Muslim world questions logic behind Charlie antics

Updated 15 January 2015
0

Muslim world questions logic behind Charlie antics

RIYADH/CAIRO: Iyad Madani, secretary-general of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, has denounced the publication of sacrilegious cartoons by French magazine Charlie Hebdo Wednesday, calling the move “insolence, ignorance and foolishness.”
He said: “Freedom of speech must not become a hate-speech and it must not offend others. No sane person, regardless of doctrine, religion or faith, accepts his beliefs being ridiculed.”
Prominent Saudi scholar Sheikh Ahmed Al-Ghamdi said that publication of the latest image was a mistake. “It’s not a good way to make the people understand us. Jesus or Moses, all messengers (of God) we should respect,” and should not be made fun of in pictures or words, Ghamdi said. “I believe it will make more problems.”
The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and Palestinian lands, Mohammed Hussein, said such cartoons “fuel feelings of hatred and resentment among people” and publishing them “shows contempt” for Muslim feelings.
Leading Islamic authority Al-Azhar denounced the new edition and said: “The stature of the Prophet of Mercy is greater and more lofty than to be harmed by cartoons that are unrestrained by decency and civilized standards.” It said: “Al-Azhar calls on all Muslims to ignore this hateful frivolity.”
The International Union of Muslim Scholars also criticized the antics of Charlie Hebdo, claiming they would further stir up hatred, extremism and tension. “It is neither reasonable, nor logical, nor wise to publish drawings and films offensive or attacking the Prophet of Islam,” said the Qatar-based union, headed by Yusuf Al-Qardawi.
According to the union, publication of the drawing would give further “credibility” to the idea that “the West is against Islam.” It said: “If we agree that (those who committed the attacks) are a minority that do not represent Islam or Muslims, then how can we respond with actions that are not directed against them, but against the Prophet revered by a billion-and-a-half Muslims?”
Meanwhile, Yemen’s Al-Qaeda branch on Wednesday confirmed it carried out last week’s deadly assault in Paris and vowed more attacks on the West.
In a video posted on Twitter, a commander said: “You will look for peace and stability but you will not find it because of the deeds of those carrying out martyrdom operations and heroes of lone jihad.”
He said the Yemeni-American cleric Anwar Al-Awlaki, who was killed in a US drone strike in Yemen in September 2011, had arranged the attack.

Related

Is Charlie Hebdo the French 9/11?

Is Charlie Hebdo the French 9/11?

The slaughter of the Charlie Hebdo journalists in France is going to create the same conditions as those that prevailed after 9/11 in the United States. There will be a backlash against Muslims for the actions of people that have no basis in Islamic teachings, embolden racist rightwing parties, and raise questions about what exactly constitutes free speech.
France’s response to this undoubted outrage, which saw it galvanize world leaders into a show of solidarity against terrorism on Paris’ streets, has to be understood in terms of its culture. There is a much higher tolerance in France, in contrast to other Western nations, for the kind of extreme satire produced by the Charlie Hebdo publication.
As the American writer David Brooks points out in his New York Times article, “I am not Charlie Hebdo,” the United States is not exactly a haven for freedom of speech. Brooks argues that the very magazine everyone’s now supporting, would have been shut down for hate speech if it tried to publish in the US.
Holding a country’s passport and speaking its language does not make a person automatically part of its society. What qualifies one for citizenship of a nation such as France is the ability to understand the culture, respect differences of opinion and allow a measure of assimilation. In terms of this perspective, we cannot consider the Kouachi brothers, who have family origins in Algeria, as French, even if they were citizens and fluent in the language.
These two men follow in the footsteps of others who justify their acts of violence on the basis that they have exclusive access to the truth. In the name of Islam, just last week, these killers murdered hundreds of people in Nigeria, dozens of military school students in Yemen, and three Saudi soldiers on the border with Iraq.
Whether these groups call themselves Boko Haram, Al-Shabab, Islamic State or Al-Qaeda, they are all motivated by the same takfiri beliefs, which declare other people non-believers. Their actions allow Islamophobia to flourish even though right-thinking people know that shouting “Allah-o-Akbar” does not make them Muslims.
These extremists are intellectually and morally bankrupt, they are only able to counter arguments with terror and force. The war against terrorism is against this type of thinking, whatever the name of the organization that springs up today or tomorrow.
Like in the US after 9/11, Muslims will pay a high price for these attacks. Perhaps it was coincidental that the novel Soumission (Submission) was published on the same day of the attack on Charlie Hebdo. The novelist Michel Houellebecq, who envisions France being ruled by a Muslim president in 2022, is now under police protection at a secret location. The country is on high alert, with increased scrutiny of Muslims.
These attacks will embolden and empower the rightwing French parties whose members despise foreigners living among them. They will use Muslims as the bogeyman to gain more votes, marginalizing and drowning out rational and moderate voices. A sad reality is that these terrorists do not understand they are fostering more extremism against the very people they are claiming to defend.

Email: [email protected]
Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect Arab News' point-of-view

Saudi heritage chief launches Korean exhibition in Riyadh

Updated 19 December 2018
0

Saudi heritage chief launches Korean exhibition in Riyadh

RIYADH: Prince Sultan bin Salman, the president of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage, officially opened an exhibition in Riyadh showcasing Korean history and culture. He was joined at the event by Professor Bae Kidong, the director general of the National Museum of Korea in Seoul, and Korean Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Jo Byung-Wook.
Titled “Korean History and Culture: an Enchanting Journey to the Korean Civilization,” the exhibition — which will be at the National Museum until March 7, 2019 and is the first of its kind in Saudi Arabia — features rare artifacts that showcase Korean archaeology, civilization and folklore, as well as a selection of exhibits from the Korean National Museum.
Prince Sultan said that such cooperation in the field of culture and archaeology is very important, especially since Korea has a great and ancient culture, and given its important relationship with Saudi Arabia through the years.
On behalf of the Korean government and people, Prof. Bae expressed his sincere appreciation to the Kingdom for hosting the exhibition.