Fighting the extremists
This refers to the column ‘France,the crucible of Europe’ (January 13). The latest issue of Charlie Hebdo magazine is out, and features a turbaned cartoon character (as a representation of Muslims) with the caption (in French), “All is forgiven”. This is a welcome break from the mindless blaming and counter-blaming and instigating that follows every so-called slight to religious beliefs. Every religion teaches forgiveness, and no religion teaches murder of innocent people. Vested interests cannot be allowed to define a particular religion. In India, the hounding of the Bollywood movie PK is an instance of intolerance. The world is not a friendly place for atheists and secularists. The International Humanist and Ethical Union, in its Freedom of Thought report, has said that nations like Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Egypt, and Malaysia among other nations do not recognise the rights of free thinkers (apostates). Even Western nations like the UK and Russia are no exception. In Russia, where orthodox Christianity has replaced the Communist ideology, any public expression by atheists can invite blasphemy laws and criminal prosecution. The battle between the atheists and zealots (and the moderates) is going to hot up. A peaceful co-existence, however, is the best answer to the attackers of the French satirical magazine.
Deendayal M Lulla
Please send your letters to:
The Editor,The Financial Express, 9&10 Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, New Delhi-110 002
or e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org or fax at Delhi: 91-11-23702044