So, as we have all probably heard, Charlie Hebdo magazine published the magazine and sold over 700 thousand within the first hour, 650 thousand more than usual. Was this disrespectful image release freedom of speech? Was it a resounding message to those who would kill and terrorize others who do not think like them that nothing they do will stop them from exercising their freedoms? Could it have been an attack on those freedoms? When exercising your freedom of speech, one must be conscious of their percussions and ramifications of that speech.
Now this isn’t to justify the actions of those killers. No, in fact it is a reminder that when we say things we may intentionally or unintentionally cause harm to others. It is already established that free speech that incites violence is not free speech, but what of speech that instead incites hatred? Yes that is free and should be free the responsibility of the latter falls on the one doing the speaking. This all coming from the country where democracy was born and yet today has laws on the books making it illegal to speak out against Israel, as well as some religious dress, and now to demonstrate for Palestine. Its laws are hypocritical in as such you can disrespect any religion except Judaism. Let us not forget that this past summer 17 journalists were killed in Gaza. Where was the outrage for that? Where were the fly by night T shirts and buttons for them? Why didn’t uncle Bibi march for them?
We should also look at the other side, the attackers. There are already loads of theories and opinions to show this as a false flag event with Bibi threatening France 1 week before the attack of “something bad happening to them if they voted to recognize Palestine as a state”. You Tube videos showing the police men first thought to be Muslim Ahmed now evidence showing him to be an ex IDF soldier not shot and supposedly living in South America for the next 6 months till the next false flag event he would be needed on. Internet is abuzz with questions of how these men were using military hand signals and why they would leave their ID’s in the car and bragged about the attacks yet wore masks to perpetrate these heinous acts.
Let’s push those aside and look at this from a view point that doesn’t get society labeling us as tinfoil hat wearers. Everyone no matter your faith or ideology has a minority fringe element of those who use them either for political gains or because of misunderstanding of the teachings. So in this particular incident we had two individuals who claimed to be defending the prophet Muhammad by killing other humans. Never caring that this same magazine does the same to other prophets as well without condemnation. What they have done with this one act of utter stupidity was take a magazine from obscurity to fame. If they actually followed the religion and the example of the same man they profess to be defending, then Charlie Hebdo would still have a readership of 50,000. Now 700,000 plus people are seeing an image of the prophet. This is the issue with every single one of these attacks. They do more harm than good. They kill more Muslims than any other religion. For the majority of real practicing Muslims, this causes retaliation, distrust, and sets back any progress made in bridge building with non-Muslims.
Look at the worlds reaction whether you believe this to be a false flag event, a Islamist attack on freedom, or a minority that is disenfranchised and angry with little to no understanding of the religion they claim to be a part of. This is clearly an attack on freedoms. How we as people respond to this attack is what really matters. Do we do what we have always done and allow the government to take more freedoms from us to give us a false sense of security? Or do we look at this as what it is, an isolated incident that was tragic and ban together and preserve our rights.
No matter what the real story is behind this attack, governments will use it to erode more of our constitutional rights. The largest minority of extremists in all religions and ideologies is governments look at the US government with Christianity. Israel with Judaism, and Saudi with Islam. They cause more death because of their interpretation of religion then all the deaths by ISIS, Al Queada, and the rest. So as we watch freedoms die and the loss of these freedoms are beginning to effect more and different sects within our society. What will you do to stem the tide of the death of freedom? What will you do to stop the government’s over reach of power? Will we look many years back and tell our grandchildren or great grandchildren stories of what real freedom meant and the last time you heard freedom ring true?