"JeSuisCharlie" - The sad outcome of the Paris attack

Is it just me or is someone else also finding the aftermath of Charlie Hebdo attack sad and hypocritical? Without a doubt, what happened was absolutely terrible, those journalists who had just come in to work and were attending a meeting, they did not deserve to die for their views. Regardless of how hurtful the views were, violence is never the answer and no one has the right to kill people for that.

After this terrible incident, I was expecting everyone to stand with Paris in solidarity, and more anti-terrorism measures (read: not anti-Islamic as it actually has come to mean). But sadly, the whole aftermath of the attack- the 'JeSuisCharlie' movement, the march in Paris, the millions of Charlie Hebdo copies sold after the attack, and the Islamophobic attacks in Paris this month were just sad, and for the lack of better words, seem fake and wrong.

The popular solgan 'JeSuisCharlie' meaning 'I am Charlie' that everyone is supporting makes me wonder, are we all really Charlie? We all stand with them in solidarity in this time of grief, but are we all actually identifying ourselves as Charlie, the paper, which is racist, homophobic, and insults all faiths? Is that really what our morality has decreased to? I am all for freedom of expression and open and unbiased journalism, but that's not what Charlie Hebdo's cartoons were about. We need to question the form of entertainment if some of the jokes hurt the sentiments of 1.6 billion Muslims, some hurt other religions, and some hurt homosexuals. No, these jokes were not a form of satire and honestly weren't amusing, they were racist, homophobic and Islamophobic. Remember the posters in museums that show the anti-semitic propaganda ran by the Nazis? That's what these cartoons are similar to, they show hate speech.

The way everyone seems to be just following the trend and supporting 'JeSuisCharlie' makes me wonder if we really have stopped questioning our own values before following a trend, or if the morality and respect in this world really has gone down so much that people can actually identify themselves with Charlie. The fact that over a million copies of the new Charlie Hebdo issue were sold with even more demand makes me think it is latter.

The recent march in Paris was supposed to be a unity rally to support freedom of expression and condemn terrorism, but in reality, turned out to be fake and hypocritical.  First there was the attendance of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu who is behind the Israeli occupation of Palestine, and in violation of international UN human rights laws and charged with war crimes in Gaza. France actually did not invite him to the march, yet he decided to show up any way. At least Obama remained true to his actions by not joining an anti-terrorism rally when he is behind it in various countries. Ironically, leaders of countries where freedom of expression is restricted, such as Russia, Egypt, and Turkey, also attended the march. European leaders seemed to have forgotten their own laws against freedom of expression when it comes to Holocaust denial. On top of all this, a wide-angle photo of the march was released that showed how the world leaders really used the march as a photo op instead of really 'leading' the people attending the march.

The death of the 17 journalists in the attack was an act of terrorism, something we all are against. But does that justify us treating Charlie Hebdo as a heroic paper, one that promotes bigotry and plays with people's sentiments? The Paris attack is condemnable, it tells that there are a few crazy individuals in the world who think it's okay to kill someone based on their views. But the aftermath of the attack, the 'JeSuisCharlie' movement, is quite saddening as well, it tells that there are millions of people in the world who are okay with bigotry, racism vulgarity, and hateful speech.

I condemn the attack, and I stand against terrorism, but I am NOT Charlie. Je ne suis pas Charlie.

Posted on: Sunday, January 25th 2015 8:06:pm