The terrorists who shot and killed 12 people going about their business in their Paris office committed a terrible crime. They violated all human principles and ethical values and deserve to be caught and tried for their disgusting acts. French police have issued arrest warrants for Cherif Kouachi and his brother Saeed who were described as “armed and dangerous”. These two Muslim French citizens stormed into the office of the Charlie Hebdo magazine and gunned down its staff in the middle of an editorial meeting, while shouting Islamist slogans and claiming to be from Al Qaida.
It is very important that their atrocious acts are not categorised as anything to do with the true message of Islam as followed by hundreds of millions of people around the world and millions in France. Al Azhar University in Cairo, Islam’s leading centre of learning, called the attack “criminal” and said “Islam denounces any violence”. The UAE joined many other Muslim states in strongly condemning the heinous terrorist attack and emphasised its solidarity towards its friends in France at this critical time and expressed its condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations as a phenomenon that targets global security and stability. The UAE added that such appalling criminal acts require cooperation and solidarity at all levels to eradicate this menace, which seeks to spread destruction, chaos and to destabilise security and stability.
Such forthright and widespread Muslim condemnation of the attacks comes with the full knowledge of the content of Charlie Hebdo, which is a satirical magazine that sets out to shock and often succeeds in offending its targets. It had recently published cartoons of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) that were certainly offensive to many Muslims. But that is no reason to kill anyone, nor to commit any such act of gross violence.
In case of any breach of law, the remedy is to go to the court. France follows the European tradition of venerating free speech and that is an integral part of living in a multicultural society in which tolerance is a vital component. The terrible perversion of religion that these two deluded characters seek to follow has nothing to do with such a healthy society — and nothing to do with Islam.