My name is Hamad and I am not a terrorist!
The recent attack on Charlie Hebdo Magazine House in Paris, France, is one of sheer cruelty, irrationality and gruesomeness to say the least. Any right thinking human being must not only condemn this attack, but also try to stay away from causing chaos that could lead to further wastage of human lives as demonstrated by the terrorists. They simply murdered those people in cold blood!
“What could have caused this?” was the question on most lips. It was discovered that the magazine, which is noted to be satirical and mockery in nature, had already printed a cartoon caricature of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), the Islamic messenger of God, and made mockery of the Holy messenger of God. It was sheer blasphemy! This then “angered” the gunmen and they committed the heinous act. One thing should be clear; killing in the name of provocation through insult cannot be excused. The killing is a shame on the terrorists themselves.
While I condemn the cold-blooded murder of those lives at Charlie Hebdo, the response of the world to this attack has not been appropriate to some extent. On the positive side, there was a mass walk that was staged in protest to those killings as a symbol of commiseration with the French Government in Paris. The walk was coloured by “je suis Charlie” meaning “I am Charlie” in support of the dead. Various social media bore the inscription on their web pages; there were twitter rants here and there and the current trend is that of "je suis Charlie”
To analyze the ripple effect of this event, one must know that freedom of speech, which is what is being propagated and enforced by the French Government and allies must be rational, guided and guarded especially in the world we are today. The world is full of animals in human skins that would bate their eyelids at the slightest of assumed provocation and even worse, respond in calamitous fashion. Freedom of speech is a fundamental human right that should be enjoyed by everyone, but one must consider the possible ripple effect of utterances. We should also take note of expressions and reactions in certain delicate situations. For example, the French Government has approved that 3 million copies of the blasphemous publication should be printed instead of the initial 60 thousand copies as proposed by Charlie Hebdo before the incident. Also, various cartoonists and media houses have expressed their support for the “je suis Charlie” campaign and have gone to further make mockery of the Holy messenger of God as regarded by 1.3 Billion Muslims in the world. These reactions are bound to have consequences in the long run because; they are sending a message to terrorists who have been looking for one excuse or the other to perpetrate their evil. “We cannot kill fire with fire” says the Nigerian proverb, all in the name of not allowing terrorists to win their stupid ‘holy war’. One could even argue that the same French Government that has reacted this way and has instigated further printing of the blasphemous publication might not be able to prevent (God forbid) further attack on innocent French citizens.
The truth of the matter is, there are people who are always ready to take anything out of context and react without any just cause to anything they perceive as provocative and insulting as well as blasphemous. This then should make one to be careful of utterances, write-ups and expressions. Personally, I think the French government should have halted all publications and bring the killers to justice, while making a policy that could prevent further occurrences. They could also stiffen measures guarding against any statement that could incite social unrest because most, if not all social unrests take their toll on innocent citizens.
In conclusion, by this reaction of the French Government, it has systematically “agreed” to war between them and the extremists which could result in dire consequences. Personally, I will not say ‘je suis Charlie” but as a Nigerian, I will say “ je suis Baga et Chibok et Nyanya”…………………………….more people simply died here and nothing happened.