Le mort de Charlie Hebdo – quel dommage!


This Wednesday, in a brazen broad daylight attack, two masked gunmen brandishing Kalashnikov assault rifles forced their way into the Paris offices of the satirical publication, Charlie Hebdo and proceeded to execute 10 of its staff, at the time convened in meeting. During the course of the attack they also killed two policeman – one of whom was executed as he lay already injured on the floor. The operation was evidently pre-planned and the ruthless efficiency with which it was carried out suggests the perpetrators had received some level of military training (these were clearly more than your average ‘Call of Duty’ aficionados).

Charlie Hebdo was no stranger to controversy, rather it deliberately courted it at every available turn. As an iconoclastic publication, religion was very much within its purview. Christianity more often than not the target of its particular brand of degenerate, vulgar satire but what brought this act of bloody vengeance upon it was its repeated insults – and make no mistake that is what they were – towards Islam. The publication of assorted invidious images of the Prophet (saw) wedded to profanities about the Qur’an are what sealed the fate of Stephane Charbonnier and his staff.

I don’t have too much to say about this incident but I will say that I find it more than a little hypocritical that the same people and publications that so vehemently champion “free speech” when it offends Muslim sensibilities are often the very same demanding more be done to close down “hate speech” (i.e. what they deem offensive) when it upsets theirs. So, for example, when a Muslim decides to burn a poppy on the streets of London – an act which physically harms nobody – they will demand the individual responsible be prosecuted (he was). Similarly when a group of Muslims held a peaceful – if vocal – protest against British military returnees from Afghanistan it seems that suddenly the “right to offend” was no longer sacrosanct. Complete silence regarding the disgraceful behaviour of the baying mob intent on physically assaulting aforesaid peaceful protesters who, after all, were merely exercising their “sacrosanct right to offend”.

Let us see how many people are now prosecuted for “soliciting murder” apropos of the #KillallMuslims hashtag currently trending on Twitter. Previously when one Muslim aired his hope to see foreign troops – viewed by vast numbers of the local population as occupiers – in Iraq killed he was prosecuted for precisely that. Let us see if a desire to murder innocent civilians is treated in the same light. I won’t be holding my breath.

As regards the special “national day of mourning” held in France to commemorate the 12 dead Charlie Hebdo employees I find myself asking why there has never been a similar outpouring of national grief to acknowledge the barbaric murder by the police of 40 (official estimates) – 200 (more likely death toll) French-Algerians in the same city back in 1961. It took some 37 years before the French government even acknowledged a massacre had taken place. Of course it will never be described as an act of terror – after all Europeans simply don’t do that, do they? You can read the salient details here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paris_massacre_of_1961

The hypocrisy surrounding this latest incident is sadly nothing new. After the 2006 Jyllands-Posten cartoon controversy it subsequently emerged that the same paper had previously rejected a submission of satirical cartoons depicting Jesus (as). The editor’s reasoning? “I don’t think the readers of Jyllands-Posten would be pleased with the drawings. I think they would cause an outrage. That’s why I won’t use them.” So to those who drone on about Muslims being accorded special treatment: I completely agree with you. We are.

As a Muslim I don’t believe in vacuous notions of “free speech”. Speech is, and always has been, restricted by law. The question is merely of where to draw the line. I will never recognise the moral “right” of anyone to insult, mock or belittle any of the Prophets of Allah (swt). I acknowledge, as a matter of fact, that such a right exists under the legal codes of Western nations such as France and Britain regardless my disapprobation. While personally I restrict myself to cursing reprobates such as Charbonnier and his staff, clearly some of my co-religionists feel less inclined to such restraint but I shall refrain herein from passing comment on their actions.

I shan’t be mourning any of the dead “journalists” and their crass attempts at satire won’t be missed by me. In this I’m sure I’m far from alone. One of the deceased, Georges Wolinski, once reportedly said, “paradise is full of idiots who believe it exists”. Well Georges, hell is full idiots who believe it didn’t – as you are about to discover. Did you find that offensive? I certainly hope so. Georges would undoubtedly have approved and perhaps it’s the most fitting epitaph for someone who revelled in his merciless mockery of others. Au revoir, Charlie Hebdo!

