A provocative publication in 2005 by a Danish paper, that prompted a deadly attack in 2015 is offensively republished by a French satirical magazine; Charlie Hebdo. Though the magazine claims their act as a loud clear message of not being afraid by any attack, but minorities living in France are taking it as offensive treatment against race, ethnicity and religion, and stable minds considering it a confrontational anti-peace act. Charlie Hebdo has long history of skewering diverse subjects across the political spectrum and had also long been accused by detractor of recklessly publishing material considered racist and anti-Muslim. The republication of content having profanity simply seem to be seeking quick worldwide publicity. Otherwise no sane mind can certainly think of any sensible reason to reproducing those cartoons that were already published and caused nothing but animosity.  As the French magazine claims to be satirical, but there is no sarcasm, there is no originality, and there is no actuality; that are fundamental components of being satirical. The reprint obviously reveals vicious intent to produce hate, make some happy and hurt many.  We must not forget these venomous drawings were appeared in Denmark that tried to inject hatred against Islam and her followers. Those depictions published in Danish paper were not witty, they were not satirical but were purely aimed to create hate against Muslim community.

Publication houses like Carlie Hebdo, rationalize their profane content and safeguard themselves behind freedom of speech.  Indeed, Freedom of speech is a principle that supports the freedom of an individual or a community to articulate their opinions and ideas without fear of retaliation, censorship, or legal sanction. And in fact Freedom of expression is recognized as a human right under article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. But at the same time in Europe, blasphemy is a limitation to free speech. Justifications for limitations to freedom of speech refers to the “harm principle” or the “offence principle”. Harm principle holds that actions of individuals should only be limited to prevent harm to other individuals.  John Stuart Mill articulated this principle in On Liberty, where he argued that “The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others”. And Charlie Hebdo caused the harm to the emotions of 1.8 billion adherents of Islam, making up about 24.1% of the world population. Isn’t the magazine stand guilty? John Stuart Mill argues that the fullest liberty of expression is required to push arguments to their logical limits, rather than the limits of social embarrassment. Which logical discourse has been generated by re-publishing sacrilegious material, instead a social disturbance is triggered? Joel Feinberg; another renowned American political legal philosopher argues that the harm principle sets the bar too high and that some forms of expression can be legitimately prohibited by law because they are very offensive. But, as offending someone is less serious than harming someone, the penalties imposed should be higher for causing harm. Isn’t defaming and disrespecting someone loved by billions an offensive act?

Though French president has registered his reactions against these republications but these reactions are not sufficient to balance the accounts with the pain Muslim’s have received. It is important that how French respond to these republications those were already done in a Danish newspaper that got nothing to do with the historical facts but caused pain and agony among the second largest community in the world. French diplomats in Muslim states have to deliberately and openly dismiss Charlie Hebdo’s act of incitement.  They have to register the discomfort brought to Muslim and should become advocate of the community. General public in France must raise their voice to rebuff such elements in society that spur loathing and repugnance between citizens of the world. There are people who can look into the matter forensically and they will never support such act of wickedness. Even sensible non- Muslim minds could not rationalise Charlie’s Hebdo’s hate spreading intention.  French people have to give a shut-up call to such freedom of speech that pokes into others territory. The ideological trespass has to be severely discouraged. France has a wide range of anti-hate legislation available and in fact considering the entire horrendous saga these problems could be solved if simple laws were executed through which peace disturbing freedom of speech could be discouraged and that would have helped in circumcising criminal act.

OIC on other hand still appears to be incapacitated to compel and influence the western world regarding sensitivity of the matter. OIC is a result of huge alliance among Muslim countries with a purpose to protect the large Muslim community from any tyrannical actions and exploitations; physical or non-physical, by non-Muslims. Is this alliance just symbolically existing and the spirit is departed? Is OIC unable to raise voice as a unanimous unit of Muslims of the world?

Where does UN stand? Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) 1976 obliges signatory countries to guarantee everyone the right to hold opinions without restriction and to guarantee the right to freedom of expression. Paragraph 3 of article 19 also identifies certain restrictions to freedom expression that are both necessary and provided by law to safeguard the reputations of others, for the protection of national security or of public order, or of public health or morals and furthermore article 20 obligates countries to prohibit advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence. Why UN is not executing her own articles, and at least write a displeasure to the Govt. of France? If actions like of Charlie Hebdo’s are not dismayed legally and socially, then imagining a better world is just a fallacy. We got to side one, either profanity or sanity.