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Muslims in Europe fear anti-Islamic mood will intensify after Paris attacks

The Guardian World news: Islam - 9 January, 2015 - 19:45
Anti-immigrant politicians from Germany to Sweden citing Charlie Hebdo killings as support for their position

In mosques across Germany on Friday prayers were dedicated to the victims of the Paris terror attacks. And next week members from Germany’s 900 mosque communities will be invited to take part in candlelit vigils in their memory.

“We will ask God to give his rich blessing to all victims of terror and violence,” Bekir Alboga, head of inter-religious dialogue for the Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs, told the media. “We are trying to see if we can get the Christian churches to join us.”

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The Paris attackers hijacked Islam but there is no war between Islam and the west | Tariq Ramadan

The Guardian World news: Islam - 9 January, 2015 - 18:30
France faces difficult days ahead, but let’s not hand the extremists a victory they could not achieve for themselves

The attack on Charlie Hebdo compels us to be clear and to be consistent. We have to condemn what happened in Paris absolutely. I said the same after 7/7 and after 9/11. And after Jordan and Bali and Mali.

It is particularly important to be clear about where we stand, for the attackers said things that cannot be allowed to go unchallenged. They said they were avenging the prophet. That was wrong. In fact, it is the message of Islam, our principles and values, that have been betrayed and tainted. They refer to Islam to justify what they did. From a religious viewpoint, I feel it is my responsibility to say that this has nothing to do with the message of our religion. I would expect anyone, if something was happening in the name of their country or in the name of their religion, to take a stand. As a Muslim scholar I have to take that stand.

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The Charlie Hebdo cartoonists were smarter theologians than the jihadis | Giles Fraser

The Guardian World news: Islam - 9 January, 2015 - 14:55
Despite being atheists, the Paris satirists are from a long theological tradition of disrespecting religious images

Rather disturbingly, one word seems to connect the activity of the Paris terrorists and that of the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists: iconoclasm. I say disturbingly, because pointing out some common ground may be seen as blurring the crucial distinction between murderous bastards and innocent satirists.

Nonetheless, it strikes me as fascinating that the cartoonists were profoundly iconoclastic in their constant ridiculing of religion (all religions, it must be noted) – yet it is precisely this same ancient tradition of iconoclasm that inspires Jews and Muslims to resist representational art and, in its most twisted pathological form, to attack the offices of a Paris magazine and slaughter those whose only weapon was the pen. So what’s the connection?

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Saddened-Find Comfort in the Seerah

Muslim Matters - 9 January, 2015 - 05:30

When you think of the messenger of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him), you think of someone who lived a FULL and HAPPY life, always smiling. Yet, his life could have easily been framed to beone of misfortune and sadness, for if anyone had a reason to be sad, it would have been him ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him). Orphan, widower, survived 6 children..it goes on..it reminds us of the true reality of tests and pain, for they are all aspects of a world that is by definition imperfect and temporary that we may aspire to go to where there is no fear or grief ever again.

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You never saw your father's face,

or knew the warmth of your mother's embrace,

Your grandfather's heart burned with concern,

Yet death would come to him in turn,

None to look up to, so you cast your vision to the sky,

When you speak the truth, it hurts when they say you lie,

Doesn't it? Yet you move on, take it all in stride,

The honest Prophet who by his own people is belied,

With only two pillars of support, an uncle and a perfect wife,

And in the same year, each one would lose their life

Jibreel gave Khadijah his salaam, told her of a house in paradise,

but an Angel other than him, came to your house to collect its price,

You went to Taif, seeking support for the message you need to spread,

They laughed at you, and sent their kids to stone you until you bled,

At Uhud you were deserted, so they struck you with vicious blows,

and rumors were spread about Aisha, that caused pain that Allah only knows,

Your close cousin Ja'far's absence was finally ended, from Abyssinia he would come,

But in one day, he would be martyred with Zayd your adopted son,

And Ruqayyah would pass away, and Umm Kulthoum as well,

You held Ibraheem in your hands, with a heart that breaks and eyes that swell,

Death would ask permission to take your soul but not the souls of those you love,

And you never expressed distress to the tests that came from up above,

The trials made you strong, and for Allah's perfect company you would yearn,

For it is to Allah that we belong, and to Him is our return

The post Saddened-Find Comfort in the Seerah appeared first on MuslimMatters.org.

