Cambridge University Professor: “Scorning the Prophet is an act of violence.”

Cambridge Professor and British Muslim theologian, Abdul Hakim Murad (Timothy Winters), argues that the Paris attacks were the acts of criminals with troubled pasts and little religious knowledge, and have been condemned by a rare show of unity among Muslim leaders in France and worldwide. Globally, Muslims admit that such lawlessness is an increasing worry. No significant Muslim scholar supports the radicals in Iraq and Syria, but some young people simply pay no heed. In an age of individualism, angry minds tend to ignore established religious leaders.

But, he states, there is more at stake here. Charlie Hebdo, like the Danish magazine Jyllands-Posten several years ago, did not simply publish images of the Prophet. That, on its own, would probably have occasioned little comment. The difficulty lay in the evident intention to mock, deride and wound. To portray the Prophet naked, or with a bomb in his turban, was not the simple manufacturing of a graven image. It was received, and rightly so, as a deliberate insult to an already maligned and vulnerable community. Mosque burnings and a raft of legal disadvantages are increasingly a fact of life for Muslims in Europe.

The English legal tradition recognises not only the right to free speech, but the right to protection from agonising insult, slander and abuse. In the case of vulnerable minorities that legal concern seems particularly appropriate. It is also in line with the tolerant and courteous national character.

The Charge of a Former ‘Charlie Hebdo’ against Charb

In a recent interview with L’Obs, retired journalist Delfeil de Ton, who was a member of the first Charlie Hebdo team, stated: “He [Charb] was the leader. What need was there for him to lead the team into this game of one-upmanship?”
In a recent interview with L’Obs, retired journalist Delfeil de Ton, who was a member of the first Charlie Hebdo team, stated: “He [Charb] was the leader. What need was there for him to lead the team into this game of one-upmanship?”
In a recent interview with L’Obs, retired journalist Delfeil de Ton, who was a member of the first Charlie Hebdo team, stated: “He [Charb] was the leader. What need was there for him to lead the team into this game of one-upmanship?” He cited the repeated caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad, notably one from 2012 whose title “Mohammad: a star is born” he found to be particularly disturbing.

Delfeil de Ton mentioned similar comments made by Wolinski following the firebombing in 2011. “I think we are all reckless idiots who took a useless risk. That’s all. We thought we were invincible. For years, decades even, we provoked, and then, one day, our provocations turned against us. It didn’t need to happen,” said Wolinski. “It wasn’t necessary to do, and Charb did it,” said Defeil de Ton.

“Charb hasn’t even been buried. It’s not the time for polemics,” said Richard Malka. “L’Obs can’t find anything better to do than to publish a spiteful and polemical paper [about Charb,]” said the deceased cartoonist’s lawyer.

Islamic Institute for Advanced Studies Condemns Barbaric Violence

“The members of the Islamic Institute for Advanced Studies, French citizens of Muslim faith, express their horror and indignation following the abominable attack against the journalists at Charlie Hebdo, which caused many deaths and injuries. They express their compassion for the victims, and address their most sincerest condolences to the families affected. They wholly and unequivocally condemn this barbaric violence.

While everything suggests, unfortunately, that those responsible for the killings claim to act in the name of Islam, the members of IHEI wish to reaffirm that no crime can legitimately claim faith in God alone. This is intolerance, ignorance and violence that use Islam, as well as other religions, as a means for personal vengeance against society, or for combat between imagined and constructed identities, both being very far removed from the faith. With all that has occurred, French and European Muslims are trying to understand how such exploitation has become possible by doing all they can to promote comprehension of Islam as a religion of understanding and love.

In conclusion, the members of the IHEI are worried by the current climate where violence committed in the name of Islam justifies all misinterpretations of the religion. They call on their fellow citizens to break from this vicious cycle where the fear of some feeds on the fear of others. The members of the IHEI wish to reaffirm their participation in national solidarity during this mourning period. They will continue without respite, as they have done for years, to weave links between people and cultures that allows us to live together in harmony, despite our differences, in a peaceful and constructive manner, and with respect for the laws of the Republic.”

Islamic Institute for Advanced Studies

German Muslim Organizations denounce Charlie Hebdo attack [Collected Press Releases]

Muslim organizations across Germany denounced Wednesday's massacre at French satirical magazine "Charlie Hebdo"'s offices in Paris.
Muslim organizations across Germany denounced Wednesday’s massacre at French satirical magazine “Charlie Hebdo”‘s offices in Paris.

