Je Suis Charlie

A very sad day it is today.

Despite English being our official language,everything is in French in my country:the papers,the news,the official sports magazine,and,well,everything else.You might even mistake my country for a Francophone one.

Naturally even our cable channels are French.Before the births of most,there were only a handful of them,among which was the ever so popular Canal + – the official sponsor of Cannes Festival.I guess it’s because I’ve grown up watching this channel that I think French humour is the best.I’ve watched Les Guignols and Groland ever since I can remember.Some years later,the notorious Le Petit Journal would add up to them.The jokes,very often,would revolve around taboo subjects,but were always very relevant.

In fact,whenever I’m watching Les Guignols or Le Petit Journal with my father beside me,I always tell him that there is no way such TV shows would appear on our screens,here in my country.For the French people make fun of everything.They are ”cash” and say things as they are,deftly with some humour.I remember when Le Petit Journal made fun of Francois Hollande’s countless moments in the rain,or when Les Guignols,through a short comical clip,bluntly stated that Marine Le Pen and her father Jean-Marie are racists.Yet though politicians and celebrities were annoyed at these parodies and embarrassing moments of themselves recorded on camera,they didn’t do anything,never filed a complaint or whatever.Les Guignols is still going strong since it started in 1988.

I don’t only watch Canal +,but these shows were what made me fall in love with French humour.I’ve watched,as I went into adolescence,sketches from Gad Elmaleh,Jamel Debouze,Kad and Olivier,and many,many others.My favourite current humourist now is a young ventriloquist named Jeff Panacloc.His monthly sketches are just a delight to watch and they helped in upholding my morale during my uni times.He,too,is astonishingly honest and that’s exactly what makes him so popular.At Liege,faced with a Belgian audience,he had no qualms in saying that Belgians shit waffles,have,as their most famous statue,a boy peeing,and that they are in deep shit as they don’t have a Prime Minister.Yep,Panacloc uses a rather offensive vocabulary to go with his honesty.

All this to say that when I heard about the massacre at Charlie Hebdo,I was really shocked and upset.For me,the Muslim extremists couldn’t understand what French humour was all about.In some way,I felt they killed French humour,for what is French humour if the humourists/journalists cannot say things as they please? I always admired the French because of their freedom of expression,their protection and respect of journalism,but sadly it seems some silly fanatics want to change things,just as they want to everywhere in the world.

R.I.P everyone who died in the carnage.
It is sad,but not at all surprising,that those who were mourning for Gaza are now nowhere to be seen on the roads of Paris,London,or just anywhere else in the world.


4 thoughts on “Je Suis Charlie”

  1. If everyone reacted to every single news piece then where would we be?
    You wrote about Charlie Hebdo here because not only is it horrific, it also means something to you seeing that you grew up watching French tv.
    That isn’t to say that you haven’t grieved about all the other horrible pieces of news we hear every single day.

    I’m going to refer you to this:

    I mourn Charb’s untimely death too. He didn’t deserve it at all, and those people who thought that they were well within their right to murder him deserve the punishment they will get. They can’t run forever. People should never be silenced – especially not through terror. Freedom of speech is one of the most important rights in my opinion – without it society cannot and will not strive.
    We’re rotting anyway.
    However, you can’t expect every Muslim out there to do something every single time someone from their religion does something questionable or horrible.
    You’re right, Not all Muslims who marched for Gaza are out there marching for Charlie Hebdo. But just because they are Muslims and sympathised with their Muslim brethren in other countries (as you sympathise with the grief and anger we all feel about Charlie Hebdo considering that France’s media is something you are more familiar to then I am) does not mean that they should march for every single atrocity out there. None of us do that, regardless. None of us should be expected to do that, regardless.
    We all mourn the sorrows the news reports to us in our own ways. We fight harder for aspects that matter to us personally. I love satire, it is what I thrive on. I hate that those gunmen murdered Charlie Hebdo for his satirical pieces. I’m not marching out there, and yeah I didn’t march about Gaza too. But those who did march for Gaza don’t need to apologise for the actions of the gunmen. Contrary to popular opinion, faith doesn’t breed terrorists. If it did, I would be hating Hebdo too and I would view humour, satire, ridicule as serious, heinous crimes. I do not. Nor do I advocate playing God, as these men were wont to do. I grieve, but I don’t march. Don’t expect me or others from the same background as these men to do so too.