May the peace and blessings of Allah (swt) be upon sayyidina Muhammad.

10 Comments Add yours

  1. I Am Charlie says:

    Bloody Islamic Pig you are

  2. Mohammed younus says:

    Very Enlightened article. When they say, Its free speech, When we say, they call it hate speech. Hypocrites.

  3. H says:

    You manage in so many words (you really are verbose, I imagine you are a lawyer of some ilk) to reserve the word ‘merciless’ for one of the victims. Victims among whom were Muslims and grocery shoppers. I suppose the grocery shoppers were merciless in their support for Israeli olives or something (ill save you writing it). Was the Muslim cop complicit in the 1961 massacre? Of course that massacre was disgusting. But as you are happy to vacillate extensively over context on other issues it might be worth pointing out that within that link you provide, it states at the same time some 3000 civilians had been killed in bombings of cafes and other municipal areas by Algerian terrorists.

    I do agree with you on one issue (only your logic, not your opinion though), I feel our country is too weak on the issue of freedom of speech. Poppy burners should be free to protest, as should journalists be free to catalogue their comically absurd contradictions (he was on 800 quid a month benefits after all).

    If you cannot write some of your beliefs for fear of UK laws, it means they cannot be challenged, and you cannot be mocked, mercilessly!

    1. Lenna says:

      And the choice? Accept the morality of the country you have chosen to live in or move to a country whose personal religious beliefs much more reflect you own. A story for another time and I look forward to hearing it

      I don’t know about the UK, but in the US, citizens do NOT have to accept the “morality of the country.” What citizens must do is follow the law. Here, people are allowed to *think* whatever they want. We don’t have thought police. We concern ourselves with what people actually do. Isn’t that the idea of liberal democracy and pluralism, or are those just empty words?

      As far as “choosing” to live in the UK, I’m pretty sure Da Masked Avenger was BORN in the UK and as such has just as much right to be there as anyone else.

  4. omni1234 says:

    Having followed you now for a few months on Twitter, I find you as one of the most reasonable voices on “Muslim Twitter”. And the same with your article on Charlie Hebdo. But the point I think you are missing, not just about Charlie Hebdo In France but all of your writings about being a Muslim in a Western country is that you miss the obvious point about being a Muslim in a Western country. Which is that you are not part of it, that you are accepted as a resident but not part of the Judeo-Christian culture which the country was founded upon.

    This is something you know, something you wouldn’t want to be a part of, even if it was offered to you and yet you complain regardless.

    So lets get’s real about this. Muslims like you are outsiders, not just because they not accepted but also because they choose to be outsiders in the country they live in and even born in.

    And the choice? Accept the morality of the country you have chosen to live in or move to a country whose personal religious beliefs much more reflect you own. A story for another time and I look forward to hearing it

  5. On Wednesday morning, the French satirical paper Charlie Hebdo was attacked by three masked gunmen, armed with Kalashnikovs, who stormed the building and killed ten of its staff and two police officers. The gunmen are currently understood to be Muslim extremists. This attack came minutes after the paper tweeted this drawing of ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi. Someone said, “The love of money is the root of all evil”… it could, perhaps, also be said that the love of magazine circulation led to this evil… While some Muslims today object to any depiction of the Prophet, others do not. Moreover, visual representations of him are not proscribed by the Koran. What unites Muslims in their anger against Charlie Hebdo is the vulgar manner in which Muhammad has been portrayed. What they object to is being intentionally insulted over the course of many years. On this aspect, I am in total agreement with them. Stephane Charbonnier, the paper’s publisher, was killed today in the slaughter. It is too bad that he didn’t understand the role he played in his tragic death. In 2012, when asked why he insults Muslims, he said, “Muhammad isn’t sacred to me.” Had he not been so narcissistic, he may still be alive. Muhammad isn’t sacred to me, either, but it would never occur to me to deliberately insult Muslims by trashing him.