Yahya Ibrahim | Man who died in Jannah

Muslim Matters - 9 January, 2015 - 05:00

Al-Bayhaqi reported in “Shu'ab Al-iman” that Abu Sa'eed Al-Khudri radiyaAllahu anhu narrated: “The Prophet ﷺ passed by a funeral procession near a grave and he asked: ”Whose grave is this?” They (the companions) replied: “It is the grave of so and so from Abyssinia (Ethiopia).”

Thereupon, the Prophet ﷺ said, “Laa Ilaaha Illa Allah [None has the right to be worshipped but Allah] he was driven from Allah's earth and heaven to his soil from which he was created.” [Al-Albani classified this Hadeeth as Hasan in As-Silsilah As-Sahihah.]

The great imam of Sunnah 'Abdur-Razzaaq may Allah have mercy upon him reported in his “Al-Musnnaf” that Ibn 'Abbas, may Allah be pleased him, said: “Every person will be buried in the soil from which he was created.”

The elements of the Earth from which you were fashioned, are the same elements of the Earth from which you are returned.

Let me tell you about an Algerian man named Bukhari who died in a Garden of Paradise.

To arrive at the Sacred Raudah – Garden of Paradise, that which spreads between the ancient, although still partially erect home of the Prophet Muhammed ﷺ and the location of his minbar (pulpit), requires tenacity, patience and opportunity. Thousands of people line up to get a chance to pray in the hallowed Raudah. All with good reason.

Abu Hurayrah reports that the Prophet ﷺ said: “The area between my house and my minbar is one of the gardens (riyaad, sing. raudah) of Jannah (Paradise), and my minbar is on my cistern (hawd)” Narrated by Bukhari, 1196; Muslim, 1391.

Most who attend to the Raudah want to pray two units of Prayer, and some intend to do it, according to historical evidence in particular locations and near particular pillars.

Yazeed ibn Abi 'Ubayd said: “I used to come with Salamah ibn al-Akwa' (RadiyaAllahu anhu) and he would pray by the pillar which was by the mus-haf, i.e. in the Raudah. I said, 'O Abu Muslim, I see that you are keen to pray by this pillar!' He said, 'I saw that the Prophet ﷺ was keen to pray here.'” Narrated by Bukhari, 502; Muslim, 509.

The task of arriving there on any given Friday is even scarcer, as the best of days, attracts the locals in droves and masses from surrounding cities, not to mention the continuous flow of international visitors answering the invitation extended by the Prophet ﷺ.

He ﷺ said, “Do not travel to visit any mosques except three: al-masjid al-Haraam [in Mecca], this Mosque of mine [in Madinah] and al-masjid al-Aqsa [in Jerusalem].” Narrated by Bukhari, 1189; Muslim, 1397.

Everyone flocks to al-Habib! Everyone, local or foreigner, seeks out the relief of prostration near where al-Mustapha ﷺ lived his glorious messengership.

He ﷺ said: “One prayer in this Mosque of mine is better than one thousand prayers offered anywhere else, except al-masjid al-Haraam.” Narrated by Bukhari, 1190; Muslim, 1394.

1000 prayers. 1000 Jumu‘ah Prayers. 1000!

2 am of every day I am blessed to be in Madinah, I arrive to Bab Jibreel (the Gate of the Angel Gabriel) and offer two rakat as soon as I see an opening that does not disturb anyone. Although some forget, the sanctity of Madinah is primal.

Abu Hurayrah reported that the Prophet ﷺ said: “Madinah is a Haram (sanctuary), so whoever commits evil therein or gives protection to an evildoer, the curse of Allah, the angels and all of mankind may be upon him. Allah will not accept any obligatory or naafil deed from him on the Day of Resurrection.” Narrated by Bukhari, 1867; Muslim, 1370

I then make my way towards the Raudah from the back moving forward as best as I can without hopping over the shoulder or cutting in front of anyone praying. Although it is almost four hours before fajr, the masjid is still quite busy. At this time of night, however, the Raudah is not sectioned off as it is for the majority of the day. So arriving to it, with minimal disturbance of others and securing a spot is relatively assured, if you come this early.

