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Charlie Hebdo Reaction
We have all heard about the recent Charlie Hebdo controversy and it has been bothering me for quite some time so i decided to write about it.
The magazine cover had a caricature of the Prophet Muhammad (may peace be upon him), with the caption "je suis Charlie" or "I am Charlie". An attack was held at the Charlie Hebdo offices, which killed 12 people.
Now, to clarify a few problems. It is forbidden in Islam to create pictures or cartoons of any prophet or God. It is not allowed, has been specifically mentioned in their holy book and the if someone does so, they are punished accordingly. Now, if we believe in religious tolerance, I think it is wrong to do anything that could hurt someone, especially if it is related to their religion, culture or race. If we believe in peace and tolerance, we should respect others religions, whether they are Muslims, Christians, Jews, Buddhists or Hindus. We must respect their religion and not intentionally do something that would hurt them.
If we consider our morals to be important, I believe it was wrong of the magazine to print such a cover that they knew would upset millions of Muslims worldwide. They knew it would anger Muslims, they knew some sort of action would be taken against them, so why print such a cover? If they took the decision to print such a cover, and hurt the feelings of millions, they should have expected some sort of reaction and not made much of a fuss about the reaction of people.
There are many people who are now boycotting the magazine, and if sales really do matter to the publishing team and the company, they wouldn't have printed sucha ccontroversial front cover. If you take an action, are aware of the circumstances, you should not complain or oppose to the reaction received.
Having said that, according to Islam, if a non-Muslim commits a crime such as this, they are to punished according to their religion. If a Muslim were to make the cover, he would be hung. But the case is slightly different here.
The counter Charlie Hebdo has to the strikes and demonstrations is that everyone has the freedom of speech and may express their views. But do they not realize that there are other important rights that must be considered before you use this as a counter? Muslims are in a minority in France; Christianity being the major religion. So is Charlie Hebdo trying to say that minority rights are not ever considered in France? Is that not immoral? That is not fair. If Muslim majority areas protect the rights of minor religions in that area, should the same not be done for Muslims when they are a minority? Yes, there is freedom of speech but you have not been given the right to use it as an advantage and hurt others. You do not have the freedom to hurt or anger others intentionally. Hurting one person is bad enough, so you can imagine the intensity when an entire society has been angered and disrespected.
Islam does not allow its people to make fun of or disrespect other religions. It has strictly been forbidden. So why do groups of people take this to their advantageand disrespect Islam, when they know that their religion/s will not be attacked as a result.
If you do not wish to believe what Muslim communities have to say about this, catholics may refer to Pope Francis who has also criticized Charlie Hebdo for this. Refer to your own scholars, do some research before saying that the reaction of al-Qaeda was not fair.
Every religion teaches the same message: peace. How are you following your religion of you disrespect others?
What al-Qaeda has done was extremism, but they only reacted in a brutal way because Charlie Hebdo had brutally hurt the feelings of millions. Murder is never justified, but if you hurt someone's feelings intentionally, don't expect them to sit around sipping tea.