The massacre of 12 people (figures not final) in cold blood this morning around 11:00 a.m. is an unparalleled horror. It goes without saying that even before the appreciation related to their profession, they were, above all else, human beings. In this way, no one has the right to life or death over them. But their profession cannot be taken away, these individuals were journalists, symbols of freedom of the press.
We stand with Charlie Hebdo
Already on the horizon we see Islamophobes and skeptics of Islam taking great lengths to announce that all of this can be blamed on Islam. But I must emphasize, through this short opinion piece, that Muslims support Charlie Hebdo. They stand with them because they cherish freedom of the press and, more importantly, they have a fundamental and primary respect for life that only God can remove.
Therefore, I am with Charlie Hebdo. I am with the families of the journalists, designers, and employees who were assassinated. With all my heart I share their sorrows, the loss of a loved one is one of most inhuman things that can be done to anyone. But as a Muslim and as a person who has written often on the questions surrounding Islam in France, I have to let you know that Islam, the Prophet of Islam, is not what these people have done: these people have committed murder, period.
These people have done something else that Muslims will not forgive them for: they have dishonored the name of the Prophet, and they have corrupted the name of the beautiful religion that is Islam. How can one justify such an an atrocity performed in the name of this beautiful religion? We are determined to clearly state: Muslims stand today with Charlie Hebdo.
We stand against the assassins
These individuals acted in the name of a prophet who was always patient, even when he faced injustices. In this same vein, there is a tradition where the founder of Islam walked in the streets every day and was assaulted by a woman who attacked him with garbage. Even though he had the chance to demand justice, this shows proof of his patience. The day that the woman did not throw garbage at him, he assumed she was sick. He asked her if she was well because he had not been assaulted with filth. Is this not true Islam, the Islam of patience and the battle that rages inside of one's self? Is this not the message of the founder of tolerance? What beautiful messages people miss when they think that the only Islam is one of coercion, of weapons, and of violence.
By slaughtering these journalists in cold blood, these individuals have injured, wounded, and outraged all of humanity. Didn't they know that the creator of Islam maintained that "killing a man amounts to killing all of humanity"? Have they obscured this sacrosanct verse in the Koran that prescribes that "there is no violence in religion"? How can one come back from this, after the most beautiful and precious light that God breathed into man by becoming his martyr has been taken away in the name of religion?
By slaughtering these journalists in cold blood, these individuals have injured, wounded, and outraged all of humanity. Even though as a Muslim I do not approve of the caricatures and I don't necessarily find their humor interesting, today I stand with them because, according to the teachings of Islam, "killing a man amounts killing humanity in its entirety."
My prayers are with the victims' families.
This post originally appeared on the Huffington Post France and was translated into English.
This post has been modified since its original publication.