I love to pray at the Ustuwaanah of Aisha RadiyAllahu anha.

The Prophet ﷺ used to say his prayers here and Aisha reported that the Prophet ﷺ said: “In this masjid is one such spot that if people knew the true blessed nature thereof, they would flock towards it in such in a manner to pray there they would have to cast such lots (i.e. Qu'rah).

People asked her to point out the exact spot, which she refused to do. Later on, at the persistence of Abdullah bin Zubair radiyAllahu anhu she pointed to this spot.

It takes an hour that seems like much longer for me to finally arrive in the Raudah and at my favourite spot.

I pray and let others pray and move along, but I retain my treasured spot. After Fajr the Raudah is sealed upon those already in it for an hour, until the sunrises.

After Fajr, many in the Raudah discover that you cannot offer prayers until the sun fully rises again (Shooruk). Some elect to leave. The Raudah grows sweeter.

About 10 minutes after the Fajr concluded, a middle aged man, dressed in traditional white Algerian/Moroccan attire collapses in the heavy volume of people seeking to greet the Prophet ﷺ at the golden gate. The decision is made that the best place for him to recover is in the now calm Raudah.

As he is carried in, we all assume it will be a few minutes before the paramedics attend to him. His younger brother has a nervous look on his face. I go and sit near him and smile saying, insha Allah it will all be ok. He informs me his brother's name is Bukhari.

He is a man who outwardly you would, mistakenly, assume him inconsequential, by the absence of any worldly markings and regalia.

I approach him and ask permission from the officers to provide some care. I massage his chest to see if there is any reaction, as I notice no heartbeat or breathing. I use my phone flashlight function to see if the pupils are dilating. A Morrocan physician also in the Raudah, and staying at my hotel comes over to help. We provide primary care and seek to revive Bukhari. We work on him for 10 minutes.

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Truly, it was like water pouring out of a vessel. His soul was light, easy and fluid.

It's quiet. Inexplicably, quiet. The sound of the thousands is hushed prayers. We all recognise the virtue, insha Allah, of Bukhari. Those outside the Raudah look on at him in hope of a similar end, as all of us inside exclaim in prayer for one another. Truly, it was like water pouring out of a vessel. His soul was light, easy and fluid.

The hours others stand to arrive in al-Raudah were circumvented.

The squeezing in to find a foothold were by-passed.

The man who travelled from Algeria who could not find room in ar-Raudah and prayed outside on the marble, as his brother told me, was carried in by official guard.

The man that most of us would assume a simple pilgrim, was an honoured guest of Allah, insha Allah.

The man who lived a lifetime away and was visiting Madinah for the first time, was laid down to breathe his last breath no more than 10 meters from the resting place of an Nabi Muhammed ﷺ.

A little before 7 am, on the blessed day of Jumu‘ah Bukhari drew his last breath of life, as he lay reclined in the Raudah of Rasul ul-Allah ﷺ.

I closed his eyes and prayed for him, although in my heart I wished that this blessed soul could have prayed for me before his departure.

Bukhari, rahimahullah, later that day, after being prayed on after Jumu‘ah prayers, was entombed in al-Baqi – the Graveyard near the Prophet's masjid.

Bukhari was made from Madinah and to Madinah he was returned.

Ya Allah allow me to meet Bukhari, the Algerian, in Jannatul Firdaous, Allahumma ameen.

 

 

 

 

The post Yahya Ibrahim | Man who died in Jannah appeared first on MuslimMatters.org.

Grenades Thrown And Shots Fired At Mosque In France

Loon Watch - 8 January, 2015 - 21:56

grenade_attack_charlie_Hebdo

A police officer directs a man away near a mosque in the Sablons district of Le Mans, western France, on January 8, 2015, after shots were fired and three blank grenades were thrown at the mosque (AFP)

Islamophobia what Islamophobia? According to IBTimes UK “Shots were also fired against the vehicle of a Muslim family in the Vaucluse region, near Avignon, Le Figaro reported. … while separately the main entrance of another mosque in Poitiers was defaced by vandals that spray-painted ‘death to Arabs’ on it.”

