By: Omid Safi
As a person of faith, times like these try my soul. Times like these are precisely when we need to turn to our faith. We turn inward, not because the answers are easy, but because not turning inward is unthinkable in moments of crisis.
So let us begin, not with the cartoons at the center of the shootings at the office of Charlie Hebdo in Paris, but with the human beings. Let it always be about the human beings:
- Stéphane “Charb” Charbonnier, 47 (editor)
- Bernard Maris, 68 (economist)
- Georges Wolinski, 80 (cartoonist)
- Jean “Cabu” Cabut, 78 (cartoonist)
- Bernard “Tignous” Verlhac, 57 (cartoonist)
- Philippe Honoré, 73 (cartoonist)
- Elsa Cayat (columnist)
- Michel Renaud (a guest)
- Frederic Boisseau (building maintenance worker)
- Franck Brinsolaro, 49 (a police officer)
- Moustapha Ourrad (copy editor)… It’s not Muslims vs. cartoonists, as long as there are Muslim cartoonists.
- Ahmed Merabet, 42, (police officer)… A Muslim who died protecting the cartoonists from Muslim terrorists. Muslim vs. Muslim.
And brothers Said Kouachi and Cherif Kouachi, and Hamyd Mourad — the shooters, with a legacy of crime behind them.
I try to resist the urge to turn the victims into saintly beings, or the shooters into embodiments of evil. We are all imperfect beings, walking contradictions of selfishness and beauty. And sometimes, like the actions of the Kouachi brothers and Mourad, it results in acts of unspeakable atrocity.
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