Freedom Of Speech Or Feelings Of The Believers?

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Charlie Hebdo is a French weekly satirical magazine which is famous for publishing ironic cartoons that mock politics and religion. The magazine editors and cartoonists describe themselves as atheist, secular, anti-racist and left wing. Charlie Hebdo is notorious for publishing ironic and vulgar dark humor cartoons which concern holy sites and prophets of both Christianity and Islam. Due to the freedom of speech, however, the magazine was free to express their opinion and position on a range of issues.

Cartoon Crisis

In 2012 the magazine drew cartoons which depicted the scandalous “Innocence of Muslims” film. Islamic fundamentalists began violent protests around the whole world. Their outrageous protesting methods included raids, assaults, arsons and riots, which lead to the injury of 700 people and death of over 50 innocents.

Countries in which the protests occurred were:

  • Egypt
  • Yemen
  • Sudan
  • Pakistan
  • Afghanistan

Aggressive actions by Muslims caused serious consequences, not only in terms of lives lost, but in terms of policies as well.

The 2015 Charlie Hebdo Terrorist Attack

The terrorist attack occurred only in a few hours after the magazine published cartoons depicting Prophet Muhammad and the ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Two Islamic extremists slaughtered 12 people, in an armed assault right in the editorial office of the magazine. The tragedy resulted in a series of protests through the entire France. The rallies were attended by approximately 3.7 million people, which makes them the largest in France, since 1944 when France was liberated from Nazis. The slogan “Je Suis Charlie” became nominal in struggling for liberty and freedom of speech.Charlie Hebdo Terrorist Attack

Muhammad: the Banned Images

“The Banned images” is a book about the Jyllands-Posten cartoon controversy which was published in 2009. The book is an answer to those who refused publishing Prophet Muhammad cartoons in fear of a violence upsurge. The main topic of the book concerns freedom of speech and human rights. It includes over 30 pictures of Muhammad and describes the horrors of the totalitarian Sharia law and Islamic ideology. The book received sponsorship for Dr. Hull, professor of Duke University and the Voltaire Press.  

The main argument from Dr. Hull concerning the publication of “The Banned images” was that – “Our faculty has both the right and responsibility to speak out and debate critical issues as individuals and scholars”. Therefore, the book “Muhammad: the Banned Images” and Charlie Hebdo magazine both exposed Islam with a sarcastic attitude. The difference is that the magazine case caused a major outbreak of aggression.

The Clash Of Civilizations

Samuel Huntington has predicted the future 30 years ago. Today, Islamic fundamentalism is a global threat to the values of freedom and democracy. Twisted visions of diversity and tolerance have resulted in the European crisis, which was vividly described by Flemming Rose. Yet, the voice of reason cannot be silenced. Millions of protestors gather around the world and struggle for freedom of speech and condemn religion-based violence. Free speech is the fundamental value of humanity, and it can never be inferior to the feelings of believers.

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