, apparently, one is entitled to say anything and everything that is on his mind with no regards to the harm these words might cause. It’s not about showing others respect, it’s not even about voicing these opinions in a suitable manner that would give room for discussion, but it’s just about saying what you have to say. And if I am to follow this same logic, then I find a problem with the entire concept of racism. Why is racial abuse identified by the world as a global issue? Aren’t the people allowed to criticize others in whichever way they feel like and for whatever reason? Because I’m pretty sure that insulting a black person just because he’s black is in no way worse than ridiculing an entire religion in a disgusting manner.
- “One’s freedom ends when another person’s begins.”
What I personally find humorous is how several people are asking Muslims to keep their objections regarding the cartoons to themselves for the time being, or otherwise one is considered as inhumane. “Now is not the time for this,” they say. But I’m sorry, why on Earth would any Muslim show respect for these journalists? Why would I choose to stay silent just because others are mourning their deaths? The journalists at Charlie Hebdo did not show me or the remaining 1.7 billion Muslims any amount of respect when they went through with these publications, so why should I act any differently? Doesn’t the freedom of speech allow us to criticize those who have insulted us at whichever time pleases us?
Again, what happened to them was wrong. Killing is never the solution, and those who actually know something about Islam would know that The Prophet Mohammed (may peace be upon him) himself, if he were alive today, would not have justified nor allowed such responses, because this is a religion of peace.
Yet those who are unaware of that or have a personal agenda against Islam continue to stereotype and link such terrorists with the religion. And for some reason it is always easier and justifiable to attack Islam whenever there is a chance to. I’ve been reading about several school shootings in the USA, where mad men go into elementary schools with assault rifles in their hands and savagely murder innocent, young children. Yet I don’t see anyone looking into these men’s backgrounds or religious beliefs, why? Isn’t that terrorism? If these men were Christians or Jews, am I then given the right to blame the religion for nurturing such maniacs? Am I allowed to question the entire fundamentals of a religion that billions believe in because of a few cases that represent nothing whatsoever of what this religion stands for?
There are a lot of people out there who think before they act and do not blame billions of Muslims for what some radicals and terrorists result in in the name of Islam, and I thank them for that. But for those who relish the opportunity to bash Islam and its followers, I’m hereby telling you that I’m sick of constantly having to defend my religion for others’ sins. I’m sick of those who are now waiting for a chance to banish Islam from this Earth. Because when you use a hashtag on Twitter such as #KillAllMuslims, you are absolutely in no way different than those who killed these journalists (and the Muslim cop, by the way.) You are then a despicable bastard. “Freedom of speech.”
If this is truly considered as freedom of speech, then the entire concept is flawed. Because if we are to live in a world where mutual respect is unnecessary or rather discouraged, then we’re no longer human.
I, as a Muslim, condemn such barbaric responses and these journalists did not deserve an ending like this. But I will not show an ounce of respect to men and women who mocked my beliefs for their own amusement and disrespected the greatest man to ever grace this Earth. I’m in no way obligated to let this go.
Je ne suis pas Charlie.