On Paris and Copenhagen: Islam and the “culture of offence”: missing the point
- Posted by Maryam Namazie
- On February 16, 2015
- 2 Comments
- Charlie, Denmark, free expression, Islam, Islamism, offence, Paris
After the terrorist attacks in Paris and Copenhagen, dissent and criticism of religion is a life and death necessity. It has been–and remains–key for human progress. See the full article here.
Dissent and criticism of religion has always been a crucial aspect of free expression. Historically, it has been intrinsically linked with anti-clericalism and the dismantling of that which is deemed taboo, sacred and untouchable by the gatekeepers of power.
Such criticism has been key for human progress and is still needed. In the age of ISIS, this criticism is a life and death necessity for those living under Islamism’s boot.
So yes, I am Charlie – no ifs and buts.
Those who condemn the massacre in Paris but blame Charlie for “offending Muslim sensibilities” (implying that they somehow got what they deserved) have bought into the Islamist narrative that “Muslims” are more offended by cartoons than mass murder.
This is validated by multiculturalism as a social policy and cultural relativism, which sees Muslim “communities” and “societies” as homogeneous and one and the same with the religious-Right.
So even though there is a rich historical and artistic tradition of depicting Mohammad, Islam’s prophet, over many centuries, it’s deemed offensive today.
And despite many Muslims or those labelled as such have sided with Charlie, it is the terrorists/fascists who are deemed to be the “authentic” Muslims.
The homogenised “culture of offence” discounts the many believing secularists, feminists, freethinkers, and atheists and socialists amongst those deemed “Muslim”.
It ignores the widespread dissent and resistance, which can also be seen in response to Charlie.
An Algerian copy editor Mustapha Ourad was gunned down in Charlie’s hallway.
Many “Muslims” joined rallies and held up “Je Suis Charlie” signs or pens.
A French Muslim cafe owner was threatened for putting up a “Je Suis Charlie” sign in his East London cafe.
Lassana Bathily, the Malian-born Muslim employee hid customers at the Paris kosher supermarket saving lives.
Even in Iran – a theocracy where blasphemy, heresy, apostasy, enmity against god, and another 130 offences are punishable by death – Nasrin Sotoudeh, a human rights lawyer showed her solidarity whilst journalists trying to rally in support of Charlie were attacked and prevented from protesting by security agents wielding clubs and chains.
An Iranian newspaper was shut down for publishing a photo showing solidarity with Charlie. In Turkey, two columnists from a daily are facing an investigation for ‘religious defamation’ after featuring the Charlie cover.
Cartoonists across the Arab world – from Egypt to Lebanon to Qatar and Jordan took a stand with Charlie and against the terrorists.
And still we are told that Charlie offended “Muslims” and must be held to account!
Clearly not all Muslims were offended, and even those who were did not go on to kill for it.
What is packaged as the “culture of offence” is really Islamism’s imposition of blasphemy laws and theocracy under the pretext of respect for “Muslim sensibilities”.
Only in Europe of course does this far-Right fascist movement use “offence” to silence and censor.
In countries where they have state power, there is no need for such niceties.
In Saudi Arabia, Iran, Pakistan, Iraq and Syria, the “offenders” are called what they are – apostates and blasphemers – and legally murdered in broad daylight in the same way Charlie Hebdo’s journalists were “executed”.