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Charlie Hebdo: We cannot let the Paris murderers define Islam

Candles are displayed during a gathering

Source: theguardian.com

By: Ed Husain

The killing of journalists in Paris on Wednesday was not only an attack on France but also an assault on Islam and the very freedoms that allow 30 million Muslims to prosper in the west.

Free speech is not a western concept: it is a universal craving of the human soul. The gunmen ran away shouting that they were “avenging the prophet Muhammad”. How dare they? We cannot let the murderers define Islam.

In sixth-century Mecca, it was the prophet Muhammad who fought for free speech to proclaim one God as the creator of life and worthy of worship. The city’s pagans were his violent persecutors.

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