Charlie Hebdo: Freedom of expression or violation of vivid rights?

Tehran, Sept 12, IRNA – The dark deed of France’s Charlie Hendo to republish the cartoon blasphemous to Great Prophet of Islam under guise of freedom of expression violated the international law and hurt sentiments of Muslims, a typical example of violation of human rights.

Charlie Hebdo has published the cartoons blasphemous to Prophet Mohammad [PBUH] for the second time after 2015 – a move whose justifications has been freedom of speech, while according to the international law, blaspheming other people’s beliefs is by no means freedom of speech.

Charlie Hebdo’s move shows West’s indifference to the International Law, most of which have passed by West’s persistence.  What’s more, the West have always had double standards for such matters.

For example, according to The Telegraph on 27 January 2009, Charlie Hebdo fired its former columnist, Maurice Sinet, for his “anti-Semitic” commentary about the son of Nicolas Sarkozy, the former French president. This is while all religions are respected and insulting them is condemned.

Charlie Hebdo’s move caused a wave of reactions by Muslims and non-Muslims. Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei emphasized, “The excuse of freedom of expression made by some French politicians in order not to condemn this grave crime is completely unacceptable, wrong and demagogic.”

In defending Charlie Hebdo for having committed the wrong deed, French President Emmanuel Macron had used the concepts of freedom of expression and “the right to blasphemy”.

On the International Day Commemorating the Victims of Violence Based on Religious Belief, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said, "The right to freedom of religion or belief is firmly entrenched in international human rights law and is a cornerstone for inclusive, prosperous, and peaceful societies.”

Having double standards regarding issues like human rights and freedom of speech on the part of the West is nothing new. However, the international community should not allow such moves in total disregard of the International Law and hurts followers of a religion be repeated.

Translated by: Hossein Abolqassemi

Edited by: Safar Sarabi

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