An associate chairman of Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) has expressed disappointment over Charlie Hebdo’s decision to again publish a caricature of Prophet Muhammad on the cover of its latest issue.
“This means Charlie Hebdo’s editors are not smart. They have not taken a cue from the recent incident that has also made their fellows victims,” remarked Slamet Effendy Yusuf, the associate chairman of one of Indonesia’s mainstream Islamic organizations.
Indeed, the attack on the French satirical magazine’s office in France was not justifiable and deserved to be called an inhumane act of terrorism, he stated.
However, the “Je Suis Charlie” campaign as a slogan adopted by supporters of free speech and freedom of expression to express solidarity with the publication is also not entirely acceptable, moreover under the concept of freedom of expression, he reiterated.
“It is wrong to generalize all people as Charlie Hebdo. The West must learn to respect the Eastern view that freedom of expression must be implemented with responsibility and empathy towards what others believe,” he noted.
Slamet condemned the attackers of Charlie Hebdo who killed 17 people and called them fools. However, he also said that the editors who decided to continue to publish the latest Charlie Hebdo issue with Prophet Muhammad’s caricature were equally fools.
He emphasized that the West must be able to rectify its behavior. Even in the West, numerous articles have been published emphasizing the importance of implementing freedom of expression with responsibility and morality.
“Freedom of expression must not offer room to insults and abuses on what billions of people in the world consider as holy. The incident will continue to occur if the media continues to adopt this attitude, and the public allows it to continue,” he remarked.
Slamet stated that every form of insult on any religion, be it Judaism or Christianity and holy figures of religion such as Jesus or Mohammad, is not justifiable.
“Moreover, in Islam, visualization of Prophet Muhammad is banned,” he pointed out.
Charlie Hebdo, in its latest issue, has depicted a caricature of Prophet Muhammad on its cover with the words “He Suis Charlie” and the words “Tout East Pardonne” appearing above his white turban that translate to “all is pardoned.”
Nearly three million copies of the issue have, so far, been printed, which is far above the regular number of only 60 thousand, in 16 different languages and will be circulated across 25 countries.
Wed, 14 January 2015