Kebob shop bombed, mosques attacked in France after Charlie Hebdo killings

Muslim places of worship in two French towns were fired upon overnight, leaving no casualties, prosecutors said on Thursday.

Three blank grenades were thrown at a mosque shortly after midnight in the city of Le Mans, west of Paris. A bullet hole was also found in a window of the mosque.

In the Port-la-Nouvelle district near Narbonne in southern France, several shots were fired in the direction of a Muslim prayer hall shortly after evening prayers. The hall was empty, the local prosecutor said.

An explosion at a kebab shop near a mosque in the eastern French town of Villefranche-sur-Saone on Thursday morning also left no casualties.

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Ahmed Merabet The Muslim police officer killed in Charlie Hebdo Attack

Loon Watch - 8 January, 2015 - 21:51

Ahmed Merabet

Ahmed Merabet had worked as a policeman for eight years and had just qualified to become a detective. Photograph: Twitter

As usual in this whole Islam vs the racist free speech of Charlie Hebdo debate, people conveniently leave out as has been pointed out on social media, that one the victims was Ahmed Merabet a Muslim police officer who died defending the rights of a racist magazine that ridiculed his faith. Another victim Mustapha Ourrad of Algerian decent may also have been a Muslim.

This image shows him being executed

Policeman Ahmed Merabet mourned after death in Charlie Hebdo attack

Colleagues pay tribute to Muslim officer who was shot at point blank range during raid on Paris magazine

By:Anne Penketh Thursday 8 January 2015 19.20 GMT

It was a Muslim policeman from a local police station who was “slaughtered like a dog” after heroically attempting to stop two heavily armed killers from fleeing the offices of Charlie Hebdo following their brutal massacre.

Tributes to police officer Ahmed Merabet poured in on Thursday after images of his murder at point blank range by a Kalashnikov-wielding masked terrorist circulated around the world.

Merabet, who according to officials was 40, was called to the scene while on patrol with a female colleague in the neighbourhood, just in time to see the black Citroën used by the two killers heading towards the boulevard from Charlie Hebdo.

“He was on foot, and came nose to nose with the terrorists. He pulled out his weapon. It was his job, it was his duty,” said Rocco Contento, a colleague who was a union representative at the central police station for Paris’s 11th arrondissement.

Video footage which has now been pulled from the internet showed the two gunmen get out of the car before one shot the policeman in the groin. As he falls to the pavement groaning in pain and holding up an arm as though to protect himself, the second gunman moves forward and asks the policeman: “Do you want to kill us?” Merabet replies: “Non, ç’est bon, chef” (“No, it’s OK mate”). The terrorist then shoots him in the head

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FBI Seeks Man After ‘Deliberate’ Bombing Of Colorado Springs NAACP Office

Loon Watch - 8 January, 2015 - 21:46

bombing-colorado-e1420609604493

What if he were Muslim?

FBI Seeks Man After ‘Deliberate’ Bombing Of Colorado Springs NAACP Office

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — Authorities are looking for a man who may have information about a homemade explosive that someone set off near the Colorado Springs chapter of the NAACP.

SEE ALSO: “Rose In A Fisted Glove”: Carmen Ejogo On The Role Of Coretta Scott King In ‘Selma’ [VIDEO]

The blast happened Tuesday outside a barber shop that’s next door to the group’s office, which is about an hour south of Denver. There were no injuries and only minor damage, police said.

An improvised explosive device was detonated against the building, but it was too soon to know whether the nation’s oldest civil rights organization was the target, FBI spokeswoman Amy Sanders said. The agency sent members of its Joint Terrorism Task Force to help investigate.

Sanders said investigators were looking for a balding white man in his 40s who may be driving a dirty pickup truck. It could have an open tailgate or a missing or covered license plate.

Investigators Tuesday were examining a red gasoline canister with a yellow nozzle that had been placed next to the explosive device but did not ignite. They also checked pieces of duct tape and metal lying 40 to 50 feet away from the explosion site.

