“Je Suis Charlie, Yo Soy Charlie, I Am Charlie”
For all my years as a man with an eye for “le femme” I have wished that I had been the first American soldier in 1944 to enter Paris as a liberator from German occupiers. I wish that I had been in Paris Sunday, January 11, 2015 with over three million mostly French men and women marching to support freedom of thought, freedom of expression and freedom of the press.
The world witnessed the blatant terrorism committed by two French resident Algerian men as they shot up a Parisian magazine office and callously called out the names of their targets– shot and killed them, 12 of them. Outside the office building the masked cowards killed a French police officer, a Muslim, by the way.
“Allahu Akbar,” God is Great — was heard by witnesses but these two shooters weren’t of the “suicide” brigade so many of their co-believers aspire to before they blow themselves up while killing men, women and children guilty of being Jewish, or Spanish, English, American, or fellow Muslim.
There would not be “72 virgins” and “Rivers of Honey” awaiting them as promised by whomever wrote the Quran (Koran) for dying as martyrs, because these two cowards did not die as martyrs. If they had not worn masks to hide their identity and if they had not run away from the murder scene they might have been considered martyrs as they “stood their ground” and shot it out with security forces to the death killing as many “infidels” as possible. But they didn’t, they ran until they were cornered and French security officers shot them without remorse, without a second thought.
Then came another shooter who also thought he would do Allah’s work, he took control of a Jewish Deli/Store in Paris and killed four Jewish hostages before he was killed. He won’t get his “virgins” because he wasn’t a martyr. His “Rivers of Honey” are probably industrially polluted creeks if there is any water at all in Hell.
The entire episode involved fanatic Muslim Jihadists objecting with bullets to “blasphemous” published cartoons by the satirical Parisian newspaper with circulation of 60,000 copies.
CAST: Fanatical Muslims, Islamists or Jihadists (war makers of religious war – JIHAD); The satirical newspaper – Charlie Hebdo.
One cannot publish or promulgate any negative depiction of the Muslim Prophet Mohammed who Muslims believe wrote their “Book” the Quran (Koran), which is the word of God as communicated to and written by Mohammed (and scribes) in the 600s over a period of 23 years.
One cannot criticize Allah, nor Mohammed (May peace be upon him), nor can one leave Islam without a sentence of death…Rules written down in 632 A.D. dictate Muslim actions and behavior in 2015.
Like the three million plus today in Paris and the millions perhaps billions of people like me who identified with those people, we respect rules, universal rules that are encapsulated in the Social Contract man must live by or be wild animals. Every society has rules, rules that are sometimes written for all to see and understand or to disobey when they are arbitrary and capricious.
We, in the United States of America, have many rules, some that many dislike and many that we are thankful for and all of which are based on words in the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution otherwise known as The Bill of Rights.
The ten amendments are all important but the first one is perhaps the most important of all—that is why it is Amendment Number 1 with all of 44 words; to wit:
”Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for redress of grievances.”
Rules. These Rules through the Constitution’s 14th Amendment prohibit local, state and the federal government from trampling on our God-given rights. The 1st was written just 224 years ago certainly short of the 1400 years ago that Arabian scribes organized the Koran.
On analysis, the right of free speech overshadows any mandate not formulated collectively, approved and consented to by the people, people who believed that there are certain “unalienable” rights not to live under but to live by.
Within the aura of the United States free speech is not always attainable. Hemispheric neighbors like Cuba, Venezuela, Ecuador, and Nicaragua imprison journalists who dare challenge the government. In Mexico, criminal drug cartels assassinate journalists who stand up to them. While at it, we can hope that the current U.S. government will not pursue reporters for what they do for a living — report.
Why did those millions march in Paris today January 11, 2015? They insist on living in freedom and to be able to speak up without fear. I wish I had been there; I wish President Barack Obama had been there, too.
Je suis Charlie! Je suis Américain!
Contreras formerly wrote for the New American News Service of the New York Times Syndicate