It was an attack on humanity, and on Islam itself
Wednesday’s brazen attack in the offices of French magazine Charlie Hebdo has left many people the world over shocked, saddened and grieved. As the smoke cleared and we learned that twelve people were killed at the hands of individuals wearing commando uniforms who brandished automatic weapons that were fired indiscriminately at the office, we were left with the horrific reality that these individuals were killed for the single fact that they used their free speech to publish provocative content.
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community categorically condemns the barbaric attack at the office of Charlie Hebdo in Paris last week. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and all those affected by this evil and outrageous attack. On behalf of the Community, I would like to offer our heartfelt sympathies and condolences to all those who have been left bereaved.
Many of us are no strangers to Charlie Hebdo, which has worked its way into controversy for some years, especially after choosing on multiple occasions to publish insulting cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad with the expressed intention of offending Muslims. And, of course, if Charlie Hebdo has the right to insult, then Muslims have a right to feel offended. But the question becomes how Muslims should react and respond to this offence?
Muslims who respond to the likes of Charlie Hebdo with violence need to consult the Qur’an.
The Qur’an strongly discourages indecent behaviour and speech, or the hurting of others’ sensitivities, regardless of whether it is done with or without a “valid” reason. Prophet Muhammad called his followers to human decency, integrity, and sensitivity through self-restraint—a virtue that encompasses forgiveness, patience, abstention from injury, truth, sweetness of speech, benevolence, and freedom from malice. Prophet Muhammad was mocked, ridiculed and insulted to his face on various occasions during his life, not once did he retaliate or call for those people to be attacked, seized or executed.
But perhaps most pointedly, the Qur’an tells believers not to be provoked by those who seem to attack Islam, stating very clearly “let not a people’s enmity incite you to act otherwise than with justice.” There simply is no room in Islam for responding to mockery or blasphemy with violence.
Islam in itself means peace and the very clear definition of a true Muslim given by the Prophet of Islam is that “a Muslim is he from whose tongue and hand all other people are safe.”
How tragic that some so-called Muslims have forsaken the words of the Qur’an and the Prophet they claim to somehow defend.
The worldwide head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba), who has a following in tens of millions spread over 206 countries of the world, has been working tirelessly against this horrific ideology violence in the name of Islam. In a Peace Symposium held in London he said, “…I will, God willing, always continue to carry out my task and responsibilities of promoting peace, tolerance, justice and compassion to the corners of the world…”
So when you hear so-called “Muslim Scholars” and lunatics claim that people who mock Islam must be killed, tell them to go read the Qur’an and educate themselves on the faith to which they claim allegiance but of which they remain ignorant.
Mansoor Ahmad Malik is Imam and missionary at the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Iceland