Residents living nearby said they heard a single, loud “boom” but saw no fire. One neighbor, Gregory Alan Johnson, said he was unaware of prior problems near the NAACP’s office. The organization shares the building with the barber shop, whose customers are predominantly black.

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Charlie Hebdo: Don’t blame this bloodshed on France’s Muslims | Nabila Ramdani

The Guardian World news: Islam - 8 January, 2015 - 21:26

We were appalled by the murders yet now find ourselves facing a violent backlash

Those of us trying to make sense of the Charlie Hebdo massacre need to understand the bloody history of my home city, Paris. That four hugely popular cartoonists were considered legitimate targets by murderers said to have been living within a few miles of the Louvre and other global symbols of liberal Gallic civilisation doesn’t seem possible: donnish satirists are not meant to be gunned down in quaint Paris arrondissements any more than municipal policemen used to dealing with traffic and tourists.

Sadly, the French capital has been associated with some of the worst barbarism in human history.

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Charlie Hebdo: Understanding is the least we owe the dead | Hari Kunzru

The Guardian World news: Islam - 8 January, 2015 - 21:19

Kneejerk repression is a collusion with terror. There is a better way to answer the jihadi’s twisted logic

I’ve just been on Skype with my wife, who’s teaching in Paris. Our conversation was interrupted by sirens and she took the computer over to the window to show me the view. The street had been cordoned off by police. She didn’t know why. We checked social media for clues. Nothing. As we spoke, the cordon was lifted and together we searched the internet to see if the suspects in the Charlie Hebdo murders were still thought to be “headed towards Paris”. Not a day to visit a museum or sit on a cafe terrace.

Today I feel tired. I feel depressed and afraid. Above all I feel old. Somehow this attack, with its mix of the grotesquely familiar and the unforeseen, has brought home to me in a way other recent atrocities have not, how much of my life has now been lived inside this war trapped in its logic of permanent emergency. I never want to see another man kneeling in an orange jumpsuit. I never want to stand in another security line wondering if today will be the day. I am hollowed out by disgust. I am worn down by outrage. I want to get off the damn bus.

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Why I Am Not Charlie Hebdo

Loon Watch - 8 January, 2015 - 21:18

Hebdo_Paris

By Garibaldi

In 2011, when the Charlie Hebdo’s offices were firebombed I wrote an article titled, The Politics of Provocation: What the Firebombing of Charlie Hebdo Magazine Means. In that post I noted that Hebdo’s purpose in publishing its racist and Islampohobic cartoons was to provoke, specifically its favorite target being Islam and Muslims (particularly French Muslims),

Charlie Hebdo knew what it was doing, they wished to provoke, they created a buzz and got world-wide media attention for their magazine which had little following outside of France.

I wrote then that the best response “for those offended or upset would have been to peacefully protest, or to satirize the Charlie Hebdo publication, or to do as most have done and simply ignore it.”

I also related the suffocating xenophobic, anti-Muslim context of France with its marginalization of its Muslim and African minorities in all spheres of the social and political life of the nation and the increase in hate crimes against Muslims (since then matters have worsened),

Lastly, the untold context in which this French saga must be viewed is the souring relations between the French establishment and their Muslim minority. Islam has been “otherized” in France and across Europe, just as it has in the States, but in France it is taken to the next level.

In the past few years, anti-Muslim bigotry has risen to epidemic proportions. The hijab was banned from public schools, the face veil has been banned altogether, and after a surge in popular support for Marine Le Pen’s anti-Muslim nationalist party, Sarkozy and co. instituted an unprecedented “national dialgoue” on Islam.

According to a recent report Islamophobia is rapidly on the increase in France

It appears that Alqaeda in Yemen, a foreign, non-French entity is playing its own politics of provocation. It wishes to, as Juan Cole aptly notes “sharpen the contradictions” and foment a greater clash between Muslims and non-Muslims in France. Of course, there are far too many willing to oblige such a plan, since as we have noted from the start, extremists on both sides, feed off of each other like parasitic leeches.

So why am I not Charlie Hebdo? Why can’t I join the feel good Twitter trend, #JeSuisCharlie?

