Publishing Offensive Cartoons Cannot Be Justified in the Context of Freedom

Reprinting offensive cartoons of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) by the French magazine Charlie Hebdo ignores the sensibilities and sensitivities that people, specifically Muslims have. It should be considered that freedom must be used responsible without inflaming hatred. This calls for communication across cultures and civilizations. Ignorance can create artificial boundaries. With knowledge, those artificial barriers and suspicions can be broken.

Different countries have different attitudes.  However, Freedom should be used responsibly irrespective of who you are and where you come. There should be mutual respect and the need to promote global peace. We cannot justify reprinting offensive cartoons in the context of freedom of expression. There is no unlimited freedom.

Islamophobia is increasing in Western countries. It derives from ignorance and lack of communication and dialogue. Islamophobia is symptomatic of pre-colonial and colonial perceptions about Islam and Muslims.

There should be differentiation between Islam and the acts of individual Muslims like any other people. Islam is a revealed religion and should not be seen as a political tool; although it has given principles for justice and peaceful coexistence. Certain attritions acts by some Muslims should not be attributed to Islam. Islam teaches peace and coexistence across the human race.

As an academic, I think education is an important avenue to change attitudes. Education creates awareness among individuals and communities. Joint academic work is another avenue.

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