Photo: Chicago Tribune

Photo: Chicago Tribune

The Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris last week was a dreadful attack, not only on Paris and not only on France, but a cowardly attack against everything we stand for: freedom. The freedom to say what you like, the freedom to be respectful to one another, and the freedom to exercise your religion and beliefs freely.

But where do we draw the line with freedom? I say we draw the line when it gets to the point where it is causing extreme offence to one’s beliefs. We draw the line when it is obvious that a particular group in society is being targeted and provoked. We draw the line where we are entitled to our own opinions but also take the feelings of others into consideration.

Why is it that when attacks in the name of Islam are committed, people suddenly turn a blind eye to the real motif behind the attacks which is to terrorise, and really nothing to do with religion. Suddenly anti-Islam stances are held by many and I am giving you just a shared explanation from a Muslim on the attacks and why it is starting to become frustrating for us ordinary Muslims having to explain ourselves.

It is insulting, to say the least, when acts like these are committed in the name of Islam. Islam teaches us to be kind to your brothers, to your sisters, your neighbours, and strangers. With extremist individuals, it really makes it hard for non-Muslims to even believe this in the slightest. The attack in Paris was not just an insult to us Muslims and to the world but it was an even greater insult to our beloved Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).

During the times of the Prophet, he faced many great difficulties and struggles. He was insulted and ridiculed, but never did he suggest attacking those who did such things to him; the Prophet taught us to seek peace. The companions of the Prophet did not feel to go to the extent of killing those who abused the Prophet. How can these individuals think that they have the right to kill anyone in order to ‘defend’ the Prophet? Killing one innocent human being in Islam is equivalent to killing the entire human race. So no, the attack was not in the name of Islam. It was simply in the name of terror.

Another thing to add here is, Muslims have been told that they simply have not apologised enough for the Charlie Hebdo massacre. Muslim individuals have absolutely refuted the use of Islam as a way to justify your own terrorist attack. Muslims, who have openly and publicly spoken out and condemned the massacre, have still not shown sincere apologies some have suggested.

First of all, why must we even apologise? Extremists using their cowardly acts of terror in the name of Islam means that the rest of us who are followers of Islam must thus apologise for their actions? That is simply a ridiculous claim to make. The one which struck me the most was from media mogul Rupert Murdoch on twitter:


The Charlie Hebdo attack has sparked huge anti-Islamic outcries. Islamophobia has risen in France, especially with over 50 anti-Islam attacks being reported since the Charlie Hebdo attack.  So do we have a growing jihadist cancer? Was this said about all Norwegians when Anders Breivik committed a terrorist attack in Norway in 2011. Has a claim such as this been made with any other group in society having to apologise for an attack committed by someone who claims to follow the same religion?

I do not apologise, because I do not share the same Islam as those behind the killings. Je ne suis pas Charlie, because I am not going to pretend that I did not find those cartoons offensive.