We Muslims begin every speech by thanking Allah swt and bringing blessings upon the last Prophet Muhammed, as well as his family and companions.
Like every other Muslim during the beginning of the XXI century, in principle, even if I weren’t accused of supporting terrorism, I strongly condemn the so-called terrorist attack on Charlie Hebdo magazine, whoever committed it, and whoever stands behind it. From all indications, a bloody act of violence occurred in Paris. Can this act of violence be called a terrorist attack, remains open. For an act to qualify as a terrorist act, according to recognized international formulation, it must come from a particular organization or government structure, with the intention of sowing fear (terror) to unknown individual members of a collective working towards achieving a certain milestone. This means that the acts of individuals to a particular organization or state structure cannot be considered terrorist acts, but can be treated as assassination, liquidation or any other criminal act. Violence from mutual conflicts between organizations and institutions shall be treated in the same way, while conflicts between states or nations are considered war. Qualification of an event as assassination represents an internal matter of the country and it’s offender, whether it be on an individual or group.
The attack on Charlie Hebdo cannot be easily discussed, but it is necessary to consider it from several aspects, because the causes and consequences are too complicated for a black and white, uniform approach. Although is a brutal act of violence with tragic consequences for the lives of twelve people, it would be very naive to accept that this is an act of fanatical terrorism, ignoring the possibility of assassination or terrorist acts with other factors of interest. Therefore, the attack on the Charlie Hebdo newsroom deserves consideration from more, for this event, important aspects, in order to shed light, to some extent at least, on what happened recently in Paris.
Islam and violence
There is no religion nor any other worldview that, like Islam, so rigorously condemns violence. The attitude of Islam towards violence is defined in many verses and hadiths. Among other things, the Holy Quran says: ” …whoever kills a soul unless for a soul (in return for a soul that was killed by that same person)or for corruption [done] in the land – it is as if he had slain mankind entirely. And whoever saves one – it is as if he had saved mankind entirely”(Al-Maida, 32)
This is the message of the original Word of God – who does not believe in it is not a Muslim. We Muslims have inherited this value in the hearts and minds and honor it in our actions. Well, after this who can accuse the religion of Islam of terrorism or any other form of violence !?
Therefore, those of you who do not wish to offend Islam and Muslims, kindly please refrain from linking terrorism with Islam, whether you may be politicians, journalists or analysts. Do not use expressions such as Islamic terrorism, radical Islamism, jihadism etc. It is suffice to say terrorism, radicalism, fanaticism, extremism etc.
By the teachings of Islamic (Sharia) law, force may be used only with a valid judgment of the legal and legitimate court, in war, as well as self-defense, but also by very precisely defined regulations.
Freedom of expression or hate speech
Blasphemous cartoons of Charlie Hebdo magazine and others like it are justified by one of the, supposedly most valuable achievements of Western civilization, known as freedom of speech or freedom of the media. There is no doubt that freedom of existential modality is one of the greatest values of a human being, as it is undeniable that the inconsistent and unprincipled unlimited freedom of one inevitably leads to the oppression of fundamental divine principles of freedom and, therefore, imposes a lack of freedom and lack of rights of others. So Western theorists agree that freedom of a man reaches to the limits of freedom of another man, as for Islam this is acceptable only as one of the dispositions which regulate human relations. According to the Islamic conception, freedom extends from the border ban of the real principle to open air, which makes true humanity, and it is reflected in the responsibility of all three directions of possible relationships: the relationship with God, the relationship with yourself and relationships with others. Such a concept is only acceptable in the system of justice, because it represents a whole, and that means that a violation of one relation inevitably leads to violations of the other two, with an indication that the relations with God are the sole responsibility before God. Relations with Him are answered before Him and yourself, while in relation to others the responsibility is to be submitted before human justice, before yourself and certainly before God. Such legal device within a man makes it individual responsibility, and that with the same rigor he must be aware of what he thinks, what he says in front of others and for what he does, and with the same principle it can be concluded that no one can take someone else's responsibility, nor its switch his own to another person.
