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What is Je Suis Charlie?

7th January is considered as one of the darkest days in the French history as 12 people lost their lives in an attack at the Paris office of Charlie Hebdo a famous French satirical magazine. The death toll includes murder of four leading cartoonists of the paper and other staff members along with Stéphane Charbonnier, the editor of Charlie Hebdo who had Charb as his pen name. The ghastly incident also killed one Muslim cop and common men who unfortunately visited the office.

The controversial magazine had received many threats for its publication. They got the first threat in 2011 when they published a cartoon of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) that hurt the Muslim sentiments around the globe. Even after receiving a number of threats the magazine continued making fun of not only Islam but different faiths in the name of freedom of speech. Even the French Government tried to warn and hold the magazine but the policies of Charlie Hebdo didn’t change. The gunmen that carried out the 7th January carnage, made it very obvious that they did not plan a suicide attempt but their only mission was to gun down all the important people of the magazine.The magazine was keen to promote freedom of press through their satirical cartoons that did not go well with extremist. Schools located near Chaelie Hebdo’s office were evacuated immediately after the news of the attack.

“Je Suis Charlie” is a French slogan which means “I Am Charlie”. It was introduced in a peace rally in Paris which was organized to show solidarity to the victims. The protest that was initially started by the relatives of the victims gathered 1.6 million people from different corners of Paris to record their grief. Not only in Paris but many rallies were carried out in different cities of France in support of Paris rally to condemn the attacks that took place on 7th – 9th January in three different places of Paris. Total 3.7 million people were on the streets condemning the attacks with the play cards stating ‘Je Suis Charlie’. Among these protestants were 40 world leaders who came to Paris from different countries to join hands with French against bloodshed and attack on freedom of speech. But unfortunately nobody stood against the bloodshed of 135 children in Peshawar attack, nobody raised their voice against Syrian killing and nobody joined hands for Palestinian people against Israel bloodshed.

Well we should always stand for what is right, bloodshed can never be justified in Islam no matter how big the matter was. But as a Pakistani after witnessing such a massive protest in Paris, we should only ask one question to ourselves.

If the murder of 17 people can make the whole world united than why is Pakistan still divided? As a Muslim I want to ask ‘Je Suis Charlie’ why not ‘Je Suis Palestine’? Think about it!





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