Sunday, 18 January 2015

PARIS ATTACK: OUR PHOBIA FOR TRUTH

We lie and it is unfortunate. We lie that no death can gladden the heart and we all know that we lie. If a person kills our siblings we follow through with the case and pay lawyers to ensure that he is convicted i.e. killed, after that we lie again. When Osama Bin Laden was murdered Americans took to the street in jubilation, then after it we all went back to lies. Lying that nobody can die and the news makes us happy but we know too well that we lie: obvious, large, mammoth, and hypocritical, name it anything; we lie
We lie that nobody deserves death for mocking another person but when Layla Al Attar, an Iraqi woman, drew a statue of President George Bush Snr. calling him a criminal, President Bill Clinton ordered that she be killed and the missile attack with which America killed her left her daughter blind. But since we lie then this never happened, the only terrorists are the guys on hood who attacked the cartoonists
Why are we so afraid of the truth that we result to lying so much? We make laws that condemn people to death for as much as robbing with a weapon even if such weapons are not used but we lie that nobody deserves to die. Bare face lie, but we lie it anyway. We have learnt hypocrisy the same way we learnt how to breathe and sleep, it has become life to us
How else does one explain people becoming “Charlie” in solidarity with the provocative cartoonists gunned down in Paris for years of pissing off people in their billions? When you are Charlie then you describe catholic women as “cocksuckers”, you describe Jesus as a pig, you describe France’s black Minister of Justice as a Monkey, and you depict the Prophet of Islam, a man so revered Muslims pray for him every time they call his name, naked with a star in the anus spread out among other offensive atrocities I cannot even mention. And what was the goal? Let us hear their Editor in Chief Stéphane "Charb" Charbonnier:
“"We have to carry on until Islam has been rendered as banal (boring and lacking originality) as Catholicism."
When you are Charlie Hebdo you piss off billions of people and act surprise when 3 of them shot you dead
Even the President of France whose successor is now playing to the gallery had this to say when Charlie Hebdo first republished the Danish cartoon in 2006:
“Anything that can hurt the convictions of another, particularly religious convictions, must be avoided. Freedom of expression must be exercised in a spirit of responsibility. I condemn all manifest provocation that might dangerously fan passions, these events have stressed the importance of combining freedom of expression with respect for religious beliefs." (President Chirac, See BBC’s “Chirac warns media over cartoons” Published Wednesday, 8 February 2006, 17:12 GMT)
Today his successor pretends as if he did not see that what he described as irresponsible dangerous provocations that fan passion will lead to a gunshot 9 years later when it persisted and got worse. We just fear the truth and it is unfortunate
What a lot of people do not know because a lot of other people dare not say is that Charlie Hebdo Magazine did no start as Charlie Hebdo, it started as Hara-Kiri Hebdo Magazine and guess what? It was ban by the same government of France for mocking the death of President De Gaulle. Can you imagine this level of hypocrisy? You say let people “speak” freely and lie and mock and assassinate the character of a man who lived over a thousand years ago and whose tradition is followed and respected and strictly so by over a billion people, but at the same time you ban the same magazine from mocking one of your Presidents
There is obviously no space to address the mountain of hypocrisy that the solidarity with the cartoonist who were shot is. In 2009 the same Charlie Hebdo that says it is for freedom of speech sacked one of its staff Maurice Sinet who has served them for 20 years for saying “He’ll go a long way in life, that little lad.” When he spoke about the President’s son who was rumoured to want to convert to Judaism. Charlie Hebdo called this offensive, anti-semitism, racial hatred, among other strong language but it cartooned the Prophet Muhammad crying and saying it is hard to be loved by idiots (“Muslims”). The same people who find no problem mocking Prophet Muhammad, Jesus, Chibok girls, and respected Nuns who they described referring to oral sex.
The French Government had problem with free speech before, then they didn’t, and then when Comedian Dieudonné M’bala made a facebook post saying “Tonight, as far as I’m concerned, I feel like Charlie Coulibaly.”, the French government ran back to having problem with free speech and they arrested Dieudonné because they “think” the post is a mockery of the atheist cartoonist
How about the hypocrisy and fear of the truth that made world leaders go on the street in protest of solidarity with these cartoonists whereas they did not go on the street neither did they suggest it when Eric Garner was strangled to death for being black by the Police in the streets of New York and his cry of “I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe” did not elicit sympathy, he was strangled until he died for allegedly selling cigarette stick by stick without tax. All of these after many other cases the same period and bitter years of slavery and nobody in the name of a world leader walked the streets
This was one hypocrisy too many the Pope could not agree to join; he had to make it clear that if you as much as insult his mother he is going to punch you in the face. He did not just say this, he did not just say he will punch a random stranger in the face when he insults his mother, he said he will punch his own friend in the face for insulting his mother! Maybe President Hollande will also play to the gallery and arrest the Pope for “supporting terrorism” when next the Pope comes to France.
We are glad this statement was not made by a Muslim leader the world would have been on fire by now with everyone condemning the comment in the strongest words their speech writers can discover
Lastly, I think the “problem” of violence against those who insult the Prophet of Islam has a solution and the solution is simply: DO NOT DO IT.
A person needs to do a paternity test if someone cartoons his father with another man’s private part in his mouth and he is not provoked. For those who claim tolerance we say let us test your tolerance level; get us a picture of your father and mother doing the lawful and let us publish it in just one street and see how tolerant you will be. You see, if these cartoonists wrote or spoke about Prophet Muhammad in a derogatory way they would have been speaking French hence billions of people won’t hear. But this is not speaking but pictures; damaging and defaming to a man who is not around to defend himself. So we ask, when you defame a man who is alive he sues you to court for defamation, when you defame a dead man how do you expect a legal response?
Prophet Muhammad is worth more than a father and a mother to over a billion people. If you piss off over a billion people over and over again so much so that your President called it ‘irresponsible dangerous provocation of passion’, there is the likelihood that just 2 or 3 of them will attack you and there is even the likelihood that a court will dismiss this as a Crime of Passion. The maths have not change with government and weather, 1,000,000,000 minus 3 is still 999,999,997 who should not apologise because they have respected human lives so much they don’t cartoon dead people as homosexuals
To the government of France we say that we pray for more security for France. We advise that they make up their mind as to if they are for freedom or not. You cannot be up and down so that when your President is cartooned you ban the magazine but allow the same magazine under another name to cartoon the Prophet of a billion people. To impersonate the President of Tahiti is death sentence, how can mocking the Prophet of over a billion be free speech? How come women are not free to wear a Niqob in your country in expression of love for their faith but cartoonists are free to mock people in expression of hate for their religion. What makes you choose hate over love? I will call this a ‘dangerous provocation of passion’ too if you ask me
The truth should not be so scary. Let those who can speak it do so, let those who are too weak to do so find solace in silence
Eseoghene Al-Faruq Ohwojeheri
Director, Moral Project
(@faruqish)

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