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Charlie Hebdo: the killings stirring society

08 January 2015 [18:20] - TODAY.AZ

/By AzerNews/

By Gulgiz Dadashova

The gunmen who attacked the Charlie Hebdo magazine killing 12 people have almost accomplished what they really set out to do: create discord between the Muslim and Christian communities in France.

“All Muslims should be dragged out into the street and executed. Women, children, babies, all of them,” said one of the many people commenting online on social networks.

The Paris killings have added fuel to Europe’s anti-Muslim movements by uniting most Europeans with the slogan “We are all Charlie” campaign.

Tens of thousands of people, many holding signs saying “Je suis Charlie,” rallied across France and around the world to express grief over the killings.

Some held a pen or a candle, or copies of Charlie Hebdo magazine; some chanted “All Together With Charlie.”

“Speak freely” was another slogan at the rallies and Internet campaigns. But does free speech include insults?

Freedom of expression should not mean freedom to insult. Some people may argue against this case maintaining that freedom of speech include freedom to insult others. But this is not the case as religion, like politics is a very sensitive topic.

So, insults in this field can lead to an explosive situation. Having said that attacking and killing reporters or anyone over what some called insulting others is never justifiable, the reality of the matter is far more complex:

“There are two levels of culprits in the Paris attack; those who planned the operation and those who pulled the trigger,” says Claude Salhani, a specialist in politicized Islam.

“And those who planned the attack, or ordered it, should be made to pay and to realize that there are not enough bullets in the world to silence the press in a free society. And finally the terrorist who carried out this ignoble act should realize that they are living a double illusion.

“First their belief that they can succeed in shutting up voices of freedom through terror and second that they represent Islam. They are wrong on both counts. They cannot and they do not.”

The killing of innocent French people cannot be justified by seeking revenge in the name of Allah. No God would ever confirm such actions. There is no justification for the killing.

The respect for the prophet or justice, if that is what the terrorists were seeking should not be restored by terror!

“Islam or death” should not be taken up as a slogan which brands Islam as a religion of terror and labels Muslims generally as terrorists.

Part of the problem lies in the fact that different cultures react differently to varying situations. Muslims for the most part become very offended when something they hold sacred is insulted.

All human beings need to honor and carefully deal with sensitive issues for people with different religious faiths. This is important for peaceful co-existence, tolerance, peace and stability in our multicultural world.

Indeed, freedom of speech is understood as an ability to say, portray and express almost any idea out of concern over being silent or oppressed. We should be able to express our ideas but as far as our ideas don’t incite violence or hatred.

At the end of the day the pen remains mightier than sword.


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