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The Paris March: Sign Of Bold Freedom Or Pharaonic Arrogance? – OpEd

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Paris has recently witnessed the targeted assassination of eight Parisian journalists. Many see their execution as terrorism. Some see it as a justifiable act of avenge or retaliation for insulting Islam and its revered Prophet (S). And then there are many others who are not sure how to categorize the violence – while they are disgusted by the shootings in Paris they may nonetheless have reasons for not embracing the slogan “I am Charlie”.

The French government has epitomized hypocrisy and taken it to a level that is rarely seen in our time. It claims to respect religious rights, but such rights are routinely denied to more than six million French Muslims. A third generation French Muslim of North African heritage is still treated as an outsider in France. Mosques get routinely attacked by Islamophobic French hoodlums, but such information, thanks to the French-fried, biased and hostile media, never makes the news.

The French authorities owe the public answers to the following set of questions: if freedom of expression is a sacred cow that has to be kept alive and protected at any cost, why do they routinely punish dissenting voices that see things clearly and smell the gutter rat within the French system of equality, liberty and fraternity? Why is any expression that is critical of the deranged, sick secular fundamentalists there and their divisive and farcical policies, let alone an honest, nonthreatening criticism of Zionism and the rogue Israeli government is always portrayed as hostile and thus, punishable by the state laws? So, when demonic insulting of the most revered men in history (Prophets Muhammad, Jesus and Moses) is not just tolerated but cheered at under the guise of freedom of expression why all these double-standards to stop dissenting views on other matters, which are often conveniently lumped as promoting terrorism? Whom are they trying to fool?

In the past, I have written a few times against the savage, ultra-secular Talibanism promoted within the French society by the deranged and often delusional Talibans running the republic. Obsessed and delusional as they are, they fail to understand that their hypocritical and unjust policies are at the heart of the civilizational crisis we witness today. Like other more genuinely civilized nations around the globe, the French secular Talibans ought to learn the simple fact that while each of us have the freedom to extend our arms, such extension of arms has limits. When our stretched out arms or fists hit someone, it is no longer freedom but abuse or violence against the one who is hit.

The French people and many in the western secular societies have not learned that basic wisdom and continue to do the stupid, moronic thing of violating the rights of others. They abuse and then try to hide under the selective umbrella of freedom. It is an evil ploy that they play, hoping to hoodwink the neophyte elements within their society. In their unfathomed obsessions and Pharaonic arrogance they forget that such violent and provocative acts are bound to get some reactions from their targeted victims. Such reactions may not, of course, happen every time, but to be oblivious of the mere fact that the victims of their abuse and violence has similar rights to hit back – sometimes violently or disproportionately – is mere stupidity. And that is how most of the people in Asia, Africa and Latin America do see the current problem, which is at odds with the popular views in the west – i.e., Europe, Australia and North America – all former colonizers.

So, while the Parisians gathered last Sunday to show their solidarity with the murdered serially abusive cartoonists of the French weekly – Charlie Hebdo – where some 40 world leaders – many of whom are cold-blooded murderers – marched in unison at the Place de la Republique with the bemused – and some confused – crowd, chanting like a parrot ‘I am Charlie’, no rational and conscientious human being can excuse those rogue journalists for provoking violence. Nor can they be in solidarity with those arrogant hypocrites who fail to distinguish insults from freedom of expression. While they deplore the loss of innocent lives, they know that not everyone will filter messages in ways that are not threatening. To some the acts of those slain cartoonists were utterly sacrilegious and highly provocative – thus setting the rationale for avenging the honor of their beloved personality – the best of humanity created by God.

Freedom of press is a bedrock principle of democracy, but when journalists take that freedom as a license to incite violence, promote intolerance and inflame a society for few cheap laughs, claptraps and giggles, they degrade, denigrate and embarrass their noble profession, and need to be shunned by all. As I have noted elsewhere, they are no better than the other terrorists of our time, and can often be worse, more damaging and dangerous.

There is a well-known Persian couplet:

Ba Khuda deewana basho
Ba Muhammad hoshyaar
(Meaning: Play madly with God if you wish, but be careful with Muhammad.)

Sadly, the management and cartoonists in Charlie Hebdo continue to display insanity. One can only take pity on such arrogant fools.

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Dr. Habib Siddiqui

Dr. Habib Siddiqui has a long history as a peaceful activist in an effort towards improving human rights and creating a just and equitable world. He has written extensively in the arena of humanity, global politics, social conscience and human rights since 1980, many of which have appeared in newspapers, magazines, journals and the Internet. He has tirelessly championed the cause of the disadvantaged, the poor and the forgotten here in Americas and abroad. Commenting on his articles, others have said, "His meticulously researched essays and articles combined with real human dimensions on the plight of the displaced peoples of Rohingya in Myanmar, Chechnya, Bosnia, Kosovo and Palestine, and American Muslims in the post-9/11 era have made him a singular important intellectual offering a sane voice with counterpoints to the shrill threats of the oppressors and the powerful. He offers a fresh and insightful perspective on a whole generation of a misunderstood and displaced people with little or no voice of their own." He has authored 11 books, five of which are now available through Amazon.com. His latest book - Devotional Stories is published by A.S. Noordeen, Malaysia.

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