This week, French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo was attacked by masked gunmen and 12 people murdered. The gunmen used religious slogans and speech in order to make it obvious that they were Muslim and that they chose to attack Charlie Hebdo’s office because of satirical cartoons criticizing many religions including Islam, the Islamic Prophet Muhammad, Islamic states, and similar geopolitical issues.
Below is my reaction to these murderers and their attempt to silence dissent.
To the terroristic murderers:
You may be Muslims; but not for a moment do I believe you represent all Muslims. You may be French; but you certainly don’t represent all French people. In the same way that you are human beings and do not represent all human beings. And, because you are people like me, the responsibility for this bad act falls on your head and I stand with everyone else in the expectation that you will be found, tried for your crime, and preferably imprisoned for it.
Do not for a moment think that you’ve scared me as a writer into not criticizing what I find problematic in the world—and that does still include Islam, in whole or in part. I am not afraid of you; I am disgusted.
You cannot defend a sacred idea in this era by committing murder.
I do not take seriously your religion because of what you did; instead, I take seriously your acts of murder.
I will remember you as people who committed horrific acts in the name of a religion, and the people you killed as artists who tried to bring the world’s attention to afflictions very similar to what you’ve done.