Several Muslim organizations and umbrella associations in Germany have condemned the brutal killings in Paris. The organizations emphasized that they unreservedly stand against terrorism committed in the name of Islam and distanced themselves from the suspects as well as their ideological backdrop. Alongside offering commiserations to the families and friends of the victims, they not only stated that this horrific act is an assault on humanity in large and the values of Islam, but invoked the importance of freedom of speech, dialogue, solidarity and rapprochement. Given the anti-Muslim sentiments and the Pegida demonstrations in Germany, they warned from an exploitation of these events by right wing groups and a possible Islamophobic backlash.


The Islamic Shi’i Society in Germany

The Liberal Islamic Association

The Central Council of Muslims in Germany

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Germany

Coordinating Council of Muslims


Reactions to Charlie Hebdo in the Arab World “not so black and white.”

In the wake of the horrific attack on the staff of Charlie Hebdo in Paris on 7 January, Islamic associations and imams across Europe have condemned the killings. So too have politicians and religious dignitaries across the Islamic world. But, says Karim El-Gawhary in Cairo, for some people in the Arab world, things are not quite so black-and-white. [Read more from Qantara here.]

French mosques targeted following Charlie Hebdo attack

Hours after the attack at the Charlie Hebdo office, two mosques were the target of firearms and grenades in Mans and Port-la-Nouvelle. The next day, an explosion occurred near a mosque in Villefranche-sur-Saône. There are no reported victims.

In Port-la-Nouvelle several shots were fired in the direction of the local mosque’s prayer room nearly one hour after prayers were finished. The room was empty at the time. According to the local police department the weapon used was a small pistol.

In Mans, three grenades were launched at a mosque. Only one grenade exploded in a small courtyard. The blast caused no major damage.

In Villefranche-sur-Saône an explosion was reported in front of a halal stand whose front was blown off. A source reported that it was the result of a “criminal act.” The city’s mayor Bernard Perrut said “it’s most likely linked to the current situation.” The stand is run by locals who regularly attend the city’s mosque. “Such a situation is worrying and upsetting,” said Perrut.

In Poitiers, graffiti was found on the door of a mosque and promptly removed. There is no information about the suspect or their motivations. “We feared this might happen,” said the mosque’s imam Boubaker Al Hadj Amor, “It’s why we reactivated surveillance. In addition to video surveillance was have two people who make rounds. They did not see the perpetrator. We think it must have happened after they left, around four in the morning.”

Workers building a mosque in Bischwiller also found graffiti on the mosque with the words “Ich bin Charlie” on one of the outside walls. The Franco-Turkish Cultural Association, who is directing the project, condemned the act.

Deputy Prime Minister Asscher: “No changed opinion on Muslims.”

Deputy Prime Minister Asscher has not changed his opinion on Muslims after the attack on Charlie Hebdo. “We know there are Muslims who use their faith and commit crimes, and we also know there are Muslims who condemn such deeds.”

He was present at a protest in Amsterdam against the attack to be solidairity with journalists risking their lives, while stating their opinions.

“Not in Our Name” – Muslims respond on Twitter in revulsion to Charlie Hebdo massacre

The Muslim Council of France, and of Britain, have denounced today’s attack on the offices of Charlie Hebdo. The imam of the mosque of Paris, Dalil Boubakeur, has said:

“This is a thunderous declaration of war. The times have changed. We’re entering a new phase of this confrontation… we are horrified by the brutality and the savagery”

But many Muslims have taken to Twitter to denounce this act personally and claim that it is not an act of Islam.

Dutch Foundation of Journalists (NVJ): “French attacks violent assault on journalism”

Thomas Bruning, the general secretary of the Dutch Foundation of Journalists (Nederlandse Vereniging van Journalisten), has stated to be “completely perplexed” by the attacks on the editorial staff of the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo in Paris. “It is a violent assault on journalism. Never before have I experienced that journalists, so close to home, have become target.”

Dutch Islam critics should “remain vigilant.”

According to terrorism experts Halim el Madkouri and Edwin Bakker Islam critics in the Netherlands should be aware of a possible attack. El Madkouri says that the Islamic cleric  and philosopher Ibn Taymiyya (13th century) is the source of inspiration for many jihadis and he wrote that everyone who insults the prophet should be punished by death.

Bakker, director International Centre for Counter-Terrorism (ICCT), says that a lot of Dutch people do not realize that compromising with those kind of people is not possible. According  to him, we should prepare ourselves for a clash, were our views of how a society should work don’t correlate with each other.

The National Coordinator counter-Terrorism and Safety (NCTV) is watching the situation in the Netherlands carefully, but the threat level has remains unchanged: there is a realistic change of an attack, but there are no acute threats.