    1. I am not inferring that all Muslims are the same.
      Unlike many other people around the world,I live in a multicultural country.I grew up going to school with the Chinese,Hindus,Creoles and Muslims.

      I’m not going to lie.As I went into adolescence,I saw how many Muslims started becoming fanatics.They would walk in groups around the school’s premises,and would fight anybody who verbally clashed against their ”brethrens”.Eventually I worked pretty well and due to a lack of subjects,I went into a star school.There,the Muslims were totally different.So,I think I’ve seen enough in my life to know that not all Muslims are the same.My father besides has numerous Muslim friends.

      On the other hand,I still maintain that the Muslim community should have marched down the roads just as they did when Gaza was being bombed.Why??

      When I was a kid still in primary school,some days before music day,I saw my Muslim classmates put their hands to their ears because the Telegu music they were hearing from the opposite rehearsal room was devilish.The teacher,a Hindu,had to tell them to stop.I wonder if a Muslim teacher would have done the same. 🙂

      And then,two years later,some days after the collapse of the World Trade Centre,while discussing this with us,our teacher,a different one,noticed that all Muslim pupils were reticent to condemn Al Qaeda’s act.She asked those who thought the terrorist attack was wrong to raise their hands and only the non-Muslim did so.She eventually had to lecture them.

      Do you get my point? I don’t think all Muslims are the same.Far from it.However I believe that Muslim parents and Imams should put in their kids’ brains that Islam is against such attacks,that Islam is all about goodness.It seems that those in my country failed to do so,hence the shocking behaviour of my classmates.

      Even yesterday,I saw a guy from my country on FB saying that he is not Charlie,he is _____.He says that he is tired of seeing Charlie Hebdo everywhere and regrets the fact that so many people are mourning for ”only” 12 people,when some months earlier,Gaza was being bombarded.He also stated that they got what they deserved,because they insulted the prophet and religion.We badly need Muslims to take a stand. We don’t demand apologies or whatsoever,we just need them to show their kids and other Muslims that just because a Muslim did something silly doesn’t mean all Muslims should support him.

      I’m an atheist and hold no bias.I was outraged beyond imagination when I heard about the Taliban’s attack on the school.Similarly I was disgusted at the rape of the Indian student whose intestines even needed to be removed – she died shortly afterwards.I am always saddened when I hear such news,regardless of the cast of the victims.

      But I still think Muslims should unite and show that this is not the way of Islam.Other some fools in some countries will think it’s alright to kidnap and kill people all in the name of Jihad.You used the term ‘brethren’ and that’s exactly what’s wrong with many Muslim fanatics; they feel sympathy only for their kinds.
      Again,I repeat,I have nothing against Islam and have some great Muslim friends.

