On Charlie Hebdo

In light of the events which occurred this January 7th in Paris, it seems that many Muslims have taken the stance of supporting “Je Suis Charlie” as a response to the protocol of freedom of speech and publicly declaring a war on terrorism and all those who stand by it.

But it seems as though people have forgotten that with freedom of speech comes a huge and immaculate responsibility, one which in no way favors you openly expressing your racist, Islamophobic and offensive cartoons.

Though I am deeply saddened and heartbroken about the shooting of 12 innocent people who did not deserve to be killed (the first of them ironically called by the name Ahmed), the unequal and abusive treatment of the French community to a large number of the Muslims residing in it should not be shocking news to anyone.

The country that had millions marching on the street advocating “Freedom of Speech” is the same country that passed a hijab ban law and has witnessed many incidents in which Muslim women who choose to wear a headscarf have been mistreated and have even received physical attacks.

Should 1.6 billion people apologize for the acts of 3 gunmen who aren’t even Muslim to begin with?

This may sadly come as a newsflash to some, but Islam does not in fact condone acts of violence as a solution to racism or hate. Murder is strictly forbidden in Islam, “If anyone slays a person, it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people.” [5:53] and “Even if you stretch forth your hand against me to kill, I will not stretch forth my hand to kill you. Surely, I fear Allah, the Lord of the entire universe.” [5:28].

Terrorism is pointed out as literally one of the highest possible sins in Islam.“Because of that, We decreed upon the Children of Israel that whoever kills a soul unless for a soul or for corruption [done] in the land – it is as if he had slain mankind entirely. And whoever saves one – it is as if he had saved mankind entirely. And our messengers had certainly come to them with clear proofs. Then indeed many of them, [even] after that, throughout the land, were transgressors.” [5:32]

The very fact that some poor Muslims are being forced into having this debate in the first place is arguably why shootings like this happen in the first place.

But now the fingers are pointed at whoever spoke up against the acts of terrorism in Paris and consciously ignored/ is still ignoring the daily massacres, genocides, rape crimes, children’s throats literally being slit open with butcher knives in their sleep(warning: graphic image) and innocent souls forced to leave their motherland only to become refugees in countries where they are dehumanized and left homeless.

The fingers are pointed at the so called “Islamist” countries who publicly condemned Charles Hebdo’s shooting of 12 French people but are sitting aside, watching as other fellow Arab countries continue to butcher the oppressed year after year.

So no, as a Muslim I will not defend a newspaper that disrespected me and ridiculed my faith and culture. I will not apologize for the acts of a couple ignorant and uneducated cowards in the name of Islam.

The Near East and South Asia suffered 7,721 attacks and 9,236 deaths. The majority of those occurred in just three countries — Afghanistan , Iraq and Pakistan — which, together, accounted for 85 percent of attacks in these regions and almost 64 percent of attacks worldwide.

U.S. military forces were directly responsible for about 10 to 15 million deaths during the Korean and Vietnam Wars and the two Iraq Wars.

On the FBI’s official website, there exists a chronological list of all terrorist attacks committed on U.S. soil from the year 1980 all the way to 2005.

The ignorant pricks who trended #KillAllMuslims where right: All terrorists are Muslim…except for the 94% that aren’t. tumblr_nhtixkLO3w1qzi1v3o4_250



  1. Suheil M. · January 10, 2015

    Excellent article and so true, each and every word.


    • razanmn · January 11, 2015

      thank you for your kind words


  2. Sascha Brossmann (@brsma) · January 13, 2015

    I think you are mislead in your opinion that Charlie Hebdo did not respect you or your culture.

