Thursday, 8 January 2015

"Freedom, not bigotry"

"Freedom, not bigotry"

A writeup for the victims of the Charlie Hebdo incident
And the growing Islamophobic sentiment

“We acknowledge that there have been and will continue to be debates about the role journalistic responsibility – or lack of it – factors into such attacks on the freedom of the press. But while we acknowledge the indispensability of ethics in the profession, we also maintain that no mode of expression, however offensive or unethical it may be, deserves a death sentence.”

These are the words coming from the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines in regards to the attack on the French satirical magazine "Charlie Hebdo". The attack led to the deaths of 12 persons, including journalists, and highlights how intolerance has become an increasingly deadly bane to freedom of expression and of the press.

At first, it is quite creating an aura of sympathy for the victims whom are expressing through satire, but on the other hand, the incident should not be an excuse for a growing Islamophobic or anti-Arabic sentiment as those killers are Muslim and the satire magazine attacks religion including those of Islam; but as gunmen said to be shouting "Allahu Akbar!" (Arabic for "God is great!") as they left the crime scene, something tells us the gunmen are not Muslim. But instead, making everyone ought to "Remember who the real enemy is" such as those whom trying to spread hatred against non-believers, and  to those whom insist criminalizing further people out of their belief.

This writer, personally would say that despite expressing sympathies, people should not take the incident as a tendency to support Islamophobia. People should think that the growing anti-Islamic sentiment is promoting a climate that is more racist, bigoted, imperialistic in character. Worse, it is the system who creates enemies to the extent of making "Allahu Akbar" equating to gun-brandishing "Mujahids" the system created. Be it the Taliban, ISIL, Al Qaeda, or any other group that uses "religion" to create fire.

But in spite of this, the message is clear: continue to assert free speech despite fears, but on the other hand, it is not the Jihad that brought "terrorists", but imperialism being supported by repressive systems is at the root of what killed those people today. Be it from Paris, or in any other country where bigotry and repression thrives.