The killing of one European or American citizen brings the world to its feet. It remains on the agenda for days and weeks. Yet tens, hundreds and sometimes even thousands of Muslims are slaughtered in Muslims’ lands on an almost daily basis. Hundreds of innocent civilian Muslims are subjected to torture and inhumane treatment.
Yet these tragedies are reported in just a few lines at most, and nobody even cares what happens. For the international community, the martyring of a Muslim is not considered as important or noteworthy as the death of a seal.
The murders committed in France were certainly inhuman. But is the slaughter of 2000 people in Nigeria so trivial as to be completely ignored?
On the same day as the Charlie Hebdo attack, Boko Haram attacked and burned the town of Baga in northeast Nigeria. As a result of this violent attack more than 2000 of the town’s 10,000 people were burned horribly to death. On the day after the Charlie Hebdo attack, on January 8, 83 people in Iraq, 38 in Yemen, 26 in Syria and 18 in Afghanistan died in bomb attacks.
The world’s agenda was so preoccupied with protests, marches, discussions, diplomacy traffic and media campaigns on the subject of Charlie Hebdo that the international media regarded the terrible slaughter in Nigeria, Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan as unworthy of note. Part of the Turkish media, transfixed by the 24-hour coverage of France, exhibited the same insensitivity.
Certainly the attack on Charlie Hebdo was an utterly vile series of murders, one that should be condemned from every possible point of view. Ascribing an act of terror to Islam can only be the result of ignorance or ulterior motives. All forms of terror and murder are condemned in the Qur’an. People need to know that those opportunistic fanatics who commit such base killings in the name of Islam have nothing to do with the faith described in the Qur’an.
In fact, the sole reason for the tragedies in the Islamic world is that some perverse traditions and superstitions in diametric opposition to what God has revealed in the Qur’an and fabrications made-up in the name of our Prophet (saas) later on have been gathered and adopted as Islam by certain ignorant, radical and fanatical circles.
Prejudiced and discriminatory attitudes towards Muslims must come to an end
Denouncing the slightest criticism of its own faith and values as a crime against humanity while defending blatant insults against Islam under the guise of freedom of expression is one of the main features of a prejudiced, biased and discriminatory policy.
Those who espouse human rights, equality, freedom and democracy must attach the same importance and exhibit the same sensitivity and concern, not only towards their own citizens but to those who are killed in France as well as those Muslims martyred in Nigeria, Syria, Afghanistan or Burma.
There is no doubt that Charlie Hebdo's publication of sardonic and defamatory cartoons aimed – in their own minds- at our Prophet (saas) and the essence of Islam cannot justify any killing or act of terror in response.
However, in the same way, the murder of those who did that, does not justify mockery of or disrespectful and loveless attacks on people’s beliefs and values.
Of course not everyone will share the same ideas and beliefs. All ideas can be criticized and debated, and contradictory opinions can be expressed. The important thing, however, is for these ideas to be expressed within the bounds of respect, love and good manners. Freedom of thought does not mean freedom to insult, offend and despise others.
Moreover, we also need to make it clear that the people who drew those ugly cartoons were in fact looking in the mirror and reproducing themselves, and that our beautiful, attractive, majestic, noble Prophet (saas) was far beyond all such representations.
Violence and intimidation are never a solution
At the point we are today, both the Islamic and the Western worlds have seen that inhumane methods such as responding to bloodshed with bloodshed and violence with violence have never produced any solutions.
Violence has always resulted in more terror, bloodshed has always led to worse bloodshed and cruelty and torture have always ended in worse fanaticism, savagery and ruthlessness. The method employed from Afghanistan to Iraq and from Syria to Libya to bring down the radical elements through violence, wars and torture has never brought any benefit to the Islamic world other than destruction
On the contrary, they have just led to the blood and fire in the Middle East and Islamic countries gradually spreading to the West. The way that ISIL has ceased being a local terror group affiliated to al-Qaeda and has achieved influence and support over a wide territory, attracting hundreds of new members from all over the world every day, and its current fanatical, bloodthirsty and destructive nature are all the result of this false policy and practices.
Therefore, every step regarding the Middle East and the Islamic world must be taken by learning lessons from the mistakes and the sufferings of the past.
As a matter of fact, it is high time to realize that the sole solution lies in realizing the falsehood of the fanatical and radical conception of religion based on non-Qur’anic sources, superstitions, fabricated hadiths and crooked traditions and in allocating a very small portion of the hundred millions of dollars spent on wars to educating, enlightening and raising awareness among Muslims in this respect.
Adnan Oktar's piece on News Rescue & National Yemen: