Je ne suis pas Charlie

It is not my intention to distance myself from the peaceful Parisian protests against extremism. Instead I wish to put forward my objections to the response cover printed by Charlie Hebdo.

Earlier this month members of a radical Islam sect attacked the office of the satire magazine Charlie Hebdo. The gunmen killed 11 people and caused injury to 11 more. Afterward, nearly 4 million people marched in Paris to uphold values such as national unity and freedom of speech. Many held signs containing a slogan of unity with the satirical magazine “Je suis Charlie.”

Je suis Charlie march

Following the attack, the publication took the opportunity, not to align with the message of freedom and hope offered by demonstrators but rather to further insult followers of Islam. The cover, as seen above, features the Prophet Muhammed crying with a message saying that all is forgiven.

I support the message of forgiveness but not the method. Depicting the Prophet Mohammed on the cover misses the point of the international outrage. The outrage centered around a disgust toward the shooting deaths in Paris. Charlie Hebdo had the option to aid in the discussion by picking a cover image that displayed the same expression of unity as seen in the march.

Instead of providing a sense of community for all who abhor violence the cover insults a single group of people, Muslims. Free speech is an integral part of a free society but the cover unfairly targets a single community in a hurtful way. As satire, the cover has succeeded in sparking conversation on topics such as radical Islam and freedom of speech but ultimately it spreads a message of hate and further deepens the rift between devout Muslims and religious tolerance. Je ne suis pas Charlie.