Hizb ut Tahrir Britain has condemned the decision by some media to republish Charlie Hebdo’s insulting cartoons attacking the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).
The BBC, the Guardian and the Independent have republished the Charlie Hebdo front page which once again gratuitously attacks Muslim sensibilities.
Taji Mustafa, Media Representative of Hizb ut-Tahrir in Britain, said: “There is nothing principled about republishing cartoons that grossly insult and offend a minority community that has been singled out by politicians and media for collective punitive treatment. There is nothing brave when newspapers that ordinarily live in fear of libel lawyers target a community.
“Free speech is supposed to hold a ‘sacred place’ in Western societies because of the need to account those in power and prevent the excesses of the state.
“What the press call their ‘freedom to insult’ has simply become a tool to bully and persecute a minority community – with a rise in far right and anti-Muslim sentiment across Europe. This collective act of incitement to hate is a reversion to type for an industry that has in the past smeared black people and Jews and Muslims across the world in the colonial past.
“Anyone who thinks the right to insult others lays the foundations for a socially cohesive society is deluded. Promoting mockery and disrespect through the derision of other members of society simply leads to hatred, division and distrust, even if they tolerate each other at face value.
“Of course it is worth remembering that every society has limits to ‘freedom’ – and in Britain, that limit is applied to Muslims who are not free to express political or religious views without being referred to the Channel Project under the Prevent Strategy.
“Islam has no issues with critique or criticism, but holds no brief for insulting any of the Prophets of God, starting from Prophet Adam, to Prophets Moses and Jesus and Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon them all). For Muslims, this is a red line issue. This principled approach perhaps explains why historically, Jews fled from Europe to the Muslim world for sanctuary.
“This juncture in UK politics provides clear evidence that all attempts by the government to get the Muslim community to give up its values have failed . Integration, community cohesion and the Prevent strategy have and will continue to fail. These failures have now seen a new low, the hurling of insults at the core beliefs of the Muslim community.
“Nowadays, the Muslim community is being pushed to adopt ‘British values’ – values that cannot deal with minorities without bullying and policing their thoughts. It is therefore not surprising that the Muslim community rejects them as they have no intellectual substance. The greater the attacks on the noble Prophet, the more the Muslim community will embrace his honour.
“We continue to wait for anyone willing to engage in mature, honest debate and intellectual discussion if anyone can rise above cheap insults, lies and false narratives.”