Freedom to Offend

By The Editor

The attack on Charlie Hebdo clearly showed us the price of freedom and sometime that price have to paid in blood. Charlie Hebdo had a history of pushing the envelop on freedom of speech but is that the reason to shoot someone in the cold blood, how that justifies taking a life merely over a drawing. Journalism by nature is profession that someone would take issue with your work be it an editorial or a cartoon. How much is too far or too less to raise the eyebrows. Today their is a bloodbath over a cartoon, tomorrow might be over a painting, poem or a book.

 This attack is a direct challenge not only to the journalists all over the world but to all democratic countries that holds democratic values such as freedom of press and speech as the foundation of their society. It also brings the poignant issue of rising extremism that has to be addressed in our societies. How long governments and religious groups will have to act politically correct to downplay these problems. France, Germany, Sweden, Britain has already seen hundreds of its youth flocking to Syria and Iraq, and hundreds more who share same radical sentiments are willing to wage Jihad at home. This attack should also be a call to action to all peace loving Muslims who believe and live by democratic tenets of tolerance, acceptance and mutual respect. They should come forward in full force in not only condemning these attacks but also to help address the problem of extremist elements in their own societies.  These cowardly acts and silence of general Muslim population will only increase the paranoia and mistrust directed towards them in the Western and Non-Muslim world. This attack will have far reaching consequences on the immigration dilemma in Europe and the growing friction between two different ideologies that are finding coexistence difficult. The Europe will surely see a shift towards the right wing given such environment exists.

 One thing is do commendable is the defiance and courage that slain cartoonists showed. Even at the risk of their own lives they didn’t went into hiding not stopped their work. For the lack of a better term but it’s like showing middle finger to the high and mighty, not everyone has the balls to do that. But these brave men did exactly that and became immortal in history for their quest of the   most basic human right. From India to Indiana, sometimes we all come across a piece of art that does not conform to our beliefs or tastes but that does not mean we run after artists with a drawn blade. People have a right to get offended but they don’t have the right to go on offensive.

One Comment

  1. Excellent ! Very well written piece.I also question the silence of elite Muslims .Are they scared or slyly acquiesce the terrorism in the name of Islam ? Hindus, too, get offended . They protest,sometimes violently,but they don’t kill. We should condemn terrorism by cartoons,articles, editorials,speeches and any other means.Terror must not win.

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