Tuesday, 13 January 2015

I can not be Charlie

Multiple friends asked me why I go quiet when they hold up their 'I am Charlie' signs...

As someone who has a strong distaste for religion I am expected to jump on the bandwagon and spread as much Islamaphobia as humanly possible and preach about how this is the result of religion.
I can't.
The Official Story is that on the 7th of January 2014, two masked men killed 12 people during their attack on the Charlie Hebdo. The magazine had been posting insulting images that once I saw made me stay away from saying 'Je suis Charlie' because as it turns out, Charlie seems to be an asshole.

Islamaphobia vs Muslim Murders

Islamic religions are often portrayed as violent and sadistic, but a brief glance at their holy book the Qu'ran shows that it doesn't really say anything more outrageous than the Bible. Christians like to say 'but they have to kill the infidels' well yeah, but it says that in the Bible too (Exodus 22:19 NAB, 2 Chronicles 15:12-13 NAB, Deuteronomy 17:12 NLT, Deuteronomy 13:13-19 NLT, Deuteronomy 13:7-12 NAB, Deuteronomy 17:2-5 NLT, Romans 1:24-32 NLT) a lot.

In recent times, the only things you seem to hear about Muslims is how evil they are or that they are terrorists.  How long have you gone without hearing something about 9/11? I scarcely go a week without hearing some mention of it. Pray tell how many times you've heard od Christian acts of terrorism? Not very often I'll bet. That isn't because it doesn't exist, it'll get a brief mention before being hastily pushed to the side. People point to the extremists of these religions and shriek "look they're evil! They killed 12 people, Muslims should be banned! they're inherently violent!" But post KKK we still don't label Christians as anti-black people, I bet most of you reading this have never even heard of the Wisconsin Sikh Temple massacre or the abortion-clinic bombings. It all gets glossed over very nicely so that people like Dr.George Tiller can die nice a quietly without shaking the world view of some Christians.

The reason I am bringing this up, is not by any means to try and say Islam is better than Christianity (Who cares who is the shiniest of two turds?), but to point out the glaring hypocrisy that is staring us in the face.

Conditions to Cultivate Hate

The demonization of Islamic religions has allowed for a situation where the followers are being discriminated openly. People are trying to say that the attack on the Charlie Hebdo magazine is an attack on freedom of speech, but I personally call bullshit right there. If you want to call this 'an attack on freedom of speech' first tell me if you think the fact that 'blackface' is not allowed to be featured in magazines anymore, to be an attack on your freedom of speech. This publication is far from what the glowing report would have you believe and as an anti-theist I still found the covers shockingly abhorrent. For instance one of the covers depicted a Muslim man being shot repeatedly as he holds up a Quran in defence. A caption points to the damaged bullet torn book and in French say 'it can't stop bullets'. Imagine if that Muslim man was an American soldier holding a bible. It would never have gone to print, why?
 There would have been a public outcry, the magazine probably would have been shut down or at least heavily fined or even sued. The magazine didn't just attack Muslims, but when it did it hit hard. People defending the magazine have tried to say they attacked all religions, but just looking at the frequency and the shock factor compared to other religions they attacked blows that argument out of the water. The most offensive one I could find about Christianity was a pro-homosexuality piece depicting some bum fun with the Holy Trinity. Which I hardly find comparable to having an unarmed Muslim man shot to death on the cover.

Please don't be fooled into thinking that muslims never spoke out against this publication because they have done, repeatedly. In 2006 there was a failed attempt to sue the magazine for a particularly anti-Islamic cover and in 2011 when yet again they attacked 2011 they had their website hacked. These people went out of their way to bait terrorist extremists. The editor-in-chief was killed in a shooting way back when. These people knew the pot they were stirring, knew the offense they were causing, but they carried on. 

I Still Think the Extremists are in the Wrong

I will never say that the victims deserved to die, because I honestly believe it is disproportionate retribution. However, portraying them as innocent or somehow associating them being martyrs of free speech is something I find contemptible. In closing, please do not mistake extremists for Muslims or if you are going to then be fair and judge other religions by their extremists especially your own, unless you're an atheist/wiccan/pagan/deist/pastafarian/buddhist I imagine you'll probably blanch. If you are still going to hold up your 'Je suis Charlie' sign please do one better and add 'Je suis Ahmed' to honor Ahmed Merabet, who sacrificed his life trying to counter the terrorists. Unfortunately, Nothing can sway me at this point to take the side of this hideous publication.

Je ne suis pas Charlie...