Foreign Policy Research Institute A Nation Must Think Before it Acts Why I Stand with Charlie Hebdo

Why I Stand with Charlie Hebdo

CASABLANCA—As a frequent visitor to Paris, I’ve had many chances to browse the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. And as an Arab Muslim who believes that his faith is inherently moderate and tolerant, I feel that some of its pages have strayed beyond spoofing Islamist terrorism. Perhaps my sensitivity has been heightened by the rise of France’s extreme-right party National Front, which insists that Islam is inherently incompatible with universal values. Such voices fall into a pernicious trend in European politics—not a child of yesterday, and with a history of targeting other minority faiths. And while in my work as a publisher and broadcast-network owner I have been dedicated for years to fighting the ideology that underpins jihadism, I also celebrate and uphold the world religion that the jihadists pervert to serve their ends. It is important to work through the marketplace of ideas to counter those critics of jihadism who stray into the realm of Islamophobia, for they have served to erode the universal values that are ultimately the only salvation from terror East and West.

Yet the lethal terrorist attack on Charlie Hebdo has shaken me to the core…

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