Humor can have various sub-meanings, such as sending a social message, criticizing errors or drawing attention to what needs to be done, but it always has one basic aim, to make people laugh.
Nobody will laugh at insults. Attempted insults of sacred matters in particular will not make anyone laugh, neither those who value those matters nor even those who do not. Indeed, it will merely hurt a large part of society. That humor is not funny, and is therefore not humor. It is merely insulting. And insults can never represent freedom of ideas.
Insults are issued for two reasons; weakness and provocation! Defamation, placed under guarantee by freedom of the press, one of today’s sensitive issues, is intended neither to teach nor improve nor beautify society. It is merely intended to provoke the ignorant and open greater wounds. And indeed, the insults in that French satirical magazine did provoke the ignorant and worsen wounds.
It is barbarity and heinous murder to shoot people savagely, hunt down defendless people and shoot them in the back in a vicious act of terror simply because they think wrongly or insult or are hostile to Islam. Those who commit cowardly murder behind a mask of “Islam” and imagine they are taking revenge and waging jihad are in fact, in the eyes of the true Islam, murderers. Terrorism is a scourge cursed by Islam, the most horrible and savage face of fanaticism.
The polemics of those who did or did not denounce terror in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo and Kosher food store attacks last week were noteworthy. There was constant talk of whether or not a wave or terror would be unleashed in Europe. And the headlines were of course full of that well-known word, Islamophobia.
The striking thing was the comments made by some well-known figures who do not represent the Islamic world. These figures laid the blame for the attacks on all Muslims and were strongly criticized by the Islamic community.
One such was the media mogul Rupert Murdoch. In a Tweet message Murdoch wrote: "Maybe most Muslims are peaceful, but until they recognize their growing jihadist cancer they must be held responsible."
A similar view was expressed by the Turkish socialist writer Çetin Altan, who said: “The antidote to the religious obsession in the Islamic world must come, if it can, from within Islam... This is actually a test for Islam. Islam has begun being regarded as an armed organization. Will Islam continue to exist and grow as a faith, or will it continue to resemble an armed organization? It is Muslims who will determine that...”
Although such comments that left their mark on the week came from non-Muslims and were not approved of by many in terms of their laying the blame at the feet of all Muslims, they are still highly significant. Of course the great majority of the world’s Muslims are peace-loving; the great many condemned these ghastly acts of terror. However, that does not alter the fact that the scourge of fanaticism, a bleeding wound, is on the rise within Islam. Peaceable Muslims condemning the fanatics and then retreating into a corner and behaving apathetically, failing to take any interest in the source of and solutions to this violence, and not striving in any way to eradicate it will of course open the door to further tragedies.
Furthermore, it is also a fact many Muslims who describe themselves as peaceable also imagine that the nonsense that feeds the fanatics really is the true faith. A peace-loving Muslim does not kill anyone; but if he is strongly against art, painting and music, if he regards women as second-class citizens and if he points to non-Qur’an sources as justification of that, then he is basically the captive of the same false mentality. Therefore, we must first identify the fanaticism that is such a scourge on Islam and Muslims, determine its source and look for a solution to it. The only way of identifying it is by looking to the Qur’an, and it is again Muslims who must do that. Therefore, if blood is spilled in the name of Islam, it is Muslims who must put a stop to it. In other words, Murdoch and Altan’s criticisms are not completely wrong. Like it or not, the responsibility lies with all Muslims.
Let me reiterate: terror is unacceptable in any form. In particular, equating Islam, which regards the killing of one person as equivalent to the killing of all mankind, with terror is one of the most terrible tragedies of our century. However, terror will not disappear by holding protest marches on the streets, nor through condemnations by politicians, nor through simple repeating, ‘Islam is a religion of peace.’ The fact that Islam is a religion of peace is in the Qur’an, and that fact needs to be proclaimed to the world, persistently and with full supporting evidence, through education. The Islamic world also needs to be purged of nonsense. Western support is of course important for that, but it is Muslims who need to do the job.
Adnan Oktar's piece on New Straits Times