By Mohammed Hussain
President Emmanuel Macron declared that free speech includes the right to
offend religion! Can the President’s
declaration about the free speech be
applied to scepticism of “Holocaust”?
When it is prohibited to deny or distort the Holocaust in deference to
the Jewish community’s sentiments, why then the same rule cannot be applied for
belief and its icons are as sacred to Muslims as the Holocaust history to the
Jews. When there is an universal
agreement that any denial or distortion in the occurrence of Holocaust or
doubting the numbers of its victims shall be treated as an offence to be
prosecuted. This is to respect the
feelings of the Jewish community. Now the question arises: why cant the same
rule is applied in case of Muslims to respect their feelings? Why there is a concerted campaign to offend
the feelings of the Muslims and demonize them in the Media as Terrorists?
ample examples when a slight scepticism in the figures of the Holocaust
attracted severe reaction from the Jewish community which resulted in finishing
off the business or the career prospects
of the sceptics. Almost all the Western countries including France have enacted
laws against the anti-Semitism or the denial of the Holocaust.
social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc have a policy
to delete any content remotely questioning the authenticity of the Holocaust or
anything deemed as anti-Semitism.
Hebdo published anti-Islam pictures in January 2015 which caused an uproar in
the Muslim world and an attack on its staff which lead to the death of twelve
of its staff members. Charlie Hebdo was at it again and republish the
derogatory cartoons on 1st September, 2020 which unfortunately but predictably
lead to fresh cases of deaths and violence.
Macron without taking into account Muslim sensitivities affirmed support to the
satirical magazine ostensibly in the name of upholding the right to free
speech. As a head of the state which has
about 9% Muslims population largest in
any European state he must have tackled
the sensitive issue more tactfully to respect the religious feelings of his
countrys largest minority and about 1.8 Billion Muslims around the world. To make the matters worse, he allowed the
controversial cartoons to be displayed onto the French Town hall and other
French cities buildings.
expected, these events lead to an outcry in the Muslim world and a call was
made by a head of a state and by general Muslim population around the world to
boycott French goods. The boycott per se
may not harm the French state in financial terms as much as it would in terms
of its reputation and diplomatic relations with the Arab and Muslim countries.
unfortunate stray incidents of stabbing and killing by individuals were dubbed
as Terrorism to demonize the whole community.
It is pertinent to note that the vested interests’ carefully contrived
narrative of terrorism exclusively reserved for Muslims! There are innumerable cases of mass shooting
and killing committed by the non Muslim white Americans in the Las Vegas and
other American cities. There was
murderous attack on Christchurch mosque by a white supremacist who killed 51
Muslims while they were praying in a mosque.
But these perpetrators were always described as mentally unstable and
other such descriptions except terrorism.
Tamilians who committed bombing and mass
killing were described as seperatists, Leftists group who were regularly
bombing and killing security forces in India were described as Maoists, Hindu
groups who were accused and arrested in terror cases were even described by
some Media as Nationalists! So is the
case with dozens of Non Muslim groups who were resorted to bombings and
killings. But none were ever described
as terrorists! This clearly shows the
Western Medias clever ploy to reserve the charge of terrorism exclusively for
Muslims to demonize them and to vindicate the oft repeated saying that not
every Muslim is a terrorist but every terrorist is a Muslim!
Christian owners of the Charlie Hebdo Magazine are obsessed in publishing
controversial cartoons? Its not only the
Muslims who showed the anger to the cartoons, there would have been the same
reactions from any other religious group such as Jews, Hindus, Buddhist and
others if their religious feelings were offended in this manner.
pledged last year to takes measures including
legislation to combat online hate speech to tackle anti-Semitism which
include denial of Holocaust. This was a
good measure to respect the feeling of Jewish community. Here he rightly justifies that the right to
freedom of speech cannot be absolute and unfettered in promoting hatred against
a community. But the question which is
upper in the minds of the Muslims is: Why Macron is not applying the same rule
to curtail Islamophobia in his country now as he did in case of Jews? Is he not
practicing a double standard? His double
standard in dealing Muslims differently raises questions about his mala fide intentions. It is not in keeping with the stature of his
office to betray such an outright bias against a whole religious community.
is afflicted with Covid-19 pandemic. It
has witnessed never before upheavals in the lives of the people all over the
world. This is the time for the people
all over the world to be united in facing the Corona virus and its
resulting hardships in overcoming them
produced some great statesmen Presidents in the past such as Charles de Gaulle,
Georges Pompidou, Valery Giscard Destaing, Francois Mitterrand and Jacques
Chirac who were great political leaders and were known for their statesmanship
and sagacity. Due to such greats leaders, France was known always for its
farsightedness and balance policies. But
unfortunately the same thing cannot be said about this young inexperience
leader of France today. Hope the
President Macron realizes how important it is for him to be a true statesman in
not allowing the dubious groups to disturb peace in the name of so-called
freedom of speech. The unexpected
reactions of the Muslims around the world and their boycott of the French goods
will sooner or later overwhelm Macron and will make him realize his folly in
antagonizing one fourth of the Worlds total population.
has become a multi-linguistic and multi-religious society. It is imperative for the heads of the states
to lead their people like the foresighted statesmen in order to maintain world
peace and harmony and do not allow some mischievous groups to offend sentiments
of a whole religious community in the name of free speech.
Original Headline: Right to offend can’t be an
unalienable part to free speech
Source: The Siyasat
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