[OpEd] Here is why I Am Not Charlie

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(Newswire.net — January 11, 2015)  — While the world was watching live, the pursuit and termination of Muslim terrorists who massacred in cold blood 12 peaceful journalists at their work, social networks are flooded with selfies of the people holding ‘I am Charlie’ signs. Media reports are focusing all the attention of to what was happening in small French controversial magazine Charlie Hebdo, which owes its existence to mocking religions and individuals.

The history of this Parisian satirical weekly is packed with mocking scandals since Hara-Kiri magazine was banned in 1970s for mocking the death of former French President Charles de Gaulle. Much of Hara-Kiri’s staff simply migrated to the new publication, named in reference to Charlie Brown comics. Hebdo is short for ‘hebdomadaire’, which means weekly in French.

A new magazine with old concept has never reached desirable sail, but it quickly made a reputation thanks to its incendiary cartoons. Charlie’s editors didn’t target specifically Muslims, their cartoons aimed at high-profile figures, including the far right activists, politicians, celebrities and religions of all kinds. Just last month, an edition featured a cartoon of the Virgin Mary, spread-eagled, giving birth to Jesus.

Actually, in 1981, Charlie Hebdo ceased publication for full ten years because of a lack of funds. In 1992, Charlie’s crew sharpened their pens ant start jerking chains and picking a fight to anyone from their list, and it was a long list. In 2006, the publication caused widespread controversy when it republished the controversial cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, first printed in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten and causing protests and negative reactions from Muslims around the world.

Charlie Hebdo’s management added few lines and comments of their own gained it as much notoriety as the Danish newspaper, drew huge public attention and, of course, much higher sale. It also drew criticism from many Muslim groups. Even France’s President at the time, Jacques Chirac, released a statement saying, “Anything that can hurt the convictions of someone else, in particular religious convictions, should be avoided. Freedom of expression should be exercised in a spirit of responsibility.”

Official population data from 2009 state the Muslim community in France count more than 4.5 million believers, most of them living and working in Paris. Two major Muslim organizations sued Charlie Hebdo for reprinting the Danish cartoons; however, a French court rejected the case, saying the images did not incite religious hatred.

Failing to reach satisfaction through law, aggravated extremists crosshair satirical weekly and it was just a matter of time when violence would erupt. In addition, it was pretty much foreseeable and French authorities were aware of the danger, and yes, they could do more to prevent this tragedy, which happened only a few days after French President Holland said he would advise EU leaders to lift US led sanctions imposed to Moscow.

On Nov. 2, 2011, Charlie Hebdo’s offices were firebombed and destroyed the day after the magazine announced the Prophet Muhammad as its “editor in chief” for its next issue; however, no one was injured.

Apparently, Charlie’s editors underestimated violent nature of French Muslims and didn’t take the hint. They, however, embraced the benefit of publicity when someone ‘poked in the eye’ decide to fight back. That was the strategy and it delivered the results. Charlie Hebdo is now the worldwide known weekly. But at what cost…

I don’t believe the families of victims would appreciate much those thousands ‘I am Charlie’ signs on Facebook profiles, their loved ones has gone forever.

The truth is that bloodthirsty journalists, who respect profit over integrity, are as much dangerous as radical Islamists. They are both wiling to walk over corpses in the name of the freedom; freedom of speech to ones and just plain freedom to others, it is all the same, and it is all the shame.

As I see it, some journalists were in pursuit of the profit not caring if they will hurt someone, and some terrorists, killed in cold blood those journalists, out of revenge and ignorance.  They are neither activists nor freedom fighters, they are simply murderers.

 I sympathize with the families of the victims, however, I am NOT Charlie and I’ll never be. I am a person, and I am Christian.