We Are Charlie

We Are Charlie

Murders of journalists must stop

The attack Wednesday in Paris on the offices of Charlie Hebdo, the French satirical magazine, left 12 dead including the editor and a number of cartoonists. If the attack was revenge for Charlie Hebdo’s past use of sardonic humor to poke fun at Islam, the outrage we feel is compounded by the fact that this is also a gross misuse of religion.

We may feel physically helpless in the face of such a brazen assault on people whose only weapons are pencils and ink. But like other such cowardly acts, these murders only unmask the desperation of lunatics on the fringe of society who cannot compete in the world of ideas.

The world is saying ‘Je Suis Charlie.” We stand with that philosophically. But in fact nous ne sommes pas Charlie. If we were Charlie we would be facing grenades and AK47 fire, or dead.  It took enormous courage and fortitude and daring to print what Charlie Hebdo printed.  There have only been a handful of publications with that fortitude. Few possess it and you have to pause and think what it really means. It is not easy.

Nonetheless, at Asia Sentinel, “I am Charlie,” taken from the magazine’s website,  is a sentiment we support. We hope our readers will pass on the sentiment with a real understanding of what that phrase means. It means daring death at the hands of an irrational subsect of a religion that is going off the rails and will kill for reasons that do not resonate with a world in which freedom of expression is non-negotiable. We will miss the Charlie Hebdo guys. We hope that, as journalists, we have the courage and fortitude to stand up when lunatics come hunting for our colleagues closer to home. This is not a game in which slogans are easy to spout and hard to dare murder to live up to.

Charlie cartoon


One Response to We Are Charlie

  1. J. D. Lovrenciear

    January 15, 2015 at 11:46 am

    The Charlie Hebdo incident offers human civilization the final option: Will the world resolve?

    The war on terror has taken an even more frightening revelation since the Ground Zero attacks. The Charlie Hebdo incident, now raging across the globe, signals a harsh truth.

    Are we humans receptive? Or will we witness governments and groups capitalizing on the spillovers and splinters to seize more power and control within territories?

    For the first time, at the door step of every nation, and at the centre of each living and pumping human heart, now lies a final option for human civilization.

    The question is how we want the human species to move forward from here.

    To support and fight for what Charlie Hebdo stands for or to fight and defend one’s faith and teaching? That seems to be the question that all humans must answer.

    The honest truth is it is increasingly becoming visible and clearer that we are having a West verses East – an Islam verses Christianity situation that seems to color feelings and reactions around the world.

    Whichever way we answer it, the world would already set in motion a wedge that can only splinter and divide human civilization to even more dangerous shreds, almost threatening our civilization with a devastating world war.

    In the best interest of human civilization, all political masters, democratic leaders, spiritual leaders, civil society champions – all of them all across our planet earth must use their powers and influence to help treat and resolve this precariously dangerous global situation before it is too late.

    The human race must engage its resources and wealth – physical, spiritual, mental, material, to help save humanity. There can be no exception. Unity to the letter is the ideal and cutting across all religions, all segments of believers and non-believers, across all political divides and frameworks.

    But to even suspect and doubt such idealism would be first step to render humans as incapable of saving its very own civilization.

    This is not about political and teritorial supremacy, power and control. It is not about reaping economies of scale. It is not even about whose god is the true God or which path is the only path to heaven. It certainly is not confined to territories and borders.

    The Charlie Hebdo situation has exposed how the fragile human species that can not only annihilate itself on a mass scale and never before imagined, but also destroy the beauty and all of Creation that embodies this beautiful planet.

    The world needs to do something. Urgently, all of us humans need to resolve whether our species must live on or kill each other off in the quest of religious supremacy and religious justice.

    Chalie Hebdo has exposed the politics of religion. Evangelization and proselytizing is not the answer. So too the ongoing ‘War on Terror’ is not going to help resolve the question of man against man for the conquest of heaven.

    Developed and undeveloped worlds, North and South nations, the West and the East – no one can be spared or relieved or even abstain from coming together to address the very fundamental question of how we want to save this planet of people now and for the future.

    The warnings have been around. The incidents are gaining momentum. And Charlie Hebdo is probably the last call to all humans. The world must convene urgently!

    We need leaders. We need governments. We need inspired people. We need the wise and learned. We need all humans to rise in this critical hour of need or if you like, moment of truth.

    All the wealth in the world; all the power in the world – all of these would mean nothing in the face of a global, worldwide attack of humans against humans.

    We need to resolve this war of religions that have been ignored for too long. We need to resolve by plugging this unquechable thirst for power, supremacy and control for our selfish agendas of survival. Giving credence to the animal instinct inside us is the first fall of human civilization.

    We need to come to terms with ourselves beginning with the biggest hurdle which is the ‘me’ inside everyone of us.

    Perhaps, for starters the world must urgently convene to agree on how we want to collective deal with this threat that Charlie Hebdo has brought to full view of all humans.

    Pray the ‘Clash of Civilization’ will be proved wrong.