Charlie Hebdo

The Charlie Hebdo massacre has left me at a complete loss for words. I have an Islamic background, as my Dad is Muslim. I’ve a vast knowledge of Islam and I can say without a doubt that the atrocity that has been committed by the gunmen is distinctly anti-Islamic.

These fanatics have acted out of complete vitriol. There is no God or Religion in what they represent. They are hiding behind the shield of God and Religion to justify their horrifying behaviour. I am relieved to see that many Muslim leaders all over the world have denounced the actions of the gunmen.

Anyone with a remote understanding of what it means to be Muslim would denounce the killing of anyone. Islam is a religion of peace. It is important for Europe and the world to know that this massacre was a Godless act and I false representation of what Islam truly is.

The separation between the extremists who committed the attack and Muslims who practice their faith without extremism must be emphasised. It is easy to understand why people all over the world would react negatively towards Islam and Muslims after this tragedy, but doing so would only prove that these extremists have won.

The extremists do not represent the true Islamic narrative of kindness and peace. But theirs’ is the narrative most heard, unfortunately. Fanaticism makes the world an even darker place and as a human race we must never support or tolerate it in any way, shape or form.

I do not believe that free speech should be offensive, but I believe that the cartoonists were being satirical, they were not trying to mock the Prophet or God, but rather poke fun at the idea that religion can’t be mocked at. It is a basic human right to question everything that is put before us. Extremists cannot think independently of their version of religion.

They are oppressed and therefore insist on trying to oppress everyone else. My hope is that people can separate these extremists from honest Muslims, that the extremists have not won.

by Zaina Newesser