On 16 October, a Chechen boy, who was born in Moscow, killed a teacher and injured three others in Paris. The suspect was shot down by the police at the spot. Soon after the killing, the police claimed and the media reported that the teacher Samuel Paty was killed because he had shown a vulgar cartoon of Prophet Mohammed in his class. According to reports, the teacher had shown the vulgar cartoon to the students after asking Muslims students to leave the class.
The killing of the teacher is a reprehensible act and has been condemned by all sections of the society including Muslims. Even showing the vulgar cartoon of the prophet was an outrageous act but the killing in the name of the prophet is not justified. Muslims in France and from across the world have condemned the killing of teacher. However, there are few things which need to be deliberated over regarding the issue.
First, how did the authorities in France attribute the killing to the cartoon of the prophet? How did the authorities come to know that the motivation behind killing the teacher was the cartoon itself as the suspect Abdullakh Anzorov was already shot dead? While attributing the killing to the cartoon, the authorities as well as the media reports did not offer any piece of evidence which suggested that the teacher was killed because he had shown vulgar cartoon. Without any evidence and investigation, Islamobhobic President of France Emauel Macron called the killing ‘Islamic terrorism’.
Then, the vile and hateful outrage ensued directing agains Islam and Muslims in France as well as in other countries including India. The entire outrage was aimed to target Muslims and Islam in a hateful manners despite the fact that Muslims across the world condemned the killing. France, which is already believed to be one of the most Islamophobic countries in the world, got another stick to target Muslims and Islam. 10 Million Population of Muslims in France are already being targeted by the authorities and the society for their religious beliefs and practices. The government is bringing in the controversial laws for depriving Muslim of their religious rights. This killing of the teacher will further add fuel to the fire.
Most recently, Macron made controversial comments about Islam and unveiled his plans to fight ‘Islamic separatism’. Islamic separatism is a euphemism to target French Muslims. The government would present a bill which will target Muslims for practicing their religious faith and impose restrictions on mosques and school related to Muslims. The latest killing of the teacher in the name of Prophet Mohammed can also be seen in this context. It is yet to come out with evidence that what was the actual reason behind killing? Who all are behind 17-year-old killer? How can a 17-year-old boy plan to carry out such killing? Is this killing a plot to justify the targeting of Muslims by the French government? The kind of statements which are being made by the ministers in France gives clue that the government was waiting to happen any such attack to justify their crackdown against Muslims. The way, the government is cracking down against Muslims and mosques suggests that the authorities got an excuse to persecute Muslims.
The way Islamophobes generally express their outrage on such killings also suggests that they have problem with Islam and Muslim itself rather than killing. They hardly take critical look on such incidents and ascertain facts regarding the incidents. But they start abusing Islam and Muslims and demand from every Muslim to condemn the killing. They try to shame Muslims for their belief. Such demands are made only from Muslims. Many Muslims are killed, attacked and targeted because of their religious identity by white supremacists. No such outrage as happened in the case of teacher’s killing takes place in those incidents. The religion of white people is not abused and no one asked every white people to condemn act. No one terms those incidents as ‘terror act’. For example, days after the killing of teacher in Paris, two Muslim women were stabbed repeatedly in front of their children by a white woman calling them ‘dirty Arabs’. Forget about outrage, the French media outlet did not even report the incident. The authorities did not make information public about the incident. It came to light only days after the incident when a British news outlet reported the incident. This double standard towards killings is a telling point that they have actually no problem with the killing itself but they have problem with Islam itself.
The second example is from India itself. The killing of teacher received a lot of outrage in India too. A section of left-liberals and Sanghi brigade have created a lot of hue and cry on the killing in Paris. But days before the incident of Paris, in Gujarat a Dalit lawyer was killed by a Brahmin man because the lawyer wrote against Brahmins on Facebook. The incident is more or less similar to Paris incident. In Paris, it was suspected that the teacher was killed because of the cartoon. In Gujarat, the lawyer was killed because of the Facebook posts. But the difference between both incidents is that the Paris incident received massive worldwide outrage while the Gujarat incident was no point of discussion even in India. There was complete silence on the incident even though the police found in its investigation that the lawyer was killed for his anti-Brahmin facebook posts. No one abused Brahmins and their religion as people were abusing Muslims and Islam.
The problem with such outrage on such killings is that they are selective against Muslim and Islam. The intention of the outrage is to shame Muslims and Islam rather than killing itself. The second problem with the outrage that people start defending the spread of hatred and the abuses in the name of Freedom of expression. The drawing of vulgar cartoon of the prophet is the abusing of him. No civilization can defend the abuse of people. When people face abuse from somebody in his/her personal life, they react in a very angry manner. They even resort to violence against the abuser. How can they defend the abuse of the Prophet, who is revered by millions of people?