Charlie Hebdo’s New Cartoon and why Humanity Shouldn’t Care

Today Charlie Hebdo put a cartoon of “Muhammad” on their cover and yes I laughed.

What?!?! How can you call yourself Muslim? 

Relax.

I laughed because the person these cartoonists are making fun of is in no way, shape, or form the person I hold dear to my heart. The more you think it is, the more you are showing your cards.

See I believe that an insult says more about the person giving it than the one receiving it. If someone who is angry with you calls you names it is because they are trying to get under your skin. They want to engage you, to make you stoop to a lowly level of no self control. To be, at that moment, just like them, an emotional driven wreck. I dont feel comfortable with anyone but me having that much control over myself and neither should you.

As Muslims we know how much our Prophet went through. He endured pain, dealt with the most abrasive of people, and had the closest to him die, and yet he never retaliated with anything shy of kindness. If that cartoon is our Prophet then I must be sleeping as I type this, because it’s not reality. The same way a cartoon targeted at any demographic, culture, country, religion, or people says more about how they view the world then it does of the people it is targeting.

Call me an idealist, but ideally, we need to stop using this defence of ideas and freedoms as weapons to hurt those with varying ideas of freedom. People are different, get over it. As long as the fundamental principles of humanity remain intact. What are they you might ask? Everyone wants to be treated with respect, with care, love, understanding. No one woke up today saying, man I wish someone would ridicule my culture today, or I really wish some uneducated delinquents launch a plane into buildings full of innocent people for my religion. The ones who do, they are the ones we need to understand the most. What’s causing them to act this way, what can we do to relinquish their pain, hurt, or anger driving these thoughts.

An eye for an eye will leave the world blind.

I think the cover of Charlie Hedbo shows the same close mindedness as these “Islamist Jihadist”.  Both are coming from a place of hurt and a willingness to make others feel as they do. To retaliate with vengeance. To terrorise the image of a human being that is loved by more than a billion people in this world. Do we see the irony or is our ego in the way? We need to stop this eye for an eye, us vs them mentality that is plaguing the hearts of us all. If we can’t come together and understand one another then we cease to exist. We are foolish in thinking that we don’t need anyone else. Read history, look at every empire and how they never thought possible their demise, yet where are they now?

What the events of Charlie Hedbo have taught me is that no matter what, we as humankind, will stand strong against evil. All of us. No matter if you’re a Muslim, a Jew, a Christan, Hindu, black, white, gay, Indian, Chinese, Mexican, it doesnt matter. What binds all of us in the end is our humanity. It is our greatest strength and our most underappreciated freedom. Without it we are just like that cartoon, a lifeless fake.

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