Thursday, January 08, 2015

#JeSuisAhmed ; je ne suis pas Charlie Hebdo

"A man is either your brother in Islam, or your brother in Humanity" - Sayidina Ali (RA).

"None of you truly believes, until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself" - Hadith of Rasul(SAW).

Know that the media all around us is full of us and them, of disunity, not unity.
There is a purpose to this. It is to make us feel that there are many conflicting voices everywhere and
that we are part of this conflict and disunity. It also makes us accept this conflict and disunity.

Everywhere you look, you see debates and discussions, where the boundaries of debate and discussion
are predefined. You are always left with in this manner, where opposing views are shown, they are voiced,
but never reconciled. A lot of the time one dominates another unfairly.

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Imagine if all the media was focused on unity, on people discussing in civil dialogue to come together,
in mutual compassion and cooperation instead? If such examples were repeatedly shown 24/7 all over
the world, do you not think the world would be more united and peaceful? Who wouldn't want that?

Well the Dajjal and it's adherents are not here for that. The ruling elites that are of the smallest minorities
on Earth, do not rule the majority of us using order, they use disorder. Hence perhaps it should be called
the New World Disorder.

Our Prophet (pbuh), the one who is meant to have been denigrated and avenged at two extremes here,
he was of the Middle Path and he always sought to bring people's together. Even the hearts of enemies
were reconciled through his love, wisdom, mercy and compassion.

For the first 13 years of his mission, the Prophet Muhammad experienced demeaning abuse, mockery and torture on a daily basis in Mecca. Not only did he resist engaging in violence, he did not respond to a single insult with another insult. At one point in Mecca, his enemies twisted his name to call him 'Mudhammam' (The Disgusting One) instead of 'Muhammad' which deeply offended his followers. But the Prophet calmly comforted them by stating, "Doesn't it astonish you how God protects me from Quraish's abuse and cursing? They abuse and curse Mudhammam while I am Muhammad." 

On Wednesday, January 7, extremists in Paris reacted to a magazine's satirical cartoons which profanely portrayed the Prophet Muhammad. Their response was the cold-blooded murder of 12 journalists and civilians (one of whom was even a Muslim). Their barbarism completely contradicts the character and message of our beloved Prophet. In a famous Islamic tradition, he stated: "It is prohibited to cause harm to others, and to avenge harm with harm." The Quran instructs believers to respond to evil with good, and when dealing with enemies, to "disagree with them in the most courteous way."

"When our Prophet is mocked, we should respond as he did: with truth and kindness. Violence, no matter how angry you are, is not right in any religion. By killing innocents, these extremists in Paris have done more to offend the Prophet Muhammad's legacy than the cartoons could have ever done. The Prophet taught that killing a single person is equivalent to killing all of humanity," said Tarek El-Messidi, founder of CelebrateMercy. 

"A small minority of Muslim extremists have shown enough anger to the world, supposedly in the Prophet Muhammad's name. It's time for the world to see Muslims' love for him instead, by embodying his beautiful character every day. The Quran already assures us that the Prophet is constantly praised by God and His angels; even a million cartoons cannot threaten his status nor diminish his love in our hearts."
You should also remind yourselves of what Sheikh Hamza Yusuf said before during the Danish Cartoon Controversy

from a link tweeted by Sheikh Hamza Yusuf's twitter account, most of the article I do not agree with:
In seventh-century Mecca, it was the prophet Muhammad who fought for free speech to proclaim one God as the creator of life and worthy of worship. The city’s pagans were his violent persecutors.

Unable to observe Islam freely in Mecca, the prophet migrated to Medina. There his first act was to build a mosque, the most sacred structure for a believer. An Arab man entered the mosque and urinated in front of the prophet with no care for the sanctity of the mosque. How did the prophet respond to this deepest of insults to Islam and himself? He cleaned the mosque, stopped Muslims from expelling the man and explained the inviolability of a place of worship.

Ahmed is the name of one of the two police officers whose job it was to protect these offices which had come under attack from many directions due to their provocative publications.

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Here's a theory. Terrorists aren't offended by cartoons. Not even cartoons that satirise the Prophet Muhammad. They don't care about satire. For all I know they may not even care about the Prophet Muhammad.
Instead, they merely pretend to be offended by cartoons, in order to give themselves a pretext to commit murder. Murder so horrifying, on a pretext so unWestern, that non-Muslims – blinded by grief and rage – turn on Muslims. Blame them. Persecute them. Burn their book, attack their mosques, threaten them in the street, demand their expulsion from Western societies. Actions that, in turn, scare Western Muslims, isolate them, alienate them. And thus drive some of them to support – and even become – terrorists.

Result: terrorists swell their ranks for a civil war they long to provoke non-Muslims into starting.

In our angry innocence, however, we persist in thinking this is somehow about cartoons. In thinking that the terrorists "win" if we don't reproduce those cartoons, and "lose" if we do. As if, at this very moment, terrorist leaders across the West are privately wailing in anguished disbelief because satirical cartoons have been reproduced this morning in several European newspapers.("Disaster! Our plan has backfired in a way we couldn't possibly have foreseen! Ink really does beat Kalashnikovs! Satire defeats us once again!")
On the whole, I'm not sure that's very likely. I don't think the terrorists "win" if we fail to reproduce cartoons. I think the terrorists "win" if we leap up, gulp down their bait – and hate Muslims.

This is not about satire. This is beyond satire.

"The Right to Offend" never brings people together, rather pits one against another. We should instead point people to a higher principle, which is the obligation to civil dialogue with the intention of bringing people together.

Imagine you had two schools. One that attempted to teach children about the "right to offend" and allowed them to practice it even?
The second school taught children to respect differences, especially those that you do not agree with. To find ways of cooperating and communicating differences and disagreements that never went into being offensive or insulting.
Which school would have teachers having an easy time to teach and in which are children more likely to have no respect for teachers or education?
Which school would produce children that fight more and which would have less fights?

