Commentary: Bigotry, arrogance behind freedom of expression by "headstrong" weekly

English.news.cn   2015-01-17 09:36:34

BEIJING, Jan. 17 (Xinhua) -- Charlie Hebdo, the French satirical magazine brutally attacked last week by Islamic extremists, once again published Wednesday its latest edition with a caricature of the Muslim prophet on its cover -- a blasphemous move in the eyes of the Islamic world -- which has triggered outcry and protests in many countries.

Although the international community has strongly condemned the perpetrators and shown universal sympathy to Charlie Hebdo as it lost a number of best-known cartoonists and other staff members in the terrorist attack, the sympathy does not mean a global recognition of the journal's depiction of Prophet Mohammed in its cartoon.

As a matter of fact, it is a common belief of many that the magazine has blasphemed others' religious belief and stepped over the boundaries of freedom of expression.

By resuming publication of satirical cartoons, Charlie Hebdo seems to indicate to others its insistence on the standards of freedom of expression it has upheld.

It has also appeared that the magazine has drawn strength from its unswerving faith supported by at least the European society if not the entire international community.

It it is true that Charlie Hebdo has gained sympathy from the international community after the terrorist attack, its move to publish a caricature of the Muslim prophet on its cover once again in a confrontational manner on Wednesday is probably in overdrawing of such sympathy and support.

This time, a weeping Mohammed appeared on the cover, holding up a sign reading "Je suis Charlie" ("I am Charlie"), under the headline "All is forgiven."

This is another defiant move by the satirical magazine, and also another reflection of bigotry and arrogance of on the part of the Western culture.

The Western society should be fully aware that the so-called "freedom of expression" and "legal standards" of it are applicable only to its own countries, and are not necessary appropriate to other nations or regions.

In other words, isn't it an infringement on others' freedom if some people view their own standards as universal standards and even compel others to accept them?

Undeniably, the West's confrontational and bigoted mindset that has resulted in their arbitrary political and military interference with others has connection with the rampant emergence and spread of terrorism across the world today.

If terrorism is a powder keg, the interventionism and cultural exclusivism practiced by the West, to some extent, is one of the detonators.

In face of the terror attacks in Paris, one of the views that prevails in Western media is that the freedom of expression should be defended at all cost. Yet, Someone in the West uphold standards for civilization that are recognized by themselves only in the style of religious zealots. Isn't this another form of "extremist thinking"?

A civilized society should show inclusiveness, respect differences in culture and ideologies and knows how to mediate societal gaps. And any civilization that tries to deal with cultural differences with defiance and confrontation can not find peace and security it seeks in the first place.

The Western world should reflect on its own ideologies and approaches instead of persisting in executing its confrontational and exclusive approaches when communicating with other civilizations in a world that faces growing danger and threat from growing rampancy of terrorism.

Related:

White House: We should have sent higher-profile official to Paris

WASHINGTON, Jan. 12 (Xinhua) -- Facing a barrage of criticism for President Barack Obama's decision not to attend Sunday's unity march in Paris, the White House admitted on Monday it should have sent a higher-profile official there.

"It is fair to say that we should have sent someone with a higher profile to be there," White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters, stressing the administration's support for France, one of its oldest allies.Full Story

Yemen's al-Qaida claims responsibility for Paris attacks

SANAA, Jan. 14 (Xinhua) -- The Yemen-based al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula claimed responsibility for attacks on Charlie Hebdo and a Jewish supermarket in Paris, in an online video released Wednesday.

"We, the al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), claim responsibility for this operation as a vengeance for the Messenger of Allah," AQAP military leader Nasr al-Anisi said in the 11-minute online video.Full Story

Editor: Yamei Wang
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