“Every time we draw a cartoon of Mohammed, every time we draw a cartoon of prophets, every time we draw a cartoon of God, we defend the freedom of religion,” – Gérard Biard,.
Firstly as a Muslim, I do not support the mass shooting at Charlie Hebdo’s office and it must not been done in the name of Islam because it is wrong according to the teaching of Islam Ahli As-Sunnah Wa Al-Jama`ah, as what we practise in Malaysia.
Now, it is always interesting to see how people interpret freedom of speech and freedom of religion and use them for their own agendas.
I do not understand why humiliating and disgracing religions can be regarded as defending freedom of religion.
Freedom of religion means the rights for everybody to manifest his or her religion in teaching, practice, worship, and observance; and not the rights for everybody to insult religions.
So people who support freedom of religion must respect these rights and not the other way around.
When one make fun and disgraces a religion, the person no longer respect the rights of the believers of that religion; hence there is no more freedom of religion.
Then talking about freedom of expression and freedom of speech, some people believe in total freedom and that they have the rights to do anything or say anything they like, including to purposely hurting or insulting others and there is no limit to how far they can go.
I cannot comment about the French law regarding freedom of expression and freedom of speech because I do not know about the constitution of the country; however as a civilised and responsible person I think that it is weird to purposely make fun and insult religion just because the law allows one to do so.
Just because my mother bought me a big box of my favourite chocolate, it does not mean that I should eat them all at once, because that will not be healthy; and so I must think before I do something.
It is a good thing because we must learn to respect each other and while some people love to insult others, most of them do not like to be insulted in return.
And while the supporters of Charlie Hebdo want others to respect their freedom of expression and freedom of speech, they themselves cannot respect the freedom of expression and freedom of speech of others.
They slam Pope Francis for saying:
“There is a limit. Every religion has its dignity … in freedom of expression there are limits,” and that “one cannot provoke, one cannot insult other people’s faith, one cannot make fun of faith.”
And Gérard Biard denounced the Western publications that have declined to reprint his paper’s controversial cartoons, he told NBC that:
“When they refuse to publish this cartoon, when they blur it out, when they decline to publish it, they blur out democracy.”
Isn’t democracy means the right for everybody to choose what we want?
So if Gérard Biard and his supporters believe in democracy, freedom of expression and freedom of speech, they must not slam the Pope and those publications for not following their ideas.
Each country is unique, and there is no two countries that are totally the same. As a sovereign country has its own law and constitution, nobody can force a sovereign country to follow the universal rules made by other countries especially when the rules are against the values and the needs of its citizens. The same is with Malaysia.
Malaysia has it’s own Federal Constitution, laws and Rukun Negara (National Principles) that ensures the harmony of its citizens. So, Malaysia does not need to follow all of the UNHR declarations. Why? Because some of the declarations are against the Malaysian Federal Constitution, laws and Rukun Negara. And if Malaysia accept all UNHRC declarations, we must accept total Freedom of Religion, total Freedom of Expression, LGBTIQ and others that are not only against our Federal Constitution but also illegal by Malaysian law.
As I wrote before, Article 3(1) of the Malaysian Federal Constitution wrote that “Islam is the religion of the Federation; but other religions may be practised in peace and harmony in any part of the Federation”. That means, Malaysia is an Islamic country. So, Malaysia cannot accept any part of the UNHRC declaration that is against the Islamic teachings, for exampleSOGI or LGBTIQ rights.
LGBT way of life is against the Malaysian law as well as against the Syariah law and the Federal Constitution of Malaysia. To declare the LGBTIQ rights means committing a huge crime, a violation of human rights of others and undemocratic because it gives the rights to people to commit crime and against the rights of the majority.
ICERD is also against the Federal Constitution as Article 153 of the Federal Constitution gives special rights and position of the Malays and the Bumiputras (indigenous people of the Sabah and Sarawak). Is Article 153 unfair? People need to study the history of Malaysia and not reading the reports from COMANGO to understand why Article 153 is fair.
Malaysians live peacefully and the government had been fair to the minorities, treat them well and not discriminating them. So Malaysia does not need to accept all of the UNHRC declarations because some are not suitable for Malaysia. What seems fair for the minorities may not be fair for the majorities. For the ones who support LGBTIQ and wants Malaysia to accept SOGI rights, can they understand that it is unfair and against the human rights of the majority to force others to follow them? When one wants to make it fair, he or she must look at the whole condition and situation and not being selfish and only wants things his or her way.
Is being a religious state unfair to others? Malaysia is not the only religious state in the world; Vatican City, Monaco, Argentina and lots of other countries are also religious state so why must Malaysia be forced to accept the idea of secularism?
Not all of the UNHRC declarations are suitable for every country because each country has different social values and ways of live. Human rights must not only means giving rights for total freedom; such as total freedom of expression and others to everybody but it must be about being fair to the whole community because humans do not live alone. For example, Muslims living in England cannot force the British government to ban the selling of alcohol for the reason that consuming alcohol is against the Islamic teaching.
UNHRC declarations should be about making people happy, protecting people and giving people a better quality of life. And human rights should not be about everybody can do things their way without thinking of others around them, the law and constitution of their countries and others.
UNHRC declaration must not be about making a country accept a universal rule that is against the law and constitution of the country that in the end, make most people miserable, unhappy, causing problems, havoc and instability in the country.