Wednesday, January 14, 2015

RIP Charlie!

”So while the condemning is understandable. While the desire for revenge is understandable . It isn’t a solution! We create more and more of these problems  by refusing to look at what causes them. I’m not interested in the governments of the West using this to implement their own ends, using this to justify to taking away more domestic freedoms, to justify more spying, to justify more wars abroad, to justify more suspicion and division among the ordinary people of the world.”
”The world has been rocked by events in Paris, horrific terrorism and brutal murders”
”If you’re interested in working out why things like this are happening,  how these situations are getting worse and why we all feel afraid and under threat watch the trews because we are going to examine it all now”
~ Russell Brand

Former Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tun Mahathir Mohamad made the same argument when the 911 incident hit the world and the word terrorism became a household word. Why? What were the causes? These are the questions we need to address and in all seriousness demand for the answers. Find the root cause and eliminate the effect but today we are still looking at the effect and blaming those who carried out the atrocities as extremists and religious fanatics who carried out wanton murders in the name of race and religions. When I first heard of the incidents of insulting the Prophet of Islam by the West through comics and other means I told myself here we go the next phase of taking ignorance towards the next level and stirring up the hornets nest and see what gives.
Islam has become even more demonized with every incident that involves the loss of lives through terrorism for one reason or another, a religion of murderers they scream in the streets of Paris these days and who can blame them? A dozen or so of their country men were shot down while doing the work by a couple of hooded characters! What is the world coming to! These guys were mostly older man whose only sin was to create as much insult as they could possibly can towards every race and religion and all in the name of 'freedom of speech or expression. It was their job! What could they do but to do it to the best of their ability such that they might become a Pulitzer Prize recipient or be inducted into the comic Hall of fame of some sort somewhere before they exit this life. Nothing wrong with this picture except that they got carried away and became vulgar and their depiction of the character of the Prophet became so tasteless that even their fellow westerners found it too much. However the french yen for freedom knows no bound and Freedom of Expression sits up there at the top of the pile of freedoms man is endowed with.
It is rather hypocritical that pornographic works by great artists like Goya and Picasso were said to be kept away in the Vatican vault for safe keeping to safeguard the public from indecency. Why has the Vatican today not taken any action towards at the very least issuing a statement towards asking for moderation in the works of art that creates a discord for other religions including Catholic itself. It is simply too bad that talented men could find it in themselves to become instruments of ignorance and creating vile images that would rip the fabric of religious sanctity through their 'God given talent' or simply because they can do it to prove that freedom of expression knows no bounds.How many really knew the Prophet and His life? How many really cared to have discovered through in depth research? If westerners who feel like getting to know who or why the Prophet of Islam was so revered  at the least they could do is watch their Hollywood version of the "The Message" directed by Moustapha Akkad with Anthony Quinn playing the leading role as Hamzah and it is available on You Tube.  If this movie does not touch your heart than you are indeed a heart of stone.
Those who carried out the atrocity in killing the Cartoonists in Paris were wrong for doing what they did as humanity will judge them, but they if they were truly Muslims, did what they did in retaliation of what was to them a grave insult to their Messenger who has turned a small town in the middle of the desert of Arabia and its pagan tribe into a world dominating religion of Faith. What did this man ever do to deserve such defilement from men who were most assuredly were half their time drunk or stoned and who probably had no religion to hold as their faith. If it was immortality, or fame and fortune that they were after, it has been fulfilled for them at the very least, for now they are immortalized and the compensation their death will receive will make their family rich and perhaps they will be inducted into the Comics Hall of Fame too. What of the religion of Islam after this? What of the sanctity of the man who brought sanity to an insane tribes and whose teaching today have billions of followers from all the corners of the earth? What has has done to deserve this insults?
 The bigger question is who stands to gain by all these? As Russel brand suggested, the governments will use this 'to implement their own ends...'But who truly is behind these efforts to destroy humanity's collective spirit by pitching one belief against another, one religion against another, brothers against brothers under whatever guise or excuse? The thousands that turned up to show solidarity against what happened were not there to condemn Islam but to show their disgust against the Muslims who have become a part of their French community. They were not there to feel angry at the religion or the Prophet but at the Moroccans and the Turks and the Algiers,who are there as legal aliens. These legal aliens are the reminders of the French colonial history. The gathering is a good excuse to vent the French inherent hatred for these colonial baggage. Charlie Hebdo is as good as buried but French anger will run its course and many of its legal alien citizens with suffer the repercussions especially the Muslim; what has Mohammad got to do with it?

Rasulullah (SAW) said: “The most hated of men to Allah is the one given to fierce and violent disputation.” (Bukhari, Muslim) Rasulullah (SAW)) said about the one who takes what is not his through clever speech has only been given a piece of the fire.
The taking of a human life today has become no better than slaughtering chickens in the street, but one life taken is one life taken and anyone responsible, Muslims or otherwise will be mad to answer for his deed in the afterlife and those who take the name or persons of those who brought peace to humanity too will be faced with retribution. The laws of humanity is the laws of karma and none escapes karma individually of collectively. Only the truth shall set you free, Jesus said, let the truth prevail.

We all recognise that Islam is a religion plagued by extremists. Muslims are most aware of this – worldwide they are much more likely to be the victim of jihadists than Christians or Jews are. The vast majority of Muslims are moderate and get on with their lives without troubling anyone, yet time and again they find themselves represented by ISIS or the likes of the Kouachi brothers.
We desperately need moderate Muslims to come forward and join with us in taking stand against those who kill in the name of Islam. Yet those who are the most vociferous in calling for moderates to take a stand are often those who defend the right of Charlie Hebdo to print cartoons depicting the Prophet.
Thus we extend the hand of friendship towards moderate Muslims only to slap them in the face in our determination to offend them in the name of free speech. In doing so, we legitimise the rantings of extremists who say that Muslims have no place in Europe. Radical Islamists are already declaring that this week’s cover of Charlie Hebdo is “an act of war.”
If we genuinely want moderate Muslims to be part of our community, to stand beside us against the extremists, then we have to start a process of building trust that will involve listening to their concerns. That’s not ‘self censorship’, it’s respect – the very thing that civil society is based on.
                                                                                                                Billy Bragg on Face Book.


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