    They did not respect *any* faith, that is true (and hence were sued by the Catholic church, or more precisely by Christian fundamentalists, more often than by any other group), as they were deeply rooted in the French anarchist tradition («Ni dieu, ni maître.»). But you might want to consider that their disrespect of faith was targeting the *oppressive sides* of religions, the bigot sides, the fundamentalist sides. In case of Islam they were trying to poke at the *extremists* that make millions of Muslims suffer all over the world, including many French Muslims who are trying to lead a life in peace and get harassed not only by discrimination but by violent fundamentalists as well. ‘Muslim’ extremists that meanwhile started to patrol their quarters as would-be-sharia-police, calling other people’s daughters ‘whores’ for not dressing ‘properly’, threatening them, beating them, raping them, and in fortunately very rare cases even killing them. It is not the Islam of the vast majority of peaceful Muslims Charlie Hebdo have been ridiculing, it is the perverted ‘Islam’ of the extremists. And I think it is utterly important to differentiate that. Further, from their (and also from my own) secular perspective, one’s religion is *not* an integral, inseparable part of one’s (cultural) identity. Otherwise one ends up in a kind of identity politics that dangerously affirms Huntington’s ‘clash of cultures’ ideology and everything obnoxious that stems from it. Which is the kind of divisive identity politics that leads to segregation, discrimination, degradation, hate, violence, and war – the kind that is aimed for by nationalists and racists (hatefully pointing the finger at ‘them’ = Muslims & immigrants), by fundamentalists (hatefully pointing the finger at ‘them’ = the West & the unfaithful), by war-mongers, by terrorists. The one you do not seem to want at all.

    You might also like to consider that CH’s ‘racist’ images have been part of their strategy to *cite* racist statements or images in such an absurd manner, that it reveals and mocks racism and all other types of oppressive discrimination (e. g. the ape portrait of the Minister of Justice cites a racist depiction of her issued by a conservative politician and pairs it with a hypocritical statement by the Front National that the party was not at all racist; the ‘shitty’ Quran that is not stopping bullets adresses the vast number of victims of [religious or religiously dressed] conflicts between Muslims; the veiled pregnant women point a finger at the vicious right-wingers commonly labeling immigrant/Beur women as welfare queens, their political attempts to cut back on welfare exactly because of that and juxtapose these issues with Boku Haram’s victims of sex slavery: as ‘refugees in countries where they are dehumanized’). And the vast majority of people in France who follow the news understood them that way. Even the ones that do not agree on or criticise CH’s trademark type of «gouaille» (a kind of aggressive, tasteless, and often debasing mockery rather peculiar to French culture). I acknowledge that it might be questionable, if one’s use of discriminating depictions for sarcastic mockery of discrimination does not still involuntarily convey that discrimination, nonetheless. There might be at least cases where the results betray the intentions. Or cases where one is not sufficiently aware of one’s own subconscious racism etc. (Not up to me to decide – I am not the one subject to discrimination there and thus have no authority to speak for those who are.)

    Apart from the mockery of religion – and due to what I said above, there is no contradiction there, at least not from my secular perspective – Charlie Hebdo have been ardently supporting immigrants and ethnic minorities for all time long against the Front National and all of their likes. They took sides as well against imperialist aggression, against our statesmen hypocritically supporting mass-murdering dictators like Assad or the cleptocratic clerical-fascist regime in Saudi Arabia, and so on.

    You might, hopefully, come to realise that you have actually lost an ally. Maybe not an always decent and well-behaved one, one who might have been deliberately stepping on your toes once in a while, but an ally whom you could have relied on when facing all kinds of bullies, nonetheless.


    • razanmn · January 16, 2015

      While I’m actually really glad I received criticism on this, I’m just going to go ahead and say that after reading your point of view twice I do not agree with what you are saying. If this is the case and if this is really the idea CH wanted to come across, it has definitely backfired. I’m sorry to say this but I think you are the one who is actually missing the point. It doesn’t really matter what their intentions *might* be knowing that there is a very huge number of people out there who do not even accept their prophet being drawn into a caricature since none of us really know what he looks like.
      But I want to get my point delivered without really getting into a debate and I want you to ask yourself this- would you ever use the n word?
      Would any white supremacist in the world right now say that word confidentially out loud- much less use it in magazine or newspaper covers?!
      Even in contexts used purely as humor or even satire or what not, people know using this word is simply a red line that should not be crossed and as respectful citizens in this world choose not to say it.
      It is the exact same case with mimicking caricatures about the Muslim community/prophet.
      This group of people is not okay with what you want to do and despite the fact that you might think it is okay to say it you should refrain from that.
      Simply put, people’s mentality should be: disrespectful to so and so = I should not do/say this ever.
      And if you ask me, that is the most civilized a person can get.


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