An Open Letter to the Charlie Hebdo Attackers

I have no doubt that you are terribly proud of yourself at the moment. Aren’t you?

Not only have you gained the attention of the international media, but you have managed, in your own mind, to avenge the honor of the Prophet.

You know what? I’m with you! Avenge the Prophet, I say! Make the slanderers feel shame and make them beg for forgiveness. They dragged the name of our Prophet through the mud- they made Muslims hang their heads in shame and they dirtied the name of Islam throughout the globe. But… Do you know who those slanderers truly are? Not Charlie Hebdo. You.

When Charlie Hebdo sullied our Prophet’s name for their own gain, it angered many including me. But when you sullied our Prophet’s name for your own short-lived gratification, it angered me tenfold. You have managed to slander not only our Prophet, but our entire religion, more than any cartoonist could ever dream of.

When Charlie Hebdo released vulgar and derogatory cartoons of the Prophet (pbuh), I have no doubt that people mocked our religion and our Prophet. Oh yes, it hurt me too. However, when you and your compatriots barged into Charlie Hebdo headquarters and slaughtered the editors and staff, those same people and thousands more not only mocked our religion- but they cursed it, they reviled it and they maligned our Prophet as a murderer- because of your actions, not the actions of the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists.

You have managed what Charlie Hebdo never could. You have drawn a false and vulgar caricature of our religion. You have made Islam a laughingstock in the eyes of many and you have permanently besmirched the image of Prophet Muhammad (s). People would have overlooked a handful of Frenchmen scribbling away. But people will never overlook a group of armed and violent men screaming the name of Allah. By attacking the insignificant, you have only managed to memorialize them.

Have you seen the crowds of people across the globe all chanting, “Je Suis Charlie”? That’s right. They are all the publication that insulted not only Prophet Muhammad (s), but also our revered Prophet Isa (Jesus). People around the world are all claiming solidarity with the publication you wanted to finish. Instead of eradicating a bunch of cartoonists, you have made millions love them.

I hope you’re real proud now. Really, I hope you are. Because the rest of us Muslims are disgusted by your actions and surely, the Prophet (s) would be too. After all, he was the one who cared for the woman who cursed him and threw garbage at him. If he could brave a woman flinging waste at his person, surely his followers can brave drawings on paper, with their heads held high. I believe it takes more than a pencil to dishonor our noble Prophet.


Hafsa Ahmad


Hafsa Ahmad is a writer and Associate Editor at Altmuslimah. She is a graduate of Middlebury College, where she studied International Politics and Economics. Hafsa is currently writing and residing in Lahore, Pakistan, she tweets at @HafsaAhmad and @altMuslimah.


Image © @RteeFufkin


  • Nancy D. says:

    Thank you, Ms. Ahmad, for saying what I have thought, for many years. I am a Christian, who believe the majority of the people of Islam are basically nice people who work hard, and love others. We Christians (Buddhist, Hindi, et al), also have “bad apples”, but they aren’t carrying it to the extreme like the terrorists who call us infidels. I pray that the Imam at each Mosque, will preach to the people about peace and love and respect for one another…

  • Myriam says:

    Non sono d’accordo !
    La libertà di espressione è sacra ed inviolabile.
    Nulla può giustificare uno scempio di sangue in nome di un profeta… ma chi è questo profeta che giustifica l’uccisione di un uomo ?
    Non tutti i mussulmani sono malvagi, ma come mai tutti i terroristi sono mussulmani ?
    Quale religione vuole la supremazia sulle religioni altrui e sulle donne ?
    Basta vedere il “maschilismo” travestito di religione per come trattate le vostre donne.
    Vergognatevi !!!!
    Si dovrebbe buttare tutti i mussulmani in una fossa comune e dimenticarci che siete esistiti come razza araba !

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