Saima Sheikh: Charlie Hebdo anniversary image is poor use of free speech

Thursday marked the anniversary of the barbaric attack on Charlie Hebdo office in Paris. It is a somber anniversary. My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Paris who have suffered many tragedies in the past year.

Charlie Hebdo has released its anniversary cover featuring a cartoon depicting “God” with blood and a gun under the headline: “One year on: the assassin is still out there.” They are apparently attacking all religions. As always, they are protected under freedom of speech.

As an American Ahmadi Muslim, I recognize that everyone has a legal right to free speech, but with that right comes a great responsibility. Why do editors at Charlie Hebdo feel that free speech can be used as an excuse to insult Islam or any religion by drawing caricatures of Prophet Muhammad, or Jesus, or other religious figures? Why is it that Charlie Hebdo and other outlets can claim freedom of speech when they insult Islam or Prophet Muhammad but are outraged if someone else prints anti-Semite or racial comments? Why the double standard? It seems to me that these news outlets raise freedom of speech when it suits their purpose (to sell more newspapers).

Read original article on Dallas Morning News

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