Nador - While the world’s news agencies were broadcasting the armed attack on French magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris, dozens of lives were being taken in dispersed parts of Muslim and Arab countries with bomb attacks and snowstorms. Television and radio stations were transmitting panel audiovisual discussions of ‘terrorist group’s experts, analysts, and researchers’ to discuss any possible point that might be in relation to the violent attack on the controversial magazine.
Nador – While the world’s news agencies were broadcasting the armed attack on French magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris, dozens of lives were being taken in dispersed parts of Muslim and Arab countries with bomb attacks and snowstorms. Television and radio stations were transmitting panel audiovisual discussions of ‘terrorist group’s experts, analysts, and researchers’ to discuss any possible point that might be in relation to the violent attack on the controversial magazine.
Twelve people were killed including writers and caricaturists while they were gathering for their usual board meeting in the magazine’s headquarters . After the attack, that seemed to have been well-planned by French nationals Said and Cherif Kouachi. France’s intelligence and security agents pursued the suspects to a small town northeast of Paris where they took several hostages. After encircling the village, the ‘Police Nationale’ succeeded in shooting the suspects. Meanwhile, hostages have been taken in other French cities such as Paris and Montpelier, and a female police officer has been fatally shot in Paris.
The grief that France is feeling at this moment has been compounded by the gossip surrounding the shooting. Both experts and journalists have been expressing their views on the attacks, ranging from logical to impressionistic and reactionary. The suspects are said to have been Muslim, which has been interpreted by some as proof that their religious beliefs are to blame for the attack, as opposed to other motivation. Even after being identified, the suspects were not described by news agencies as being French citizens, but rather as originating from Algeria. Their religion was also a prominant part of many reports.
Islam has again become the scapegoat for the bloody attack and has been labelled a religion of terrorism, extremism, and Jihadism (although the origin of the word ‘Jihad’ in the Qur’an has nothing but positive connotations). After 9/11, Islam was labelled, by much of the media, a sinful faith that fosters violence, bloodshed, and the reckless killing of innocent civilians. George W. Bush has used the widely biased and judgmental media coverage to lead a vehement war on Iraq and Afghanistan causing the deaths of thousands of civilians, mostly women and children. Worthy to mention is that this war has led to total political unstability and social destruction in the two Muslim countries.
The attacks on Paris are reminiscent of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Centre in New York as Arabs and Muslims around the world have been blamed for the attacks, which are said to have been an act of vengence for Prophet Muhammad against the satirical magazine, which had released an issue last year mocking the Prophet Mohammad and causing enormous discontent among Muslims worldwide.
Actually, Islam forbids, throughout all its texts, the killing of people in revenge for individual or collective indignity. The biography of the Prophet Muhammad reflects how peacfefully he lived with non-Muslim neighbours and had never tried to take revenge for occasional misbehaviour in the same violent way as the attackers of Charlie Hebdo, but only through mercy, respect, and forgiveness.
On the same day as the attacks in Paris, while the entire world was mourning the victims and while international organisations, governments, celebrities and diplomats were condemning the ‘merciless killing’, at least 48 Muslims were killed in Yemen, Syria, and Lebanon. 40 people were killed in bomb attacks on Yemeni civilans while eight Syrians were killed by the snowstorms in Syria and Lebanon which hit the refugees, whose dismal camps provided little safety from the storm. Interestingly, none of these deaths have garnered any sifgnificant coverage as the media agencies obsess over the situation in France.
Islamic faith dictates that the attack on Charlie Hebdo should be whole-heartedly condemned. Yet why is the world showing such outstanding hypocracy with regard to the value of human life? Why have world leaders and heads of states participated in a ‘Unity March’ to honour the freedom of speech slogan Cherlie Hebdo invoked for mocking Islam, while they stood by and watched as hundreds of Palestinian civilians were being killed in Gaza by the Israeli Defense Forces on live television? Why has the death of French police officer Ahmed Merabet, a Muslim killed in the Charlie Hebdo attacks, been glossed over by international media and ommitted almost entirely by French media, while the names of the other victims have been mentioned constantly?
Why are Muslim and Arab expatriates being stigmatised and blackmailed after every threat that faces western countries? Why are attackers first referred to in terms of their religious belief and not their nationality when they are Muslims, ignoring the fact that they have been brought up by French teachers in the French education system? How do we know they committed this deadly act in the name of Islam? Why does Charlie Hebdo devalues Islam, harass Muslims, and offend their faith? Why has Nicolas Anelka been suspended by the English Football Association for being accused of anti-semetism after celebrating his goal in the Premier League if it is a matter of freedom of expression?
Aren’t we being told only one side of the story?
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Morocco World News’ editorial policy
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