There are two schools in the adult world. It's just that the dominant school in the adult world is contradictory to the school most of us were privileged to have gone to when we were children.

If one were to believe in liberal democracy that allows the freedom and right to offend whoever and whatever, then truly such a society should not punish children who are abusive in language or art. For art and literature that is offensive is just expression, whether from a child or an adult.

A clear example is the New Atheists (popularised by Dawkins et al) versus the Faitheist movement (popularised by atheist interfaith worker Chris Stedmann et al).
Now both are expressions of atheism, which involves showing reasons for atheism, which largely though not entirely are based on perhaps errors of religion and the religious.
Yet one does not want to make friends with the religious, but either marginalise them or convert them. The other, though will happily live side by side with those of religion, as long as they are also accepted in kind.

(Chris Stedman has his own blog where he expresses his opinions on the matter :

The slogan thrown about not long ago, was the 1% versus the 99%. What people don't see, is how the 1% that rules, is not fighting the 99% to keep them down. In reality, the top 1% just made sure that the 99% is more busy fighting itself, everyone fighting each other.

One more thing. What all the press ignores, is that Islamic Extremists such as Al-Qaeda, the Taliban and ISIS, were supported and propped up by US/UK. ISIS is the child of the extremists that David Cameron and co supported to oust Assad from Syria. Al-Qaeda was supported to oust USSR out of Afghanistan. The Taliban were US Allies for a long time before 9/11.

Paris massacre: Lessons that need to be learned by our war-making governments - Stop the War Coalition

Below you will find more links and quotes showing examples of double standards when it comes to freedom of expression.
These are good to be informed about, but don't use them to further alienate people and just argue. Use them to bring common ground with people for the sake of unity.

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Don’t have these double standards and just target the weak people. And this is why I said to the chief editor of Charlie Hebdo, "What you are doing are is"—you know, in French, I said, "This is the humor of the people who have no courage. You have a lack of courage in the way you are dealing, because you know who you are targeting." So my point is not your freedom of expression. It is the freedom that you have to target the people who are weak within your society, and I don’t think that this is the right way of using your freedom of expression. Now you have the right to say whatever you want to say. Principles are principles, but decency and responsibility are also important in this discussion.

TARIQ RAMADAN: No, look, I cannot agree with him on one point, the way he is describing Charlie Hebdo. He’s talking about Hara-Kiri, that was much before Charlie Hebdo became what it is now. Why don’t you say in 2008 that one of the cartoonists was fired because he dared to say something about the—connecting this to the son of Sarkozy and making a joke about the fact that, you know, he was a Jew? And he was fired. So, tell me and give me one example over the last few—two years, for example, coming from Charlie Hebdo targeting another community than the Muslim community, because it’s easy.

Yes it is true, if you look at the link whose top paragraph with headline and heading I have pasted below. It's a lot harder to insult Judaism especially in the context of Israel.

French cartoonist Sine on trial on charges of anti-Semitism over Sarkozy jibe

A Left-wing cartoonist is to go on trial on Tuesday on charges of anti-Semitism for suggesting Jean Sarkozy, the son of the French president, was converting to Judaism for financial reasons.

6:00AM GMT 27 Jan 2009
Maurice Sinet, 80, who works under the pen name Sine, faces charges of "inciting racial hatred" for a column he wrote last July in the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo. The piece sparked a summer slanging match among the Parisian intelligentsia and ended in his dismissal from the magazine.
"L'affaire Sine" followed the engagement of Mr Sarkozy, 22, to Jessica Sebaoun-Darty, the Jewish heiress of an electronic goods chain. Commenting on an unfounded rumour that the president's son planned to convert to Judaism, Sine quipped: "He'll go a long way in life, that little lad."

ART SPIEGELMAN: Why were they targeting Muslims? Do you think it’s—
TARIQ RAMADAN: I’m not—you know why? You know what? You know why? It’s mainly a question of money. They went bankrupt, and you know this. They went bankrupt over the last two years. And what they did with this controversy is that Islam today and to target Muslims is making money. It has nothing to do with courage. It has to do with making money and targeting the marginalized people in the society.
The point for me now is just to come with you, as somebody who is involved in this, and to come with the principles that you are making now, and to come and to say, look, now, in the United States of America as well as in the West, everywhere, we should be able to target the people the same way and then to find a way to talk to one another in a responsible way, not by throwing on each other our rights, but coming together with our duties, our responsibilities to live together.
I think that what you are saying now could be dangerous if you are not coming to the facts, but just with the impression that their past is similar to the present. Charlie Hebdo is not the satirical magazine of the past. It is now ideologically oriented. And Philippe Val (editor of Charlie Hebdo), who was a leftist in the past, now is supporting all the theses of the far-right party, very close to the Front National.

And from one of my favourite comedians:

Just read the excerpt from its first few paragraphs to read how it is okay for our governments to massacre journalists of countries we are warring with.

Friday, April 23, 1999 Published at 15:29 GMT 16:29 UK

World: Europe

Nato defends TV bombing

Nato says TV station was "the brains of Milosevic's military apparatus"

Nato has defended its bombing of Serbia's state television station, saying it was a legitimate target and a "ministry of lies".
Kosovo: Special Report
State TV went off air for several hours overnight after a Nato missile hit its headquarters in Belgrade, reportedly killing at least ten people and wounding 18.
The UK Government said the TV station had been a legitimate target because Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic's media machine was part of the military machine.
Officials said it was a "ministry of lies" that over the years had been a recruiting sergeant for the Yugoslav leader's wars, stirring up ethnic tension and creating the climate for atrocities.

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