Europe’s Muslims are feeling the heat of intense black-lash from last Wednesday’s attack on Charlie Hebdo. It has been reported that since the attacks, firebombs and pig heads have been thrown into mosques. Pig heads are very offensive because Muslims do not eat pork.
President of the Al-Taqwa Islamic School in London, Dr. Kaloti says the attackers only represent themselves. He says, “These terrorists, or criminals are not representing us [Muslims]. The most important thing is that they only represent themselves.”
Dr. Kaloti says Islam is about peace. “When you see some Muslim you meet, or anybody you meet, instead of saying ‘Hi’ we say ‘peace on you’…this is Islam.” Dr. Kaloti says that although Muslims are still being heavily stigmatized, government officials are talking about Islam more justly than in previous attacks such as 9/11 – “The prime minister of France said that we are fighting terror and terrorists, and Islam has nothing to do with it, and he said the right thing” Dr. Kaloti said.
Dr. Kaloti adds that what Charlie Hebdo calls freedom of speech is merely shock value to sell papers. He says that publishing degrading cartoons is of no benefit to the world and only causes tension and harm. He says, “There should be action from the government to stop these irresponsible actions. These are irresponsible actions that hurts the other. 1.7 billion Muslims were hurt.”
Charlie Hebdo is set to release their first paper since the attacks tomorrow. It will be offensive once again to Muslims because it will feature the Prophet Muhammad holding up a sign that reads “Je Suis Charlie” and text above the Prophet that reads “All is Forgiven” in French.
Dr. Kaloti says he does not fear for his students growing up in a world with prejudice against Muslims because they know the truth about Islam.