As the world comes to terms with the shocking events that transpired within the offices of Charlie Hebdo, France; the grotesque head of Islamophobia rises within France as mosques have become the targets of attacks. As no wanton murder can be condoned, the horrific incident in Paris has uncovered not an attack on freedom of speech but rather the tattered fabric of French democracy.
Mainstream media has failed to accurately reflect the true context of the attacks, whether false flag or otherwise. Absent from media reports is the fact that Charlie Hebdo caricatures of the most revered figure in Islam, the Prophet Muhammed PBUH, was depicted in the most obscene manner i.e. nude.
As the western world laments the attack on freedom of speech and expression, conveniently shunted to the periphery is uneven application of this right within France. The banning of the face veil is the most publicised violation of the individual right to freedom of speech and expression.
The attacks on the offices of Charlie Hebdo; as horrific and merciless as they were, is merely a symptom. It is therefore vital for the French government to address the root cause which is the failure to apply democratic values evenly and to embrace the very essence of democracy. The essence of democracy being a society governed by equality, mutual respect and dignity.
Zaakir Ahmed Mayet
Chairman of the Media Review Network (South Africa)
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