I'm not Charlie Hebdo. And here's why

I'm not Charlie Hebdo. And here's why
3 min read
12 Jan, 2015
Muslims must condemn the murder of innocents, but not by supporting a magazine that went out of its way to offend Islam, and not by apologising for their religion.
Muslims should not be forced to support something that insults them [AFP]
Let's get a few things straight. I firmly believe in the freedom of speech. I stand in solidarity and my heart goes out to the people who have lost their lives and to their families. But I am not Charlie.

Charlie Hebdo
fired Maurice Sinet (pen-name "Sine") for alleged anti-Jewish statements in a column, which also led to the magazine facing charges of inciting racial hatred in 2009. Yet, it calls ridiculing a religion followed by 1.6 billion "freedom of speech".

And, by the way, the Catholic Church sued Charlie Hebdo a dozen times for cartoons that ridiculed Christianity and Jesus. But no one seems to have been fired. Sorry Charlie, I call this a double standard. I cannot be you.

And just so that you know, for me as a Muslim, making fun of Jesus, Moses or any other prophet is as bad as ridiculing Muhammad. We believe in all of them.

Muslims have been posting frantic apologies for the Hebdo attack, and others like it: "Islam is a religion of peace", "Muslims are peaceful", they say.

You know what? The world already knows Muslims are all of that. Muslims have been living in France and elsewhere in the west for too many years for people to be ignorant.
     Right-wing media will feed on the fear of the population and demonise Muslims no matter what they say or do.

Yet, when a terrorist attack hits the west, Muslims are put on the defensive, and feel they have to prove their innocence each and every time. Right-wing media will feed on the fear of the population and demonise Muslims no matter what they say or do.

Just look back a little. When Anders Breivik killed 77 people in Norway in July 2011, did the media portray it as an act in the name of Christianity, putting the whole of Christendom on the defensive? No. It was seen as a crime of terrorism committed by an individual.

But when an act of terrorism is committed by a small, unrepresentative - albeit savage - group, the whole of the Muslim world stands accused. All 1.6 billion of us. And because of this, Muslims are gradually being perceived as the "other", a scary precedent.

But here are the facts: the majority of people in Syria and Iraq living daily under the terrorism of the Islamic State group are Muslim. Thousands have been killed there.

Syrians and Iraqis, day in and day out, are trying to dodge the sword, the lash and the bullet. Do they blame Islam? No. Does the world know? Yes. But it turns a blind eye.

"Hebdo attack does not justify Islamophobic novel." Read Maen al-Bayari on Submission.

I will not try to apologise for every insane psychopathic act committed in the name of my religion. I will not apologise on behalf of a religion that has been tarnished by groups of madmen, which have been created and funded by political agendas, and feed on poverty, injustice, and marginalisation in poor countries.

I, as a Muslim, had nothing to do with it. I am not responsible. I will not apologise for something I have not done.

Each and every one of us is expected to preach that this is not the true nature of our religion and prove that we are essentially not beasts, but generally jolly good people.  

Well I am not going to do it. I am a Muslim and I am not a terrorist. I am not Charlie. I will not explain and I will not apologise for something I am not responsible for.