I AM NOT CHARLIE. I AM MUSLIM.
A COMMENT BY SAMIA MALIK
Rest in peace, all the people killed in Paris on Wednesday, January 7th, 2015. Assassinations are always brutal and inhuman. Since Wednesday, uprise in Islamaphobic ‘solidarity’ elevated by the second. Solidarity means unity, harmony, cooperation, cohesion, support, likeminded-ness. The conglomeration of likeminded-ness happened in favor of Islamphobes. But there is no unity, harmony and cohesion in support of phobias. ‘I am Charlie’ vacillated solidarity; bastardised the word solidarity, detaching it from its original meaning and using it out of context as a vain expression of assertion of Western superiority.
On Thursday January 8th, I could not stop looking at social media. Outrageous reaction over 12 people killed in Paris. I’ve never witnessed people being so openly divided. Most of ‘I am Charlie’ supporters never stood up for any other humanitarian causes: genocides in Palestine, Syria, and they did not utter a word of solidarity with Ferguson or Eric Garner. Then why the support for Charlie in Paris? This spells out only one word: RACISM!
Friday, January 9th: here’s a note from me, a Muslim, on social media in the last 24 hours. The amount of non-stop disgusting, extremist, opportunistic Islamaphobia I’ve seen are making my eyes bleed with pain. One part of me does not want to talk to some people ever again, but this is exactly what the media wants from these situations: more hatred. All these people attacking Islam and God are discovering Islam through misguiding propaganda tools: Daily Mail, BBC, The Guardian, Facebook, Twitter, etc.
Racism is a problem within the arts. There is no satire when you’re taking the piss out of religions and other people’s ways of life. There is no humour in Charlie Hebdo’s art: ridiculing marginalised communities – the production of this type of art needs to be examined. Predictably, the CIA could have also initiated the concept of ridicule of religion by satire. Tariq Ramamdan on Democracy Now mentioned: Charlie Hebdo was running out of money and they came up with a policy to knock down Islam because they knew Islamphobia would make them money. I see it all the time online, the mockery of Muslims. These sadistic people would most certainly pay to see Charlie Hebdo’s art. The joy one gets out of ridicule in art, similar to joy one gains from porn; seeing the destruction of others. It’s a diluted argument in instance of Charlie Hebdo, bringing up conversation of ‘freedom of speech’ through the defence of satire. I don’t buy into that. It’s also a naive argument that Charlie Hebdo was making art, and it was just art. No, this is not true either.
Saturday, January 10th: we’re flooded with conspiracies. By now, I’ve confronted several Islamphobes to ask them what they were really on about with their hollow ‘solidarity’ with Charlie Hebdo. Surprise, surprise: none of them had decent backup for their support for Charlie. It was opportunistic racism. Sincere solidarity provides endless conviction and this has not been the case with racist ‘I am Charlie’ supporters.
Sunday January 11th: the Paris March in ‘solidarity’ with ‘I am Charlie’. A bunch of corrupt politicians show up to demonstrate their solidarity with Charlie Hebdo, and against terrorism. One of these politicians is Netanyahu: one of the biggest world terrorists, and responsible for the death of thousands of people. This is a defining point that illustrates that Charlie Hebdo killings were a set-up to cause destruction, division and hatred. This movement would only benefit the world elite.
Charlie Hebdo’s killings have been a catalyst to increase Islamaphobia. Within days, Muslims have become under more scrutiny than ever before. Islamaphobia has been around since 9/11. Most us have made it part of our skin to politely tolerate Islamaphobia. This has only allowed Islamaphobia to increase. As Muslims, non-Muslims, humanitarians who want to end Islamaphobia, we all need to step up and stop treating Islamphobia casually and lightly. Before the disease of Islamaphobia grows bigger, we need to organise and mobilise ourselves to stop this. Islamphobia is a mental and physical torture that needs to be treated like any other crime. We need to exploit Islamaphobia and Islamaphobic situations just the way we exploit rape, paedophiles, murderers, slavery or any other crime. Islamaphobia needs to end as soon as possible. We are all being affected!
Artwork © ihtgw