Monday, January 19, 2015


By Mansor Puteh

A reckless man with a gun can be as harmful as an irresponsible cartoonist with a pen…

Some cartoonists of Charlie Hebdo in Paris found this out and paid for it dearly with their own lives.

They subscribed to the false impression and their own version and definition of Freedom of speech and expression and did not care for the sentiments of the others who they poke fun of and paid the price for it with their lives.

They were hailed by France for being brave in doing that, but had not been officially given any recognition or legion of honor like they would offer to those who had done France proud.

Maybe the French government should now give them a posthumous award.  

Now France or most Frenchmen and women are mourning over the death of the staff of the satirical weekly magazine; with them hailing them and crying ‘We are not afraid!’ as they gather at some places in Paris to show their solidarity to the dead cartoonists and other staff of the magazine.

But alas, they were only brave to exert the freedom of expression and speech in France and not everywhere else particularly outside of France.

None of them had also not dared to hold the caricatures of the Prophet in other countries especially in the Arab ones just to show that they were not scared to prove their stand and to insist that they had the right to do so.

Even now there is no one in Paris or France who is mourning and attending the gatherings dares to hold a copy of the dated issue of Charlie Hebdo with the offending caricature. Why?

The political leaders of France too have not dared to do the same. Why? Will the publishers want to reprint the offending edition of their magazine now that they have managed to get massive publicity all over the world?  

Of course, there are some others who only post them in the social media where they are not able to be identified. They are cowards.

Do they do they dare to wear tee-shirts bearing the cartoon on the front?

If they truly believe that they have the right to express their freedom of speech and expression then they must do that and even add to it by making fun of the Prophet and whoever they please.

Now is the time for them to show solidarity with the dead cartoonists and the staff of Charlie Hebdo.

The problem with the cartoonist of Charlie Hebdo is that they did not know the history of cartooning.

They considered their weekly magazine to be a satirical magazine.

But alas, it is not just so, but a terrorist organ, aimed at defaming others.

The cartoonists are no worse than the terrorists who were forced to move back when their countries had been trampled on and destroyed that they had no other option but to take arms. They are reactionaries.

The killers of the cartoonists or cartoonist-busters can be said to be mere reactionaries; they who would otherwise do other things had it not been for the offending caricatures of their beloved Prophet.  

That explains why the cartoonist-busters have not been condemned by any Arab leader, much less those in Palestine and the other Arab countries which are now being trampled upon and destroyed.

* * * * * * *

Many Muslims are asking why in Europe and the West, especially America and also France, which is the center of focus of the international media now, that they had conveniently tried to create long ago a new way of life and thinking calling for everybody to be 'politically correct' and cultured in behavior and deed.

These countries were also the first to introduce the 'Laws of Defamation' which were to ensure that no one is hurt by the careless use of words and vulgar acts in order that the society could be safe from anyone belittling and defaming including annoying anyone else.

And at the same time, the countries in the west which introduced the cinema which no Arab or Muslim country had participated in its early development, also introduced film criticism and film rating, so much so that some films that are deemed to be offensive are given the ugly ratings and not allowed for public screening.

The four-letter words are also not allowed to be uttered in words and song as much as showing nudity in plays and films for the general audiences- and not forgetting cartoons.

Yet, when it comes to defaming Islam and Islamic Prophets, the same attitudes, laws and concepts and mentality are conveniently pushed aside by the insistence of many in the west who insist that upholding the Freedom of Speech and Expression to be most supreme.

Ironically, when it comes to the Jews, one can be condemned severely for being anti-Semitic.

Has Charlie Hebdo published any cartoons lampooned or satired the Jews and Zionist leaders of Israel? They knew better they could not do that without being charged for being anti-Semitic.

There were some American tourists in Thailand who had been charged for demeaning the Buddha and sentenced accordingly for posing at the statue of Buddha and sitting on it.

Other Thais too had been charged and sentenced for lese majesty.

What is happening in Paris today could have been avoided and many lives saved, if one cartoon had not been published.

It is the cartoon that has caused the carnage and chaos in the country and more confusion in the minds of the peace-loving French and everybody else.

Cartoonists are the last persons to be allowed to define what is the Freedom of Expression and Speech; they have the propensity to not do justice to the whole concept and meaning, whose deeds can be deemed to be acts of terror, too.

And this is not funny.

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