    What happened at Charlie Hebdo was completely predictable. When was it right to deeply offend 4 million of France’s population (that is equal to half the population of London) by blaspheming against founder, time after time and not expect repercussion from the offended? We are really talking about being extremely offensive to 25% of the World population. There is a limit to satire and Charlie Hebdo crossed that mark time after time. Respect others so that you will be respected is a message that is in all religious traditions. The immoral cartoonist never learn a lesson and always cross the red line. It is quite obvious that these filthy deranged characters have no respect for anyone and just let out their hatred through cartoons, knowing that they are offending others in the name of satire. I am not for #jesuischarlie. [Censored for legal reasons]. Muslims don’t go around making offensive drawings of any other religion and then post it to the world. They basically asked for an early grave. People who follow any religion other than Islam don’t realise how disrespectful it is to draw something that is forbidden in their religion. If Christians followed their holy book to the letter there would be no church statues and there would be no cross seen anywhere, it would also be punishable by death.What happened in France is just a symptom of organized religion/ideology and it’s power to make seemingly sane people do horrific things.

    Charlie Hebdo is about the most offensive, racist, and malevolent publication one can imagine. France subjugated the nations of Algeria, Mauritania, Morocco, Tunisia, Senegal, and more recently Mali and Central African Republic to name a few, killed their people like animals, dismantled their institutions of religion, state, trade, education, and culture, and left despotic lunacy in their wake, all without ever apologizing. Those of its former colonies who decided to pursue economic opportunities in France were rewarded by ghettoisation, institutional racism, systemic discrimination in government services, jobs, and social spheres to the point that France actually legislates what a Muslim woman can and cannot wear. On top of that, they selectively enshrine the right of a racist publication to repeatedly desecrate the one who those downtrodden people love more than anyone and anything else.. I understand we have freedom of speech but your speech still holds you accountable. Shouldn’t get you killed by any means but isn’t the nypd rounding people up for speech right now? Poking at people in the name of free speech is not a responsible practice.

    My heart goes out to the families of the two police officers, one maintenance worker, and one visitor to the building that were killed in the carnage. Their deaths were morally unjustifiable by anyone who doesn’t believe in the concept of morally justified loss of life as collateral damage, which includes myself to the exclusion of many in our government. Such a loss of precious life is precisely why vigilante actions such as these are not good. While I am no way condoning the attacks in Paris, I do find a double standard that this paper felt free to disparage and disrespect Muslims and Islam but fired one of it’s own reporters for even the suggestion he was anti-Semitic. He was charged with “Inciting racial hatred” and yet they have depicted the Prophet Mohammed in terrible ways several times now and it’s defended. How is what they printed NOT inciting racial/religious hatred? I would also say, risking the lives of innocent workers by offending a group that has already demonstrated a propensity for violence in the recent past because of the political/personal opinions of editors seems irresponsible too. This attack was 100% unjustifiable, but sadly almost 100% predictable. Just because we have the right to say whatever we want doesn’t mean we should or that it is without consequence. Sad, sad day for the world today, this should not have happened. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/france/4351672/French-cartoonist-Sine-on-trial-on-charges-of-anti-Semitism-over-Sarkozy-jibe.html

    As for the killing of Charlie Hebdo staff by two or three gunmen, I hold my head high and say that even though I don’t sanction, encourage, or endorse what they did, I’m not going to shed any tears for the vicious, racist, and malevolent victims who were the target of their excess. If a drug dealer gets run over by a car in my neighbourhood, I’m not expected to do a #Je_Suis_Drug_Dealer hash tag on twitter. I have more self-respect than that as a human being and as a Muslim. I do feel some pity for the Charlie Hebdo staff. I feel sorry that they chose to live a life of hate and die a death of hate, and that they could not find the stuff of human goodness in their hearts to do something better than be the Pharonic slave driver whipping the poor Hebrews of French society under their lash. I think there should be a uniform policy against publication of material that hurts religious feelings. Freedom of speech is all very well but with freedom should come responsible behavior or laws to ensure responsible behavior. There are limits to freedom of expression. These guys TRESPASSED them. They paid the fine for doing so.