This is why freedom without limitation principles established on limits, in fact, leads to deviations in the concept of justice and inappropriate social organization, and thereby general anarchy and disorder. For us not be in such a precarious position, and to maintain the harmony and balance of relations between people, we develop society governing laws that define boundaries and rules of freedom.
Each community has its symbols and values and precise manner of their implementation, in failing to do so, such a community is considered a banal set of people of unpredictable behavior. Today's geopolitical system and border divisions in the world are unprecedented in a multi-ethnic and multicultural reality, which in itself makes it imperative human obligation to broaden the term agreement for coexistence. Many European countries are legally treated on the concept of blasphemy, insulting sanctities sanctioning individuals or collectivities. Where this issue is not regulated by law, it is difficult to determine the point where freedom of expression stops and where hate speech starts, but it is certain that everything that causes hatred can never be treated as a legacy of freedom of speech or expression.
The role of the media
One of the basic codes of media activity is that the media should not produce an event or news. It is an internationally accepted principle, otherwise, before the impact of such media every system would be unsustainable. The first and last role of the media is to impartially inform the public about an event. If there are different perspectives on a particular event, media are obliged to represent all views – whether it’s be about news or analytics. In any case, the objectivity of the information or analytical consideration of events or phenomena is a primary determinant of the ethical and professional quality of one media. Beyond any doubt Charlie Hebdo doesn’t inform about nor objectively analyze events, but produces news and events, namely an event with tragic consequences.
The first one to triumph
The first step in the study of any criminal act is to answer the question in whose interest it would be for this criminal act to be completed. The answer to that question usually comes from determining a possible motive, and then culprits for the illegal act.
When the world filled the news of the horrible event in Paris, I am sure that Muslims, especially those with a higher level of responsibility, were by no means rejoiced. The statement made by the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu resembled a triumph. With the condemnation of the terrible crimes, he called all the civilized world to oppose the retrograde forces that strike terror in Israel and Europe. Following some major political decisions and actions of leaders of important countries, which do not correspond with Netanyahu's call to lynch others and those different from ourselves, perhaps we can somewhat grasp the cause of a terrorist act in Paris. Apropos of that, it’s too naive to forget that recently the French Parliament adopted a recommendation on the recognition of the Palestinian state, which does not have to have anything to do with this attack, but nevertheless should not be ignored.
Is it by chance that Charlie Hebdo, which only a month before the attacks became property of the famous Jewish Rothschild family, often ridiculed Christian and Muslim values and authority, and that it has never ridiculed Jewish values, especially the Prophet Moses, which for us Muslims would also be extremely offensive?
Is it a coincidence that this attack comes just weeks after Angela Merkel used the harshest words to characterize the assembly of right-wing organizations against Muslims and other foreigners in Dresden and other parts of Germany? It is obvious that political ideologies in Europe are losing their meaning, which reflects negatively on the capacity of its activities in its own outdated thought placement and no serious opponents after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
How much exactly this attack may have to do with all these issues, is an answer will probably get in the future.
What really happened
Given all that I know about the credibility of the centers of political power and the media in the West, I could not find a serious reason to believe that what had happened in Paris was what were officially informed about by the French authorities and the media.
If we take any important event in the near or distant past in the West or of interest to the West, with little effort and insight we will find that all of these events are inevitably associated with a high level of hypocrisy. If so – and it is, why should we believe that this isn’t also the case with the events that occurred in Paris.
Lately arrogance accompanied hypocrisy has become so brutal they do not feel the need to give answers to open questions, no matter obvious the contradictions are.
On the video footage that could be seen in the first days after the attack, many of the details indicated that the attack was carried out in Paris in professional intrinsically directed by the secret services. Whose and for whom, as in many other important events – will remain to be investigated.
Isn’t it strange that a highly trained terrorist, who manages to kill twelve people and escape, thereby forgets his ID card at the scene.
It's hard to ignore the question of why the media did not broadcast footage or pictures of the massacred bodies of the twelve killed in the attack.
