As I watch the almost non-stop coverage on certain television channels on the outpouring of grief and condemnation on the Paris Terror attack on Charlie Hebdo, I wonder what it must be like to be a Muslim in France right now. I’m sticking my neck out and taking a view on religion and a country which I rarely do, but here it is anyway.
In my country of birth, I am neither part of a minority religion or demographic outcast in any way (so you're also right when you think "how in the world can you be so sure, anup"), in fact I’m the antithesis to all of that , so yes, this is not a feeling I have never personally experienced. But here I was sitting and feeling a touch of sadness (not pity, sadness I repeat) on the average peace loving Khaled or Khadija living in France right now.
From tomorrow onwards, He or She would be someone who would compulsorily have to smile through cartoons and ridicules which question and insult the very thoughts, beliefs and way of life. I can imagine an office cafeteria conversation going on about Charlie Hebdo’s cartoon in the day’s papers and if Khaled walked past, he would be under immense social pressure to publicly join the little joke. However if Khaled were to make a remark with the slightest hint of disappointment on the cartoon or the cartoonist on at the portrayal of his beliefs, he would be looked on with deep suspicion. Khaled’s name, his well-trimmed beard, his summer holiday to Jordan and the Quran on his desk is all that is needed to make him a suspected Social Pariah.
Condemning the vile act by three mad men is important, but in the same breath spare a prayer for those 5 million+ innocent Muslims living in France being subject to those silent stares.
#Jesuischarlie but I think we also need to take a moment and think deep if borderline vile and derogatory cartoons on people’s cherished beliefs and value systems, should be condemned or praised.
In closing all that comes to my mind is that condemnation and all of that is good, but remember that compassion and empathy will cure more sins than condemnation...
P.S Just Saying...Khaled or Kadija are purely ficticious cvharecters and do not resemble anyone I know