    The vast majority of terrorist attacks on US soil have been by non-Muslims. The vast majority of terrorist attacks in Europe have been by non-Muslims. And Muslims are more often the victims of terrorism. The Muslims today are a demonized underclass in France. A people vilified and attacked by the power structures. A poor people with little or no power and these vile cartoons made their lives worse and heightened the racist prejudice against them. Even white liberals have acted in the most prejudiced way. It was as if white people had a right to offend Muslims and Muslims had no right to be offended? The difference was, when white people were offended, they had the state, white corporate media and the threat of a right wing mob to make their point — Muslims had nothing.

    I don’t condemn all forms of curtailing of free speech, either in the USA or abroad. I support the freedom of all people to speak the truth. I don’t support the real legal right or supposed moral right for people to mock and lampoon the prophets, upon whom be peace. I do condemn racism, totalitarianism, fascism, injustice, killing innocents, and the like, worldwide and in a balanced way. If the racist French state treats some of its most disenfranchised and downtrodden people in a subhuman fashion, and then they wake up one day, see something they don’t like, and scream about it, I don’t feel obliged to show it sympathy for a problem it provoked in the first place; they readily provided another hand to complete the clap sounding off this whole matter.In general, I feel that there is too much violence in this world and it needs more mercy. I also am not so enchanted by the emperor’s new clothes that I feel that that mercy is the sole burden of one group to be carried at its expense to benefit the other.

    A global view spreading across the Muslim world, is that the West is at war with them (propagandists say this is due to hate preachers — nothing to do with more bombs being dropped on Iraq alone than were used in the whole of the first and second world war). This anger sweeping the Muslim world, is solidifying in the consciousness of millions, re-enforced by daily bombings, kidnappings and of course wars that the West has initiated and engaged in. These policies have lead to many Muslims abandoning the belief that they could bring any change peacefully — cue the rise of men taking up arms. The appropriate response to a killing motivated by a desire to stop satirical cartoons of Allah and Muhammad is mass publication of cartoons depicting Allah and Muhammad having sex with a goat. then every time someone is killed for having published such “blasphemy” more mass publication – eventually the killers will be responsible for the cartoons and be forced to stop.

    But there should be some limits on liberty. Too much love of liberty spoils the show of democracy (Socrates). There are limits on many other things like not walking naked in the streets, not picking a fight, not disturbing the peace by hooliganism. Such things are not allowed in the society. Then why only the speech matter be given a free unlimited license? Uncontrolled liberty brings chaos and educated people like those sitting in media should take more care. After all what Charlie Hebdo gained from publishing the cartoons? May they got some money for advertising something bad. That was not a good way of earning. At the same time they have become an instrument in getting few people killed. The Muslim attackers who killed people have lost their case. They have done something terribly wrong, in the love of religion i.e. Islam. They had no right to do such a thing as it is not allowed in Islam to kill any one. Such a bad deed is not even recommended in Islam. In fact this was their attack on Islam. How bad! To do such a silly thing. It shows their complete ignorance about Islam. They have caused a great damage to Islam.

  6. Lenna says:

    As you may have already noticed, you made Harry’s Place. Sort of:

    “…Obviously if particular Muslim countries, groups or individuals respond equivocally, hypocritically, or worse…” <~ the link under "worse" leads here. 🙂

    Rupert Murdoch holds Muslims collectively responsible for violent jihad http://disq.us/8lp4ek

  7. Abdullah says:

    Wow, may Allah (swt) preserve you. Loved the article

  8. Paul says:

    I liked your response to Rowan Atkinson re. Johnson’s article, and agreed with much of it, but found this article more revealing.

    You are hypocritical, disingenuous scum.

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