For us Muslims, all this data leaked to the public aren’t crucial to our principled judgments about crime, because crime, no matter which side it’s from, always is done by trampling sacred principles, which is very disturbing. If this is a bloody assassination of an individual, the work of people with double citizenships, the obligation of France and its appropriate authorities is to take responsibility to shed light on this event with the aim of truth in the interest of all those damaged. And if it is terrorism, then a couple of facts that we mentioned indicate that it may be terrorists, but with a non-Muslim background, more precisely one that has been the loudest these days. If so, this is truly horrible!
ISIL or Al-Qaeda
The first news was that the representatives of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant claimed responsibility for the attack in Paris, which, it seemed, closed the circuit and received a response on the ones who were guilty. Just a few days later, which is in some ways tragi-comical, we got the news accompanied with video footage in which a representative of Al-Qaeda in Yemen, on behalf of the organization, takes over responsibility for the attack in Paris. Those familiar with the relationship between these organizations cannot even think that perhaps the two organizations in cooperation carried out the attack because for a long time now they have been openly hostile towards one another. How much the responsibility of these two halves is serious and valid, and in whose best interest it is to hush the whole thing up – cannot be said with certainty. We can conclude that even the most primitive system of justice will not be able to group these two together for the same offense. Even more than that, it is certain that all this terror is an interest to someone at a global level. The terror of the people, the terror against Muslims, terror against individuals and communities who think differently, and to all the sacred principles – all this is certainly not of interest to Muslims.
Still stands the question, ISIL or Al-Qaeda? If not both, maybe one, or perhaps the other, and perhaps neither of them. In both cases, this may be true and untrue.
Just a few days after the attacks in Paris, I read in the news that the police commissioner Herlic Fredou, responsible for conducting an investigation in connection with an attack in Paris, in his office suddenly committed suicide. In a brief and peripheral published news this act is explained by saying that Commissioner Fredou has long suffered from chronic depression. It is possible for one’s consciousness to be so low for them to accept that for the investigation into one of the most horrific terrorist attacks an investigator with chronic depression was assigned who, as they say, could not bear what he saw, so he self-inflicted. The news itself was leaked, deliberately structured to reach the public and not to confirmed whether suicide was committed or a threat to terrorize opponents of all these hysterical campaigns against Muslims, within the European Western thought, which would lead to terror against Muslims in Europe, even citizens across Europe, how Islamophobes would not be able to save even those within their communities. I do not know if we'll ever get an answer to the question of what Fredou actually saw and whether he saw anything at all, or if what he saw didn’t sit well with his superiors.
Is it possible to imagine how it feels for the editor of Charlie Hebdo after the fact that twelve of his colleagues were brutally murdered because their caricatures insulted the feelings of Muslims caricaturing a character of Muhammed, p.b.u.h. From what material is this man so well-built that he manages managed to muster the courage and defiance, and on the front page of the first issue after the tragedy, publish a caricature of Allah's Prophet opposing the merciless terrorists and again causing negative emotions to 1.5 billion Muslims around the world. It is too much to expect any free-willed man to believe in such a possibility. True, Charlie Hebdo’s editor announced in tears at the press conference the front page of the latest issue of the journal. What kind of tears?!
The effect of this bloody piece is a dream come true to each and every printed media in the modern world, to raise circulation from 30,000 to 5,000,000 copies. No matter how morbid it may sound, but my liberality will not let me help feeling that I was a contemporary of this bloody theater play.
Citizens and others
One of the fundamental features of written Roman Empire is that the empire defend its borders, its people and art. This was a global regulator widespread empires with multiethnic structures where a citizen of the empire has an advantage over those who are not Roman citizens. However, internal control was a kind of class division, and to the free citizens of Rome who were guaranteed certain rights and slaves who were part of the empire as the ownership of Roman citizens, but which were not guaranteed the same rights, or even better, had no rights at all. Such a form of legalized discrimination is accepted and sounds logical for an ancient empire which provides a chronological existence until the Middle Ages. But if we look deeper under the verbal splendor of today, all of which is full of stories about equality, democracy and human rights, we will be convinced that Western civilization is ethically not moved far from its Roman predecessor. The raw reactions to the bloody attack in Paris are a reminder of this to all of us. One million person protest walk led by many statesmen of Paris, as well as almost consensual determination on the progressive world against terrorism, for the casual observer may seem like ethical values and courage not to succumb to the threat of fanatical terror. Perhaps this would be so if that same day in Yemen more than thirty children weren’t killed, and had it not been that only a few days before more than a hundred children in Pakistan were killed, and that for the past few years more than a million people in Iraq and Syria have been killed, and that recently the killing of children and innocent people of Gaza in Palestine and all that happening with the participation and blessing at the sight of this very same Western world. In Central Africa and Myanmar, thousands of people are killed just because they are Muslims, but not one voice of protest is heard, let alone identification with these innocent victims.
