I am not Charlie

No I am not Charlie. No matter how popular it is to claim the opposit at the moment, I am not Charlie. I am Amir. And I am a muslim. And I am a journalist. And those two identities of mine are not letting me stay silent. Someone superficial could barely wait to play with my confession with a quasifunny remark that one of my identities is shooting at my other identity. And to claim that I am my own archenemy. But it can only seem like that on first ball play. That exact ball that was so magnificently hit by the volley of simplification. And that exact ball with which I broke the neighbours window.

That is what some would like to make of the crime in Paris. Characterize it with a simple formula “Muslims killed journalists”. Set aside that such a formula is incorrect to begin with for the plain fact that it is not approved by the vast, vast and once again vast majority of muslims around the globe. If we scratch under the surface we can accuse those criminals of a much greater blasphemy than the one allegedly commited by the victims of their bloody attack on civilisation.

As someone who chose to touch the floor with his forhead five times a day as a show of humility in front of the Creator, as someone who testifies that there is “no God besides Allah and that Muhammad is his prophet”, I can not accept that someone, in my name, stands in defence of God that is by default almighty. And as almighty he has no need to be defended with AK 47s and bombs. I am insulted as a believer. Because someone can pull the trigger in defence of the Almighty only if he doubts that the God he is “defending” is almighty.

I can find a caricature funny or not funny. I can be insulted by it as a human being. But as a civilised being I can not take another mans life without that other man showing undoubtful and clear intention to take my life or the life of someone close to me. And as a believeing being I can not be so arrogant to take the right to destroy something the One I believe in has created. In believing I believe that He will find the way to punish those who He deems deserve the punishment. And that He will forgive those He wishes to forgive. Maybe He will even, in his endless mercy, forgive the murderers from Paris. I could never do that. That is why he, is God, and I am the one I am.

But even as I am I know when something is evil and I know to which black it is not worth adding any other color in an attempt to fade it. There is no “but” that can justify this kind of crime. Everyone who in their comments wrote that “but” and tried to find a justification or understanding for the killers is nothing but an accomplice in their crime. What does  the sentence “It’s horrible what happend, but they shouldnt have messed with the holy” mean. Hello, knock, knock, is there anybody in those thick skulls? 10 journalists and 2 policemen were not friend by a lightning but by selfproclaimed protectors of the holy. And I qualify myself for the question who will protect the holy from its protectors?

Is it not the same grotesque logic that for a rape victim so compassionately states “Poor her, but she shouldn’t have worn a mini skirt”. With that logic, one day when we suffocate from carbon monoxide, they will convince us that we are to blame for breathing. For that logic of today, tomorrow idiots who think God with a different name needs protection will state “It might not be okay that mosques are burning in France, but they shouldn’t have killed those journalists”. And the day after tomorrow somebody will kill some kids in a daycare with an excuse that mosques were burning.

That is why I have to step out of that circle. That is why it is not enough to say “I am Charlie”. That is why it is neccessary to say “I am Amir. I am a muslim and a journalist. And if you kill in the name of God I am your enemy and I am your target. Even if you  kill in the name of the God I pray to. Especially if you kill in His name.”

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2 thoughts on “I am not Charlie

  1. Really insightful and powerful piece here Amir.

    The only individuals who I have seen, via articles and social media, that believe the majority of the Muslim community should be held accountable are either far-Right win believers, or those who do not have a clear grasp on the context of the issue. It is sickening that such people would lay the killings at the feet of those who were never involved, nor who are responsible and who have openly condemned the attacks. I am mainly speaking against what Rupert Murdoch tweeted, if you managed to catch what he said on Twitter.

    Though, ultimately I will never truly understand your perspective. I am not a religious believer, not in Christianity, Islam, Catholicism, etc. I do not reject the concept of faith, belief or religion, I am just a product of my environment. I an neither intolerant, in fact I am openly accepting of faiths. It just aggravates me that even though I am pursuing a career in journalism, the media still spinning stories related to ‘radical Islam’ related issues, that end up being more consequential to the majority of the Muslim community who denounce the actions and are not involved.

    Still though. A really great post.

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