It happened in real time, almost at the same time it broke in France. The Twitter feeds of news carriers and Twitterati in general broke the news to France, and to the world that the Paris office of the weekly satirical magazine ‘Charlie Hebdo’ was under attack, facing heavy gunfire from terrorists armed with Kalashnikovs, and a rocket launcher as well.
Well, these were the frantic reports of the moments when fanatics were on the prowl, like it happens in every terror attack, when armed people kill people, indiscriminately. In these rushed moments, when the sense of the credibility of the news inflow is tasted, one thing always stirs the soul and leaves with haunting questions for humanity to think over – that there are people dying, people like you and me, by the acts of people, people like you and me.
This has been the alter-ego story of human civilizations – men killing men – to build civilizations – to annihilate civilizations – and in the recorded history, it has been basically about religion, revolving around it – fighting for religion – killing in the name of religion – when it was not to be the story when religions started taking shape – when formations started getting changed in search of ‘more’ and ‘perfect’ religions.
Charlie Hebdo, the French magazine, had crossed (and has been crossing) the path of religious fundamentalists, the central characters of these wars, becoming thus a party, willing or unwilling it never matters, in the wars, being waged in the name of religions.
Countless lives taken by these wars and still growing – religions that are supposed to liberate people by uniting them to live a humane way of life have become cages to bind them and blind them.
Religion liberates. Religion unites. Religion gives a sense to the life.
Religion also indoctrinates. Religion also disintegrates. Religion also infuses you with fanaticism of its supremacy.
By the men who control religions!
By the men who control men in the name of religions!
Some of these men sent some men today, to kill people who they had condemned to be killed.
Stephane Charbonnier, Charlie Hebdo editor and one of the cartoonists behind the controversial Prophet Muhammad cartoons featured in the weekly in past, was on Al Qaeda hit list.
And he was among the 10 staffers of the magazine killed today, by the terrorists who claimed to be from ‘Al Qaeda in Yemen’ (AQAP-Al Qaeda in Arabian Peninsula), one of the deadliest jihadi outfits, perpetrating terror this time, in Paris, right in the heart of France, one of the major global powers.
The two gunmen, as most of the video footage available showed, who killed in the name of God, shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ (God is great) and ‘we have avenged the Prophet’ further shot dead one policeman who was already injured.
Yes, it was a disturbing attack on freedom of expression, one of our fundamental rights, one of the causes of our ‘being’. But we need to see it in the context that it had been carried out by those who don’t believe in such basic needs of humanity in the free world. And for this very reason, we need to show these butchers that what these ‘basic needs’ stand for – that we cannot allow them to be compromised at any cost – even at the cost of our lives – because the tenets of a free democratic world have been achieved after centuries of struggle.
The spirit needs to endure. Charlie Hebdo or any publication or institution or movement must never be allowed to cow down because some fanatics are out there trying to impose thinking of their barbaric world on us.
And the show of solidarity is building up. Let’s make it overwhelming, as the immediate response to the attack shows. People are coming out, denouncing, standing in solidarity.
The ‘cartoons of defiance’ are prominently visible on the social media platforms and across the news carriers, paying tribute to the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists killed and telling the fanatics that we remain firm at our stand, that we stand with our cause. Yes, there is the need to fight back if the humanity has to be saved, if religions have to remain the spirit of societies, if civilizations have to survive.
For that we need to question religions, we need to criticise their tenets, wherever we feel at odds with.
That doesn’t make us infidels. In fact, that is a better way to being religious – free, liberated and united.
Charlie Hebdo did it in its own way. A claimed Leftist orientation – it’s satire targeted all religions and people from every walk and society of life where its reach reached, sparing none.
Yes, many of us may not always feel at one with what they did or the way they did, but that is their prerogative.
If a God is so weak for His followers to be defamed or brought down by legitimate ways to express differences of opinions, the followers are fundamentally wrong in their concept of ‘their God’.
Charlie Hebdo operates from a democratic country and there are laws of the land to regulate its functioning with independent courts that don’t spare even presidents of France. So, if anyone has any grievance, there are legitimate ways to remedy available.
But the fanatics, be of any religion, don’t believe in the legitimate ways of the free world, because it doesn’t correspond to the thinking of their leaders who want to keep their authority central – the societies where men rule in the name of religion, in the name of God – where few are supreme and the rest are mere followers – living an imposed thinking – be it the terror warlords – or the nation states run by families.
And we need to say them, the fanatic followers, the terrorists who kill in the name of religion, that how wrong they have been, that how nonsensical and ill-conceived their notions have been.
Our way, your way, or the Charlie Hebdo way – and in this hour of crisis, we need to remain united in solidarity – to speak in one voice that we won’t cow down, that we won’t be silenced – Je Suis Charlie – Yes, ‘I am Charlie’ – ‘Yes, we all are Charlie’.
©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey–https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/