We can all agree the terrorist shooting at the Charlie Hebdo headquarters is a devastating tragedy. And because I’m Muslim, I’ll have to work extra hard to convince you I think so. Well I do, and my prayers and solidarity go out to those affected by the attack.
However, I cannot, and will not, pretend that #JeSuisCharlie.
Rather, #JeSuisAhmed, the policeman gunned down in an effort to stop the terrorists. This Tweet sums up my feelings:
Free speech is a beautiful thing. It is the platform where I exercise my right to use this blog. It is the concept I champion everyday, as a young, Afghan, Muslim, American. I exercise it in every second of my being. But convoluting free speech with racist speech can get a little iffy. Charlie Hebdo may hide behind the cloak of “political satire”, but lets get it right: satire has historically been used for the purposes of poking fun at the people on top, those in power, not the marginalized, disenfranchised communities who hold no power. Charlie Hebdo just straight up is xenophobic and racist. What am I talking about here? I’ll show you:
“The sex slaves of Boko Haram are angry. ‘Don’t touch our child benefits!’”
Da f*ck?! Yep, Charlie Hebdo tastefully poked fun at rape victims of a terrorist movement that murder unapologetically. And that’s not the only time they’ve so grossly exercised their “free speech”.
France, stop fronting like you’re all for freedom of expression. You’ve banned headscarves and burqas before. You’re regulating how people dress…so puhleeeeez, shut the f*ck up with that bullshit.
Hollywood, it’s super cute that a couple of your celebrities are standing in solidarity too, but y’all censor ya movies day in and day out, and almost banned Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz for openly criticizing the Israeli government for last summers massacre in Palestine.
Charlie Hebdo, why do you say you equally make fun of all races and religions, but you fired veteran French cartoonist Maurice Sinet in 2008 for an anti-Semitic remark?
That’s why I’m Ahmed. Ahmed the Muslim cop. These lame ass extremists use our religion to perpetuate their violence, and it’s us sane Muslims who sacrifice ourselves in the end: our dignity at the airports, our pride when we’re the butt of jokes, our mental health when we read what “experts” have to say on Islam on TV, online, WHEREVER.
Ahmed’s death is symbolic of the battle all Muslims face, in a world that constantly aims to marginalize, vilify, and blame us for the work of a couple crazy mofos.
Big ass difference between “free speech” and “hate speech”, so while we all mourn the victims of this horrible attack, lets reevaluate what kind of principle’s we’re defending when we state, “Je Suis Charlie”.