It’s a complicated affair. And indeed, there are many ways of looking at the #CharlieHebdo massacre – and none of these ways excuse the act. The attack against its staff is ugly and heinous. Should have never happened. The terrorists will burn in hell, most probably … If there’s one.
Now that I’ve got this point out of the way, let’s just be clear that the #CharlieHebdo Islam cartoons are indeed tasteless, their brand of satire hateful; they’re as much ‘free speech’ as the venomous sermons of the Muslims sheikhs who call for the death of infidels and warn Muslims against being friendly to others but their in-group.
Two sides of the same friggin’ coin.
And that’s coming from a non-practicing Muslim who didn’t flinch or bat an eyelid at the Danish cartoon saga – in fact, those only left me angry with my own people (if I may say so of the 1-billion-plus Muslims across the world), of how rashly and violently they reacted.
Bottom line, I believe Charlie Hebdo’s house style sucks balls, their cartoons verge on being incendiary – and perhaps they should be held liable for promoting a form of hate speech through their stacks of anti-Islam cartoons, but that’s up to media watchdogs, critics, commentators, even courts if you will, to decide.
Our sentiments as Muslims don’t set the rules here, rightfully so, and we’re not judges, and we shouldn’t be.
How the radicals among us reacted is unforgivable, ugly, criminal and shameful – and it’s symptomatic of deeper flaws in Islam and Muslims. NOTHING justifies their actions. Nothing.
So, fellow Muslims – and I mean this lovingly – shove your offence up yours if it means you’ll act with such blind wrath.
And keep your sob stories to yourself while you’re at it.
My sentiments are not in conflict, mind you. I don’t have to like what the cartoonists produce in order to respect their right to life and free speech, even if that speech may offend me or others … and yes, fellow Muslims, we have to accept that the world doesn’t revolve around us and that it shouldn’t bow to our whims.
One final thing: it’s not just the terrorists that need to be punished for this; just take a look at the comments sections across Arabic newspapers, or scan reactions across social media, see how many Muslims justify this terrible act, and you’ll realize that many, many of these must be disciplined somehow, reprimanded or raged against. You’ll see how many Muslims are lost. That many others harbor a false sense of superiority that will destroy us all if it’s left unchecked.
And yes, we should police each other; scathingly lash against any sign of intolerant, self-serving or aggressive rhetoric at our end. The Muslim “umma” must understand it’s deeply flawed, down to the core, that it too is responsible for the leanings of its loud, violent minority … no matter where these Muslims live or what language they speak. What’s the point of an “umma” then and all that cheap talk about being one and united under the umbrella of Islam and its sub-culture if we aren’t going to be involved when and where it matters?
Or are we only one when it comes to agreeing “hijab is fard,” or that Gaza should be saved, or that “children should be taught to pray at the age of 7,” but many and different and separate when there’s a collective responsibility to shoulder, and a need to reign in the misguided among our ranks?
We’re either in this together or we stop bullshiting each other about this “umma” notion.
The Muslim “umma” needs to divorce itself from obsolete ideas, need to know that the world owes it nothing, that we’re reaping what we sow and that no, we’re not entitled to respect, or tolerance, or any of those nice and pretty things. Not until we go into rehab and acknowledge our failings. Open our eyes to how much we broke this world we’re currently living in. Not until some of us stop scaring, manipulating or crying their way into forcing people to tolerate them. Or worse, fear them, which is our reality now.
Few people respect us, most just fear our darkness.
That’s not a place I wanna be. And I think some of you might feel the same.
And sure you can make all the shitty excuses in the world so you can sleep better at night or play the victim for one more year or until the next atrocity takes place; “the terrorists don’t represent us,” “it’s all politics,” “they started it.”
Beneath all these childish excuses and if you have a sound heart, you must realise that this transcends politics and religious squabbles. That no, the world will not coddle or baby us because we’re in denial and pulling a tantrum (a tantrum that literally costs lives). That no one hurts the “Muslim cause” (whatever that is) more than Muslims. That when all is said and done, there’s still the fact that something is wrong with us. This “umma.” You and me.
Here’s what this post is inspired by.