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It’s time for moderate Muslims to speak out on fundamentalism

Charlie Hebdo publishes cartoons about all figures in authority, be they political or religious. It has depicted the leaders of the Catholic and Jewish faith more times than it has ever featured pictures of Muslim leaders.

Also, if Allah is a man of peace then why would he condone acts of violence against innocent people and where were moderate Muslims over the past week or so?

I didn’t see any vigils at mosques and I didn’t see the Muslim community in Europe reaching out to the Jewish community.

No matter how offended a Catholic or Jew felt at depictions of their religious leaders, it is beyond inconceivable that they would react by firebombing or slaughtering the people who worked at the publication that offended them.

So why does Victoria White (Irish Examiner, January 15) seek to offer a context within which moderate Muslim’s failure to disown this extremism is not challenged.

Add in the other aspect of the Paris attacks that Ms White ignored, which is that people were murdered in a supermarket for no other reason than they were Jewish. They didn’t draw cartoons or offend anyone so why were they targeted.

Ms White enjoys the privileges of living in a liberal western democracy but is found lacking when required to take a stand against those want to attack the values and freedoms she enjoys.

Ms White doesn’t quite condemn the attacks in Paris without qualification but Ms White should.

It may well be that a certain type of Muslim is offended by the cartoons but that offence does not give anyone the right to murder the cartoonist and it also doesn’t give anyone else the right to argue that the killers were somehow ‘provoked’.

Everyone is afraid to upset the Muslims or make them angry, when instead we should be challenging the Muslim community to face up to why their default response is violence.

Oh the irony of Ms White mentioning her meeting with Dr Selim, the self-appointed Muslim censor who will decide what is or is not permissible to be published about Islam.

In Ireland we have recent experience of a religious theocracy and the damage it does.

So it is time for moderate Muslims to challenge religious leaders who say a women is not equal to a man and must cover her head and especially anyone who can be so touchy over a cartoon.

Desmond FitzGerald

Canary Wharf



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