This is written under the light of the recent France attack and (yet another) hateful wave towards millions of completely clueless, innocent people.
I am someone who’d be considered moderate, if not pretty liberal, Muslim. I don’t eat certain food, I have certain views regarding modesty when it comes to myself and my family – I really couldn’t care less how anyone else dresses up, unless they march naked in front of my kids; I have certain expectations and hopes, and I have many non-mainstream views as well (my opinion of homosexuality is very different than that of most Muslims – and other monotheistic religions as well, just as an example.)
I live as an European ex-pat in Middle East (before I’ll be told off to go live here and “try it myself“, thank you), living the same life as most of you.
Sometimes happy, sometimes not, having probably the same struggles as you do (Kids’ grades gonna be good this year? Should I cook chicken or beef for dinner? Should we plan a trip to zoo this week or postpone it for later? Will we have a reliable contract to build our house? Should I buy a whole room of yarns this lifetime?);
and as much as sorry I can be for any suffering in the world, caused by anyone to anyone under whatever pretense they just took as a reason to be bad so, I am tired, excruciatingly tired, to be asked in every conversation with someone who is not my friend, to publicly distance myself from any current happening caused (in a very mind-twisted way, I remind you) or blamed on the religion of my choice.
I am but an average person living an average life. I am not going to apologize to anyone I don’t even know for random dudes shooting random people somewhere. I am not going to publicly distance myself from the hateful rhetoric of some other dudes somewhere else. I am not going to apologize for Assad, Lybia, Palestine, Israel, 9/11, London metro or anything else.
Simply put – I have nothing in common with them, nothing of interest there. I don’t need to distance myself from them, because they couldn’t be further from my own understanding of life and faith than they already are. But honestly, that’s noone’s business.
I might consider having such conversations (which Muslim didn’t have one like that – introductions followed closely by forced declarations about no allegiance to whatever is a current Muslim world issue, and than proceeding to normal human being topics; given that person spoke to you in the first place, because, y’know, you’re the dirty, hateful Muslim) – as soon as any random Caucasian I converse with will first declare distance and no common ground with any current Caucasian caused misfortune or violence – and so on. (Americans apologizing for school shootings or Native abuse, maybe? Jewish people distancing themselves from illegal settlements? Japanese apologizing for 2nd world war suffering of Chinese and ongoing non-Japanese racism? Brits publicly distancing themselves from colonization and the misery it brought? Christians, however practicing or moderate, dropping ashes over their head for what Breivik has done? You get my point?)
I am terribly sorry for any human suffering, anywhere. I hate to see people being miserable, disregard their opinions, political views, religion affiliation (or not), and I can’t spend my whole (boringly and blissfully normal) day mourning the world’s loses and misery. The more I hate suffering of children of any origin; if it was all on me, I’d just erase any notion of war from the humanity and the world we govern. But it’s not up to me, unfortunately, and I cannot prevent anything that big; all I can do is say that yes, I am sorry for people being killed and suffering, but no, I am not sorry for this or that, and I will not publicly distance myself from that and this, because I don’t feel the need to do so, and you should not be asking me for such statements. I won’t ask you to denounce any crimes committed by people who happen to share the same skin colour, religion, nation or idea with you, in return. Deal?
And before you jump the gun, completely misunderstanding my above article; freedom of one ends where freedom of other one starts. Absolute freedom is nothing but an anarchy. Freedom of speech is precious, but abused and misused and honestly, who does trust news and papers nowadays anyway? Everything is skewed in the political agenda, to benefit certain goals, and there’s no more true free journalism, sorry. Whatever they’re telling you, they’re lying, to bend you in certain way. The happening is there, the portrayal of it is tinted, however.
And just a little food for thought, here.
Charlie Hebdo magazine was about to go bankrupt. It is very unfortunate what happened, but very timely, isn’t it?
Sydney Morning Herald: “A “survivors’ issue” of Charlie Hebdo coming out next week will also be sold outside France because of the huge global attention on the satirical weekly after the massacre of its top staff – marking a turnaround for a publication that just a week ago was on the brink of folding.”
Firstpost: “According to an AFP report, Charlie Hebdo announced on Thursday it will defy its attackers and publish a special edition with a print run of a million copies next week, as a wave of public support rose up to save it from bankruptcy.”
France 24: “Before Wednesday’s attack, the magazine had been in considerable financial difficulty, its declining sales bringing it to the verge of bankruptcy.
Weekly sales had fallen to around 30,000 a week, half the number printed, while it needed to sell at least 35,000 a week just to break even, Stéphane Charbonnier, or Charb, had told AFP before losing his life in the massacre.
He launched an appeal for donations in November to help save the magazine, but by the end of the year it had only raised a few thousand euros, much less than the €1 million hoped for.
That appeal is now set to continue with the full weight of the French media behind it, many of whom are relaying the call for donations through their publications.
The message will also be spread abroad through Reporters Without Borders.
“Revenue from the next edition will go to the families of the victims,” said Val. “The call for donations will ensure Charlie Hebdo continues.”