BFnews: The magazine has named the prophet of 1.5 billion Muslims across the world as “editor-in-chief” for its Wednesday issue. Charlie Hebdo, or Charia Hebdo (in reference to the Islamic law) as it renamed itself this week, aims at marking the victory of the An-Nahda party in Tunisia.
"To fittingly celebrate the victory of the Islamist Ennahda party in Tunisia... Charlie Hebdo has asked Mohammad to be the special editor-in-chief of its next issue", the magazine said in a statement. The prophet of Islam didn't have to be asked twice and we thank him for it," the statement said.
The magazine did not stop here. The cover of Wednesday edition showed a cartoon to the holy prophet saying "100 lashes if you are not dying of laughter", thus mocking the law of lashes in Islam which has been misused and misunderstood even by Muslims based on their – in some cases - poor knowledge of the laws of Islam.
The publication also included an editorial piece “by the Prophet entitled Halal Aperitif (appetizers) and a women's supplement edition titled Madame Charia”.
The weekly’s editor-in-chief and cartoonist Charb argued that the issue was non-provocative, saying: “we are not trying to be especially provocative”.
He told Agence France Press: "We don't feel like causing further provocation. We simply feel like doing our job as usual. The only difference this week is that Muhammad is on the cover and it's pretty rare to put him on the cover."
In 2007, the French magazine's then editor was acquitted of insulting Muslims by reprinting cartoons of Prophet Mohammad peace be upon him which had originally appeared in a Danish newspaper two years earlier.
ISLAM BEING TARGETED
The Imam of Al-Quds Mosque, Shiekh Maher Hammoud, condemned the magazine move. He told Al-Manar Website that hostility towards Islam was increasing “by the incitement of Zionism and the fanatic Christian movement which are sympathetic with it”, signaling Christian Zionists.
Shiekh Hammoud said that not only the move required condemnation, “but we also need positions that clarify the real image of Islam, our holy religion”.
His eminence called on the international non-Islamic movements to condemn the act. "The enemy is extremism, not Islam itself”.
Shiekh Hammoud stressed all anti-Islam campaigns by different European magazines and newspapers have been plotted by western administrations to tarnish the image of Islam. "Why Muslims are alone branded as terrorists although there are other terrorists from other religions?”
“Few months ago Norway witnessed a terrorist attack that claimed the lives of more than 80 people. The attack wasn’t perpetrated by Muslims. A fanatic Christian youth who is sympathetic with Zionism was responsible for the attack”.
The offices of the magazine were gutted in a petrol bomb attack Wednesday overnight, police said.
The fire at the magazine started around 01.00 am (0200 GMT) and caused no injuries, a police source said.
Sheikh Hammoud also condemned the attack on the magazine offices, and said that western administrations “are aiming at making extremism and Islam as one entity”. “Targeting the prophet himself without other figures like Usama Ben Laden (for example) serves this goal”.
SECULARISM AND FREEDOM OF SPEECH
Those magazines say they are secular, arguing they are publishing cartoons since they have the right to free expression.
However, Socio-political analyst, Dr. Nadim Mohsen, who is also a secular thinker from Lebanon, said the freedom of speech had no relation with secularism.
“Let’s go in depth. Secularism is to separate religion from politics. It has no relation with freedom of speech”.
“I don’t think that addressing sacred issues in a bid to make a constructive criticism is a problem. However if addressing this same issue was aimed at insulting some religious groups, then it is rejected”.
MY FREEDOM… OTHERS’ FREEDOM
Not all people, be it Muslims, Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Sikh, or others can react similarly to continuous campaigns to disdain their religious figures.
“Your freedom ends where mine begins” is a very used saying by freedom supporters. However, Mr. Charb’s comments that he did not “feel” like causing provocation to 1.5 billion Muslims, is in itself a provocation.
Mr. Charb who apparently is ignorant about Prophet Mohammad, ought to ask Muslims how they feel, because not many really care about whether he feels this or not. He should have sensed their feelings when cartoons of the prophet (pbuh) were published in several newspapers and magazines.
If he couldn’t grasp, understand, or maybe sense their feelings back then and learn that such attitude is indeed provocative, he should quit his job, get more acquainted with Islam, and learn how this religion is about accepting the other and how Islam prohibits mocking other religions.
Source : Al Manar TV