By Fatih Abdulsalam
Azzaman, January 13, 2015
When an Arabic speaking newspaper in Lebanon appears with a banner headline saying I am Chalie Hebdo the connotation will be totally different when the statement is printed on the front pages of French newspapers in solidarity with the French satirical magazine which ridicules all religions all the time.
For Muslims in the West to express full solidarity with the victims of the terrorist attack on the magazine and the killing of four French Jews should not be interpreted that they agree with Charlie Hebdo’s mocking of their prophet. For this reason there are many Muslims in the West who would not say I am Charlie Hebdo but at the same time would strongly condemn the massacre and its perpetrators and distance their religion form such horrific acts.
The U.S. and the U.K have been more rational than others when their newspaper and other media refused publishing Charlie Hebdo’s cartoons which they saw as disparaging Muslims, their prophet and their religion.
It was good and comforting to hear French President François Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel quickly distancing Islam from terrorism, with Merkel visiting Islamic societies in her country to express her solidarity. Even Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised a French Muslim who saved four French Jews taken captive by one of the terrorists.
Muslim communities in Europe coexist peacefully with the societies in which they live. Most of them observe laws and regulations.
It is the high dose of political Islam which started snowballing when the late Ayatollah Khomeini, Iran’s supreme leader, issued a death fatwa in which he condemned Salman Rushdie, author of the Satanic Verses, to death. Then came Osama Bin Laden and as a result we see today the growth of horrific acts against innocent civilians to avenge opposite ideologies and creeds.
Iraq which the U.S. and its allies invaded in 2003 was turned into a breeding ground for the liquidation of those with different sects or religions. So has become Syria.
When political Islam adopts notions and ideologies that basically rely on the shedding of blood, it can easily turn into a ploy in the hands of foreign intelligence agencies to use it as an umbrella for the projects they want to execute.