Opinion | Guest Contributor | 2015.01.26
I could never condone the attacks on Charlie Hebdo. As a Muslim I am against a kangaroo court justice system and individuals are not allowed to take matters into their own hands. However, I do believe the editor and cartoonist are certainly not innocent people writes guest contributor, Saajidah Malvina.
People have reacted with mixed emotions after the attack. Some took to social networks with hashtag “Je suis Charlie” whilst some people in Pakistan performed prayers for the “attackers”. Media across the world covered the story in great detail demanding freedom of speech. Perhaps they’ve forgotten about the 17 journalists who were killed earlier in Gaza. Forgetting at the same time about the almost 2000 people who lost their lives after Boko Haram attacked several villages in Nigeria.
“Je suis Charlie // “We are Charlie” means “we have the right to blaspheme”. In the name of freedom of speech Islam and Christianity are regularly attacked but never is the holocaust, Israel or Judaism ever ridiculed in satire. The question remains if French intelligence knew of the impending attack and allowed it to happen, or it was carried out just in the name of Islam - a false flag is a topic of it’s own.
The French have had it coming for years. In the 1700’s a debt to Algeria was not paid and about hundred years later when they asked for money, King Charles mobilised troops across Europe to fight, which in turn lead to a deadly war. Thousands were ruthlessly massacred some hundred years ago after which Algeria was colonised. Arab troops assisted France in one of France’s wars but after their return they were marginalised, and this has caused great anger
France has the biggest Muslim population in Europe with figures varying to about 6 million. There’s no official count, as the secular country doesn’t wish to divide between religion, which is separate from the state, yet the vast majority are unemployed and live in ghettos. Banning of the face veil caused an uproar and women caught donning the veil face a hefty fine. 60% of prison inmates are Muslim. In 2010 youth and French security faced an uprising after Arab youth complained of injustice and harassment.
Freedom, what freedom?
Absolute freedom of speech has never existed, nor does it.
The claims of France (& the Western world) that free expression is a fundamental principal, is a myth. As everywhere else in the ‘Free World’ in France free expression is only for some but not others. Let’s look at a few examples.
- A French court injunction banned a Jesus-based clothing advert mimicking the ‘Last Supper’. The display was ruled “a gratuitous and aggressive act of intrusion on people’s innermost beliefs” by the French judge.
- In 2005 ‘Aides Haute-Garonne’ organised an informative evening about the prevention of the HIV-AIDS. The prospectus contained a head-and-shoulders image of a woman wearing a nun’s bonnet and two pink condoms. On the grounds that the prospectus insulted a religious group as court convicted Aides Haute-Garonne.
- In 1994 Le quotidien de Paris published the article L’obscurité de l’erreur by journalist, sociologist, and historian Paul Giniewski. The article criticised the Pope, and stated that Catholic doctrine abetted the conception and the realisation of Auschwitz. A court upheld proceedings on the ground that the article was an insult to a group because of its religion, and convicted the newspaper.
- Charlie Hebdo Magazine itself censored, apologised and then fired longtime cartoonist Siné for a caricature insulting the son of former president Nicholas Sarkozy and his wife Jessica Sebaoun-Darty, while staunchly standing on their ‘right’ to repeatedly troll Muslims, minorities & immigrants e.g. by showing the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) naked and bending over—which tells you something about the brand of satire they practice and that they’d rather be aiming downward towards minorities than upward.
- Dieudonné M’Bala a French comedian and satirist - was convicted and fined in France for describing Holocaust remembrance as “memorial pornography”.
- As part of “internal security” enactments passed in 2003, it is an offense to insult the national flag or anthem, with a penalty of a maximum 9,000-euro fine or up to six months imprisonment. Restrictions on “offending the dignity of the republic”, and include “insulting” anyone who serves the public.
- Nicolas Sarkozy, then-Interior Minister and former President of the Republic (until 2012), ordered the firing of the director of Paris Match — because he had published photos of Cécilia Sarkozy (his wife) with another man in New York.
- It is illegal in France take the opinion of the Turkish side on the then civil war involving Armenians, i.e. illegal to deny that the killing of Amenians by Turkish troops was a deliberate genocide.
- Muslim women are barred from education (it’s not just the Taliban just restrict education for girls) in France, if they practise their religion by wearing a headscarf. This despite French schools having no uniform policy, and crosses on necklaces being allowed.
France’s law against “religious symbols in public spaces” is specifically enforced to target Muslim women who choose to wear Hijab - that is ironic considering we’re now touting Charlie Hebdo as a symbol of France’s staunch commitment to civil liberties.
In 2006 rap star Monsieur R appeared in court charged with offending public decency with a song in which he referred to the country in a derogatory manner and insulted national heroes Napoleon and Charles de Gaulle. MP Daniel Mach proposed a law making it a criminal offence to insult the dignity of France and the French state upon hearing the album.
That’s right folks. It is illegal to insult the French state and her sacred historical characters like Napoleon and Charles De Gaulle. But Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), the single most influential person & ideal of divine justice for 1.6 billion people is fair game.
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