I cannot in good conscience lie and say that those murdered were “martyrs of free speech.” I believe what happened was a massacre, despicable and the result of the cynical ploys of a foreign extremist organization that masquerades under the banner of Islam, when all they wish to achieve is power for themselves–damned be the Muslims who suffer because of their actions.

See, at the same time as these paramilitary style terrorists were mowing down French Muslim police officer Ahmed Merabet, who was the first on the scene to help at the Hebdo offices, 35 Yemeni Muslim police cadets were blown up by one of Alqaeda’s bombs. Yet, no one considers them part of the story?

I cannot say “JeSuisCharlie” because I know what this right-wing publication stood for: racist, sexist and Islamophobic hate speech. Take just a few samples out of many:

CharlieHebdoMuhammad

That’s a representation of a hook-nosed-goofy-smirking-Ayrab-Mooslim that one would expect from racists. Or take their publication after the Nigerian girls were kidnapped by Boko Haram:

Hebdo_Boko_Welfare

The girls are represented as screaming, “hands off our benefit checks!” A not so subtle reference to the racist narrative of the right, found all over the Western world, not just France, about impoverished minorities.

Or take this gem, I wonder what it could be saying?

Hebdo_Quran_Bullets

The hypocrisy of Charlie Hebdo when it comes to free speech must also be pointed out. It fired one of its cartoonists for the offense of anti-Semitism because it mocked a former French president’s son who converted to Judaism, as NBC reporter Ayman Mohyeldin wrote,

Hebdo fired one of its cartoonists and accused him of anti-semitism because he mocked the son of a former living French President who converted to Judiasm. Why is mocking a living person anti-Semitic hate speech but mocking sacred religious figures not? Who decides what is anti-Semitic and who decides what is Islamophobic?

This is not a tabloid whose record of hate speech and hypocrisy should be whitewashed into a monument to martyrs of free speech. It’s satire was aimed against the oppressed and for the benefit of the powerful.

Lastly, I again would emphasize that there is no justification for the massacre in Paris or in Yemen carried out by Alqaeda, I hope the perpetrators are caught and speedily brought to justice so the families can have some semblance of peace and solace.

However, in the process Muslims should not have their individuality denied and erased, by being asked to condemn over and over actions which they had no part to play in but are considered guilty of because of their mere presence.

The Guardian view on the response to terror: the attack on Charlie Hebdo was a crime, not an act of war | Editorial

The Guardian World news: Islam - 8 January, 2015 - 20:35

Across Europe, these are dangerous times. Political and religious leaders must maintain the calm

If the world learned one thing from George W Bush, it was that it is a terrible mistake to confuse a crime, however monstrous, for war. After 9/11, the belligerent rhetoric of the war on terror fostered deluded ideas of a “victory”, legitimised the torture that still stains America’s moral standing and licensed ruinous misadventures overseas. In this difficult hour for France, and Europe more widely, a calmer fury must prevail.

In the wake of the devastating assault on Charlie Hebdo, some voices, not only on the right, are claiming that France is in a state of “war”. Nicolas Sarkozy, the former president, said that faced with barbarity, civilisation must defend itself. These are difficult and dangerous times. Extremists of all strands may be tempted to resort to violence in a logic of revenge against Muslims at large: within 24 hours of the attack, there had been reports of at least five anti-Muslim attacks in France. Populist far-right sentiment may channel anger against the country’s 6-million-strong Muslim population, the largest in Europe, in an attempt at collective scapegoating. They will only be further provoked by some fanatical voices that are using social media to express satisfaction that the prophet Muhammad has been “avenged”, the very word used by the terrorists themselves as they unleashed their attack. These are worrying trends, to be condemned as much as the attack itself.

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Charlie Hebdo and the defence and definition of free speech | Letters

The Guardian World news: Islam - 8 January, 2015 - 19:14

The way in which liberal-left political satire is practised in France and Britain has long given the lie to the smug stereotype of Britain being brave and France cowardly in opposing fascism (An assault on democracy, 8 January). The tendency here, as epitomised most egregiously by Mark Steel and Jeremy Hardy, is to pick on soft targets, pandering to a “groupthink” audience of the so-called liberal left, laughing uproariously on cue, in what Howard Jacobson once identified as an “avidity of like-mindedness”. The endless recycling of Blair as the soft target fox to these “brave” hunters is a good example.

