Thanks to the internet, the whole world knows of the terrorist attacks in France. Charlie Hebdo is a non-conformist weekly that contains cartoons, news, polemics and jokes.
Charlie Hebdo (“hebdo” is short for hebdomadaire, weekly. “Charlie” comes from “Charlie Brown,” the main character in the comic strip Peanuts) is full of satire, ridicule and sarcasm. The satire is aimed at right-wing politics and religion, e.g. Judaism, Catholicism, Christianity and Islam.
Several Muslim terrorists, in defense of their prophet and religion, murdered 12 of the magazine’s staff on January 7th. This act of savagery has been condemned by both Muslim and non-Muslim leadership around the world.
Satire Directed at Religion Is Always Offensive
In 1987, an American artist and photographer put a crucifix in a glass full of his urine. He photographed it and titled the photograph, “Piss Christ.” The photograph was displayed in art venues and published in magazines. Obviously, Christians were deeply offended. In fact, there were some murder threats. Fortunately nothing happened.
Satire aimed at religion and religious figures has been going on for a long time. Christianity and Islam have always been targets of satire.
Satire Aimed at Both Isa Al-Masih and Muhammad
When Isa was on the cross, people mocked Him, “… ‘He saved others,’ they said, ‘let him save himself’ …” (Injil, Luke 23:35). And yet, instead of retaliating, He said, “Father, forgive them, …” (Injil, Luke 23:34).
When Islam was founded, writing and reciting poetry was a popular art form in the Arabian Peninsula. Islamic historians have recorded the names of many people who wrote and recited satirical poetry aimed at the Muslim prophet. Here are a few:
Abu ‘Afak – Opposed Muhammad in his poetry.
Fartana – Recited poetry which offended Muhammad.
Quraybah – Recited poetry which offended Muhammad.
Ka’b ibn Zuhayr ibn Abi Sulama – Wrote satirical poems about Muhammad.
Al-Harith bin al-Talatil – Mocked Muhammad in poetry.
Hubayrah – Mocked Muhammad in poetry.
Abdullah ibn Zib’ari – Wrote offensive poetry against Muhammad.
The Muslim prophet was rightly offended by these artists. What did he do? He had them all assassinated. Is it possible that the Paris killers of Charlie Hebdo staff were just imitating their prophet? (Click here for a complete list of assassinations ordered by Muhammad.)
Our Attitude When Religion and Religious Leaders are Mocked with Satire
Isa (Jesus) taught his followers: “… Love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you” (Injil, Luke 6:27-28).
Isa is the example we all should follow! He shows us how to treat people who offend us. He commands his followers to love everyone, even their enemies. They are not to repay evil with evil. Instead, they repay evil with a blessing. They must forgive their enemies (Mathew 5:39, 44; I Peter 3:9; Luke 23:34).
Isa Al-Masih did not just teach us how to handle sarcasm and satire. He also gave Himself to be sacrificed in order to save us from death. When we have Him for our Savior, we do not need to repay evil with evil.
[We invite you to visit us at https://www.isaandislam.com/way-of-salvation to learn more about God’s gift of Salvation. God loves you and waits to hear from you. Isa clearly said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (Injil, John 14:6). For a deeper understanding of Isa we suggest you subscribe to “Isa, Islam, and Al-Fatiha” at this link.]
SOME QUESTIONS FOR THE COMMENT SECTION BELOW
We encourage our readers to comment on the article above. Comments that don’t directly relate to the topic will be removed. Please start a dialogue with us by focusing on one of the following questions:
1.) What do you think about the actions of those who killed the Charlie Hebdo staff members?
2.) When someone mocks a religious leader, whether through words, actions, or illustrations, what is your attitude? Explain!
3.) Which is better? Jesus’ teachings about loving our enemies, or the jihad teachings in the Quran? Explain why!
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