I love Charlie Hebdo. How can you not love Charlie Hebdo. He hits the nail on its head so brilliantly and he makes it look so effortlessly funny. Oh, you don’t like him? Well, too bad for you.
I find the following caricature to be absolutely hilarious and spot on – especially if you’ve watched the movie he’s alluding to (click here).
Following the publication of this picture, French embassies across the world have started boosting their security measures as they prepared for a wave of demonstrations similar to those against the Americans following the anti-Islam movie that was published.
I, for one, have no idea why how some so-called Muslims even saw the prophet in that picture because all I can see is a man similar to the ones protesting getting dragged by an Orthodox Jew, an obvious jab at both religions but not at their holy figures. But what do I know, right?
The movie was disgusting. This picture though isn’t. The response of some so-called Muslims, obviously a minority, will be the same regardless. Their prophet was “insulted” therefore they must kill people. It’s a simple leap of reasoning for them. For everyone else, it’s nowhere near comprehensible. Even for other Muslims.
People are calling this the Dark Age of Muslims, in stark resemblance to the Christian witch-hunts and crusades and crackdown on science. But is the classification based?
I, for one, don’t think so.
Let me ask a question. How many Muslims look at the above picture and can’t help but smile? And why do those who smile actually do so?
The answer is quite simple: thick skin. And it’s what more Muslims need to start building. Why? Because in the age of freedom of speech that’s slowly but surely becoming less and less defined, the backward mentality of some of them when it comes to their religion is beyond unacceptable. It’s borderline nauseating.
Look at the following picture:
These pins are sold in a Christian area of Lebanon. Their origin has been reported to be somewhere in Beirut’s southern suburb but I don’t care about that. What I care about is the fact that these pins didn’t even elicit the response from Lebanese Christians that the flip flops did last year.
In the case of flip flops last year, the reaction was more than peaceful. No food chain stores were torched. The only thing that happened was that the store was closed by a court order for a weekend as people prayed in front of it. How many Muslims are publicly praying on the “insults” these days? Not many I suppose.
Keep in mind that for Christians, Jesus is God. Therefore, people insulting Him would be a much greater offense than insulting a prophet. And yet, no one is dying for insulting Jesus over and over again and let me tell you it’s not because Christians don’t have their fair share of religious pride.
How many so-called Muslims are publicly raging over the movie and the comic? Many. I’m sure there are many more Muslims who just let it pass. I’m also sure that there are many more that are better than the best of people at handling these things. But sadly that’s not the image the world gets across.
The image the world gets of many of my friends is that they are a bunch of narrow minded, religiously blind zealots who can’t but get up in a fit whenever their prophet is insulted and the world doesn’t know why. And this idea sickens me. But I can’t do anything about it because whatever I do, I’ll be the Christian looking at it from outside and preaching. So the world challenges Muslims again and again and again waiting for a change in their reaction. But the change never happens.
The reaction keeps on increasing. And the impression of Muslims becoming more blinded and more religious and, well, more unfree increases in the process. And all of this is because of the ignorant attitude of some.
The world doesn’t know that in Islam, portraying the prophet in picture is forbidden. Or it could be that they know and they don’t understand why. To be frank, I don’t even understand what the big deal is about painting a prophet in a picture. But what some so-called Muslims should know is that the world doesn’t care even if it was a cornerstone of their religion. Why’s that? Because the rest of the world is fast moving away from the bonds of religion and they expect everyone to keep up with them and the level of freedom that they are reaching. It’s overly simplistic perhaps but that’s the way it is.
The DaVinci Code. The book that caused a frenzy among Christians. It’s even banned in Lebanon. Contrast this to The Satanic Verses. Both books have more or less similar esoteric themes. Both books were widely successful. Both books are works of fiction. Both works were picked up by the corresponding religions they spoke about. Only one of those led to a fatwa asking to the murder of the author.
And I have to ask: why?
It’s not because Christians are more open minded. It’s not because they are more tolerant. God knows there are more narrow-minded Christians than they let on. I know many who are like that seeing as I come from the heart of Christian Lebanon. It’s because over the time, the majority of Christians developed a thick skin against these types of “insults.” Many don’t see them as insults anymore. I don’t think I’ll find a Muslim who doesn’t see in the above caricature an insult somehow. Even among the ones who are condemning the reactions.
But the problem isn’t only with those “people” protesting (read killing) on the streets.
Did you know that some twisted sheikh in Sidon decided to issue his own mini fatwa to permit the killing of the filmmaker behind The Innocence of Muslims? If you didn’t, now you do. How many Muslims can fathom this? The problem is that they are many. And some might even take him out on it. It has happened before with Salman Rushdie and Islam hadn’t been hit this hard since.
That sheikh’s protest was one of many that took place in Lebanon yesterday regarding the anti-Islam material. Some French language centers had even closed down for the day for fear of actions taken against them. Lebanese army tanks were spotted in the parking of Burger King and other franchises.
What some Muslims are failing to grasp is that the only thing hitting Islam and bringing it down is Muslims. And they are bashing it, tearing it, destroying it, demolishing it, annihilating every single foundation of it – all five pillars – with the behavior of some people and some beyond ignorant, beyond bearded religious men and their turban which, to those people, holds the pride of a religion whilst the only pride being held is the arrogance of said bearded religious men as they flaunt one extreme idea that defies the foundation of the religion they claim to know after another, sort of like candy at a carnival. Except it’s not haram.
Why isn’t this the dark ages of Muslims? Because such a thing is impossible to happen in this day and age. When the Christians had it, news didn’t travel in the blink of an eye. Almost everyone was ignorant. The corrupt church was the only entity effectively governing the world back then.
What is this age for Muslims? I’d like to call it the age of imbeciles. Because that’s what those violently protesting the movie are and that’s what those who are offended by Charlie Hebdo’s cartoon are. And they are the ones making their entire religion look like a religion of ignorants who can’t grasp the basic concept of freedom
But I have a solution to help these imbeciles. How? Let’s start with making the level-headed religious men of Islam more powerful. Make their voices louder than the useless but effective shouting of those rallying the angry masses. Make the fanatic religious men with their hate mixed with extremism with a dose of stupidity to top it off categorically and irrevocably nobodies. Make more “anti-Islam” material. Brochures, clips, caricatures… you name it. Call it some people being offensive, call it freedom of speech. But make so much material that the only reaction possible would be to start ignoring and grow thick skin. It’s like giving a five year old so many toys he’d be saturated. Saturate their little heads. Expose them to so many stimuli that the only thing they’d want to do is go home and tuck themselves into bed and cry themselves to sleep and then wake the following day and realize that their prophet doesn’t care one bit about the movie, the caricature, the brochure and neither should they.
Did I mention I love Charlie Hebdo? Let’s not hope some fame-seeking bearded imbecile decides to kill the cartoonist too.