If hypocrisy itself holds as a dominant ideology of the West, to survive, it will need more than it’s media, economic and military machinery.
One of the key effects of such attacks is to create an environment conducive to opening a wide front against Islam and Muslims. After events of this type, the needs of the destruction of some Muslim countries in the Middle East, especially if it spreads to the oil or some other source of energy rich areas, are defined.
After the attack on Charlie Hebdo in Paris soon there will be no opposition in France against the participation of the French armed forces in military interventions in Muslim countries under the pretext necessary relentless fight against terrorism.
Following this logic, it is not difficult to assume that the next target of similar terrorist actions likely to be Rome or Berlin.
Ethical and mental background of the caricatures of Rasulullah, p.b.u.h.
As a reation to one of the worst idolaters talking negatively about him, not allowing his companions to react, Muhammed, p.b.u.h. said: “Let him go, he's talking about himself.” According to the teachings of Islam, Muhammed Rasulullah endowed with the intercession – a commitment for all believers, which is a kind of a power protection. And that means that he is above the need of us having to protect him. Allah has guaranteed to protect the Holy Quran. Muhammed, p.b.u.h., is, according to Sahih tradition, a living Qur'an so therefore Allah's guarantee applies to him.
A caricature whose purpose is to mock the person and work of Allah’s favorite being is a terrible picture of the soul of the cartoonists who, wandering in the darkness of spiritual and moral delusion, unconsciously illustrated their own disfigured face.
Why I am not and cannot be Charlie Hebdo
Although satire is a known and recognized form of artistic expression, in order to address the particular phenomenon, my Islam does not allow me to make fun of anyone. In contrast, it explicitly forbids this type of behavior towards others. In this sense, the Qur'an says: ” And insult not those whom they (disbelievers) worship besides Allah, lest they insult Allah wrongfully without knowledge. (Al-Anam, 108)
Even if I understood that this or some similar magazine’s caricature indicates a certain social or moral anomaly, I will never understand under what pretext exposed them to ridicule the person and work of the last of Allah's Prophets, Muhammed, about whom not even his greatest enemies could findd cause for criticism, let alone mockery .
The hysterical harangue against Islam and Muslims on charges of so-called Islamic terrorism in Paris, had a obvious, but less important objective, of swift action of dressage and the enslavement of consciousness little free thinking, especially brave Muslims, by sticking to the motto “We are all Charlie Hebdo”. But the main objective of this call, “We are all Charlie Hebdo” was to by de facto come to a legal legitimate qualification of terror, not the act of assassination, which means that if we all become Charlie Hebdo, the attack is not addressed to an entity that did “something ” wrong to someone, but is aimed to the mass of us who have become Charlie Hebdo. Under this unprecedented rant, many Muslims have – either from fear or thoughtlessness, out of the desire to absorb the evil revenge that could ensue – joined the mantra “I am Charlie.” It was supposed to complete the condemnation of terrorist acts in Paris. If it did, was also stood for the support of blasphemy and profanity which is constantly expanding in this newspaper.
That's why I'm not, and I will not and can never be Charlie Hebdo, because I'm not one to insult or incite hate.
A bad theatrical
In my life only once have I seen actual blood being shed on a theater stage. It was in a movie about theater under Hitler's rule where the alleged wizard in a play took a chainsaw and halved a man. And so in every performance a man was really bisected with the audience applauding in admiration of the animator. Never again have I heard of real blood being shed in theater.
If all of this in Paris was a play, it was very poorly directed and acted out even worse.
Sandzak Mufti Muamer ef. Zukorlic
Novi Pazar, January 2015.