The murder of a French teacher, Samuel Paty, for teaching a class in which he referred to caricatures of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), has once again shown how the pluralistic values of Islam have been lost to the whims of a foolish, emotional, and irrational individual.
The 18-year-old murderer Abdoulakh A was born in Moscow and came to France as a refugee.
He had no connection with the teacher or the school, and it is reported that he chanted ‘Allahu Akbar’ as he murdered the teacher.
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A bearded French Muslim man, a parent, who did have a connection with the school, and who did know the teacher, spoke to Sky News in the UK just after the incident:
“My son who is Muslim, who sat in his class, he was disgusted. He was very disappointed (at the murder). He told me this was a teacher he liked. A very nice, a very pleasant teacher. Not Islamaphobic, or whatever.”
It is important to point out that no one at the school, none of the children had an issue with the teacher or the subject.
While many may be upset and even offended at depicting Prophet Muhammad in a negative way, it was not a French-born and raised Muslim who behaved criminally. This is important to stress as French Muslims suffer unjust backlashes every time something like this happens.
Muslims Shocked Too
Speaking with BBC News, Monica Bouguerra, from the Union of French Muslim Democrats said,
“We are shocked, we were horrified by this terrorist attack, and we deeply condemn what happened, it was horrible.
“The (French) Muslim community is concerned because we fear that it might increase Islamophobia. We are in a country where Muslims have the impression that they are treated differently to the rest of society. What happened has nothing to do with our faith. This terrorist attack does not represent what we believe in.
“We are afraid and concerned about what will happen after this because its not the first that some disorientated people with mental issues kill people in the name of Islam, and the Muslim community is held responsible for that.
“For a long time we have been treated like the enemy within. We are 6-7 million Muslims who just want to live peacefully. We are members of society, we are doctors, we are teachers. And we were born here, we are raised here. We would just like to be treated like everybody else. And not be stigmatized as the problem.”
How Did Prophet Act?
During the time of Prophet Muhammad, mockery and insults took place in the form of poetry.
There were many poets who tried to insult Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), but they were not attacked or harmed by the Prophet or by the companions of the Prophet for simply having a voice, no matter how unpleasant.
Both Prophet Muhammad (PBHU) and the Sabaha knew that God is indeed Great, and God does not require nor oblige injustice or murder.
In fact, the Qur’an tells people to either turn away from those who are rude and unjust, or to engage with people in the best of ways; neither of which the murder did. This demonstrates his religious illiteracy and also showcasing his lack of humanity and compassion towards another human being.
May our faith not be tainted by the actions of the mentally insecure who cause injustice.
May Muslims not be stereotyped and targeted for this injustice. And our thoughts are with Samuel Paty’s family at this difficult time.