The self-righteous rant can so often in Britain pass for the true satire, based firmly in an authentic left, which Charlie Hebdo so courageously exemplifies in France. Even Steve Bell, who has spoken very movingly of his French colleagues, slaughtered by fascist thugs, has been circumspect about his targets; and Rory Bremner left satire behind when he chose to exclude religious extremists from his chosen objects of ridicule – and then wondered why he did not get “enough grief” over his output.

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Charlie Hebdo: A crime by individuals not a community | Letters

The Guardian World news: Islam - 8 January, 2015 - 19:14

The brutal slaughter at the Charlie Hebdo office was nothing but base criminality. But it was committed by three men NOT a community – still less a religion. What has happened since is that the Muslim community as a whole is being charged with collective guilt by association.

I do not recall white Norwegians being asked by the media to scrutinise their “values” and beliefs in the same way in 2011 following the murderous rampage by the neonazi Anders Behring Breivik, in which he murdered 77 people. Such an argument would have been absurd. It is equally absurd to condemn millions of people because they happen to be the co-religionists of three brutal murderers.
Sasha Simic
London

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Charlie Hebdo: To publish and be damned – or not | Letters

The Guardian World news: Islam - 8 January, 2015 - 19:13

In the spirit of “Je suis Charlie”, I believe a suitable gesture of solidarity would be for the Guardian to publish one or more of the controversial Charlie Hebdo cartoons on the front page. If the paper feels unable to do this, the readers should be able to at least expect a personal statement from the editor as to why, and as to whether fear of violence from jihadist groups is part or all of the reason.
Andrew Dawson
Crowthorne, Berkshire

• Interviewed on BBC Radio on the evening of the Paris attack, cartoonist Martin Rowson said the cartoon he wanted to draw was one of the prophet Muhammad wearing a T-shirt bearing the message “Not in my name”. If we are not permitted to see images some hold sacred, your cartoon page should include descriptions of cartoons that an oversensitive and violent minority prevent us from seeing. We will have to use our imagination.
Dominic Rayner
Leeds

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Muslims fear backlash after Charlie Hebdo deaths as Islamic sites attacked

The Guardian World news: Islam - 8 January, 2015 - 18:34
Imams condemn Paris gunmen as ‘barbarians’ but fear stigmatisation could mean they ‘pay a price for the atrocity’

Grenades and gun shots have struck several Islamic targets in France following the murderous attack on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, police and local media said, raising fears of an Islamophobic backlash among the country’s six million-strong Muslim community.

Three grenades hit a mosque in Le Mans, in the early hours of Thursday while in Aude, southern France, two gunshots were fired at an empty prayer room.

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Natalie Nougayrède: ‘It is extremely important to keep mobilising for free speech’ - video

The Guardian World news: Islam - 8 January, 2015 - 18:09
Natalie Nougayrède, the Guardian's foreign affairs commentator and a former editor of Le Monde, says it is vital that the Charlie Hebdo magazine survives after the attack on its offices that left 10 of its staff dead along with two police officers. She says that while France is strictly secular it also has the largest Muslim population in Europe and high youth unemployment which is fertile ground for radicalisation.

Natalie Nougayrède will be among the commentators at a Guardian live event on Wednesday evening, with proceeds going to the families of the victims Continue reading...

Saudi blogger to be publicly flogged on charges he insulted Islam

The Guardian World news: Islam - 8 January, 2015 - 17:46
  • Raif Badawi was sentenced last May to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes
  • His website Free Saudi Liberals is now closed
  • Badawi ‘being used as an example’ in crackdown on reform calls

A Saudi blogger who was sentenced last May to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes will be publicly flogged for the first time after Friday prayers outside a mosque in the Red Sea coastal city of Jeddah, according to a person close to his case.

Raif Badawi was sentenced on charges related to accusations that he insulted Islam on a liberal online forum he had created. He was also ordered by the Jeddah criminal court to pay a fine of 1m Saudi riyals, or about $266,000.

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