      1. I understand that you probanbly don’t. And of course I renounce these acts, but not on the basis that I’m Muslim and the gunmen were Muslim too. I renounce them on that it’s sheer stupidity to kill a person, take matters into your own hands, merely because they’re cussing you down. Thing is, no one should have died because of those cartoons. Satirical they may be, but they’re cartoons!
        But imagine the hilarity of a situation where a group of Muslims would constantly apologise for the crimes they haven’t comitted. Muslims do take a stand against those who think they’re in the right – but we don’t need to show that it isn’t Islam that’s teaching fanatics to play God and kill people because those people incite dislike and even hatred, because that’s, I should hope, quite obvious. I can imagine scholars worldwide rolling their eyes at these Muslim terrorists, that’s violating the most basic rule of Islam – don’t associate partners with God! Stuff like Jihad and killing people is more complicated, especially when they announce a Caliphate and most Muslims have no idea how a Caliphate can just come to be – but as stated in the article, Islamic scholars from around the world came together to renounce ISIS and gave a 24 bullet point answer as to why ISIS aren’t a Caliphate and their “jihad” against blimming everybody is not the way of Islam.
        It’s just a bit disheartening to see Muslims being called upon to renounce these two guys who killed Charlie Hebdo. Just because we share an identity, doesn’t mean that I committed the crime also.
        Also, gross overgeneralisation. I know teachers – Muslim teachers – who have taught me to accept different cultures, and have gone out of their way to accommodate people who belong to other religions. It’s not whether a Muslim teacher would over a Hindu teacher. It depends on a wide variety of other factors, including demographic, culture, opportunities. Religion isn’t the only factor in this, or all Muslims would be praising the gunmen, praising the beheading of people…and the amount of Muslims that suffered terror because of 9/11 is countless. Seriously give the article a read, but I have read accounts of where people were and what they were feeling when 9/11 happened and I didn’t know which person was Muslim and which person wasn’t! When the attack in Sydney happened, a woman was crying as she took her headscarf off because she knew what backlash she would face. Even now in France three blank grenades were thrown near a mosque, and shots were fired near a prayer hall after the evening prayers because of this. It’s just another situation for division to occur and hate to thrive. There’s a lot going on in the world right now, and a lot of it is politics. To say that Muslims should be marching because of some murderers is just…I can’t get my head round it. They murdered him, they should be imprisoned! But my doing anything else because I share an identity with these people is silly too – or else I’d have to march for every single news story out there. In the same way you say you were disgusted by the Taliban and what happened to the Indian woman – I can say that too. I can be totally removed from the situation and hold no bias too. Are you not going to feel even more impassioned and at ends if people, governments, attack atheists for not believing in God? Would you not march in the streets for atheists that are bombed in their very homes for being atheist? Because you share an identity with them, wouldn’t you rally for justice? And since you’re a French speaker, and are familiar with the culture of French media if something like this happened again but it was atheists who had killed a cartoonist who had repeatedly criticised atheism in shocking ways, would you link arms with fellow atheists and march the streets too? They are two different situations, and saying that because we are Muslim we should march for both is also saying that we should march for everything. And unless you’re a pretty avid activist, that ain’t happening. It’s hard to explain, and I may not have made myself clear, but this is what I have to say about the matter.

      2. I get what you’re saying and I think it’s terrible when a woman has to remove her headscarf just because of the blunders of other people sharing the same religion as her.

        As you said there are many other factors beside religion which are to be blamed for these acts.In my country,most people are still very conservative and backwards in their way of thinking.I have a friend whose father doesn’t talk about cancer and who switched to another channel when there is an ad about condoms.

        Though my country is multicultural,it is also highly communal.People here are passionate with anything; they can go berserk for a very silly reason.At the races,if they didn’t win,they can blame the photo finish.Of course,not everybody is like that,but that’s how the uncultured and uneducated normally behave.As such,many Muslims in my country are fanatics – I know some British Muslim at uni and they are far more open-minded.I don’t picture them approving terrorists’ acts.

        From what I read on newspapers,it seems that some British Muslims can be just as fanatical,especially the migrants,which means that there is obviously two types of Muslim: the educated and non-violent one,and the uneducated,brainwashed and hence violent one.(Oh,once a Muslim woman told my grandmother that she approves of what ISIS are doing,for it is ”jihad”)

        I still think something needs to be done,but what? Uncultured,uncivilized Muslims in my country and others,who find any excuse good enough to bring up their religion,need to be way less fanatical.And people abroad should stop bombing Mosques in the belief that this will stop terrorism.I guess nothing can be done,and that’s just how things will be for the rest of our lives.You’ll regularly hear attacks in the name of the prophet and jihad,and this will infuriate nationalists who will end up attacking Islamic institutions.That’s how things will be…

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