Every time I look at the news or social media I am inundated with "I am Charlie" support banners. It has quickly become a slogan that has hit a nerve with many people and is quickly becoming synonymous with 'freedom of speech.'
Paris and the world are coming to grip with another terrorist attack people are rallying behind this controversial newspaper.
What is Charlie Hebdo
To be honest before 7 January 2015 terrorist attack, I had never heard of the Charlie Hebdo Newspaper, but due to circumstance it is hard not to find out about this little paper. 'Charlie' is a left wing weekly French satirical newspaper that publishes articles, cartoons and propaganda about anything on religion, politics, culture, the extreme right, etc.
In support of the 12 people barbarically killed in the Charlie Magazine on 7 January, a new hashtag has come out #jesuischarlie. People are rallying behind this to show their support for freedom of speech, for the people killed and for a stance against fundamentalism Islam.
I am not Charlie
I want to come out and say that "I am not Charlie!" Do not count me as one of the millions of supporters. The material that this left wing newspaper puts out goes completely against my Christian values and frankly makes a mockery of freedom of speech.
The magazine is known for its "satirical" content, and they have published dozens of cartoons that mock Muhammad and other religious figures, including one cover that depicts the Holy Trinity (the Father, Son and Holy Spirit) engaged in vile anal sex. They believe it is their duty to criticize religion and to "fearlessly disrespect it." It makes a mockery of religion, politics, and anything else that doesn't fall in line with what they believe.
This newspaper does not represent all of us in the West who believe in true freedom of speech.
The president of France as well as other international political figures have spoken publicly against this newspaper before the attacks. So why support them now? Yes support the families of the those killed but not what this newspaper stands for.
I see this newspaper abusing the very freedoms that many men and women fought to protect. They call it freedom of speech and I call it racism, bullying, lack of integrity and respect as well as attacking religious and political beliefs.
As a Christian I am a firm believer in freedom of religion, beliefs, speech, schooling and thought. But I am not a supporter of people who make fun of one's religion, nationality, political spectrum or sexual orientation. I do not tolerate very well people that make fun of people or ridicule people for their personal beliefs. I believe that people should be respected for their beliefs.
Even though I do not believe in Allah, or his prophet Muhammad, I do not believe that someone should have the audacity to take something that is considered so holy and sacred and demean it. We wonder why fundaments are mad. We taunt it under freedom of expression but yet it is ridicule. I will not be walking to support a racist newspaper.
When did Freedom of Speech give you the right to attack or make fun of anyone who doesn't believe the same as you do?
How do we show our support against terrorism?
The weekly edition of Charlie that will be published and released a week after the terrorist attack is already going to contain a republishing of a very offensive Mohammed cartoon that has stirred much anger and controversy, on the front cover. I can tell you that this isn't the way we are going to stop terrorism or extremism.
The way we are going to "win" against Fundamental Islam is by not making more cartoons about their prophet, or making fun of their religion. The way we are going to see a turning point is when we exercise our Freedom of Speech and go and make friends with Muslims, make friends with people who are new to our country , make friends with people who don't believe in the same things you do and show them the love of Christ, share Christ with them. Be Jesus to them, be the good neighbour. When we are there living amongst them and being a true light we will see change.
This week 12 people were killed in a newspaper terrorist plot, but also in Nigeria a 10 year old girl became a suicide bomber and killed 20, and another few hundred were killed by Boko Haram. Terrorism is real and we need to unite and stand against it. We should march and we should unite but not under the banner of an 'extremist' newspaper.
Let us unite for a common cause, let us show the religious fundamentalists that they are not going to win by terror. Let us do something radical: let's unite and love our neighbour as our self and love our enemy as our self. I will not spread hate, I choose love! #truefreedomisfoundinJesusalone
Genevieve Wilson is a happily married stay at home, home-schooling mum of 3, whose passion is to see people come to know Jesus. She worked 8 years as a missionary with Youth with a Mission(YWAM). She has a heart for justice and to see the abolition of the modern day slave trade.
Genevieve Wilson's previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/genevieve-wilson.html