Reflections on the Charlie Hebdo massacre (part 1)

When the news broke out about the terrorist attacks on a satirical magazine publishing house, Charlie Hebdo, in Paris it was received with a sense of shock and sorrow. How wicked and callous it was for a human being to gun down defense professionals in cold blood in the name of a religion. The issues arising from this incident are varied and highly instructive and are worthy of consideration.

The starting point of this event is the right to freedom of expression. The world has progressed and civilization has taken a giant leep ever since the philosophers and scientist were able to break the yoke on free speech imposed by ignorant and barbaric church beliefs and doctrines towards the tail end of the dark ages.

No doubt free speech has been instrumental to the new civilization we all enjoy today.
Therefore freedom of speech and expression can and must not be taken for granted. It is a right that must not be taken away from any society because there lay there progress and prosperity.

The other side of the coin however is that freedom of speech and expression comes with great responsibilities as such rights must be exercised with the realization that others too have rights. In other words the right of one person ends when such right is encroaching on the right of another person.

But where there is a conflicts of rights the question is how it should be resolved and this question has sometimes been difficult to resolve in certain cases and as a result, responses have been highly irrational.

Clearly the underlying factors to these irrational responses are intolerance, narrow mindedness and spiritual immaturity. Killing another human being and other forms of terrorism should not be the response to differences in opinions.

The crisis and the pains have been too much yet we need not go through them in the first place if all sides will respect the sensitivities of each other. Dialog remain one of the most potent weapons in resolving conflicts so this should have been used by the aggrieved in calling the other party to order. If it does not work, the court is there for them to seek redress.

In a civilized society, violence should never be a means of resolving issues therfore the killing of innocent professionals by the Islamic extremists is highly condemned. Let other bigots that still remain around the world stop this hypocrisy and live by the true tenets if Islam which is peace .

Peace be upon the whole world and so shall it be.


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