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Seattle Times letters to the editor

January 8, 2015 at 5:22 PM

Charlie Hebdo attack: I believe that Islam champions freedom of speech

Crowds gather in Paris on Wednesday after 12 people were killed in an attack at a satirical newspaper. (THIBAULT CAMUS / AP)

I condemn the cowardly and evil attack on the office of Charlie Hebdo in Paris by some who call themselves Muslims [“Cartoonists, economist among the dead in Paris terror attack,” Nation & World, Jan. 8]. I would like to pass on my condolences to the family of editor Stéphane Charbonnier’s and to the families of other victims. May God have mercy on their souls, amen.

I consider this barbaric act of terrorism to be un-Islamic and believe that the faith of Islam champions freedom of speech and allows anyone to express themselves in a responsible way. Blasphemy was committed against the Prophet Muhammad during his lifetime but we don’t find a single instance where he asked his followers to assassinate any of the blasphemers. In fact, on one occasion, one of Muhammad’s followers asked permission to kill his father who had blasphemed against Muhammad, but Muhammad did not give him permission.

Muhammad was called a mad man, a fabricator, treated as a liar and his revelations were called fairytales. Despite all the mockery, Muhammad did not punish these blasphemes. Instead, Allah advised forbearance in the Quran, “When you hear the signs of God being denied and mocked at, sit not with those until they engage in some other talk… (Quran 4:141).

Imran Ghumman, member of Muslim Writers Guild of America, Redmond

Comments | More in Terrorism | Topics: Charlie Hebdo, Imran Ghumman, Islam

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