DAVAO CITY – Filipino lawyers and journalists on Friday expressed condemnation on the attack against satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris, France but some section also warned against opportunism to foment attacks on Muslim Immigrants across Europe.
The National Union of Peoples Lawyers (NUPL) said it “expresses its solidarity with the French people in [these] tragic times”.
“The NUPL as the largest organization of Human Rights lawyers in the Philippines joins the worldwide outrage and protests against intolerance and repression,” Edre Olalia NUPL secretary general said in a statement.
“These are heinous crimes against the freedom of expression and freedom of the press,” the statement said.
“Let us not allow these murderous acts to muffle dissent and free expression. Our unified voice shall shatter the walls of fear and indifference,” said Olalia.
He cautioned the public, however, of “opportunistic efforts [from] the extreme right to use this tragedy to foment persecution and prejudice against the Muslim immigrants and communities in Europe.”
Here, Councilor and lawyer Leah Librado said that she does not agree with the satirical work and articles of Charlie Hebdo, “but killing the people behind it is extreme and ruthless.”
“I condemn in strongest possible term the said attack against lives and freedom of expression,” Librado said.
A lawyer, based in Cotabato also expressed fear that hatred against Muslims will intensify following the incident.
“Syempre pag white ang pinatay, sympathize silang lahat. Terrorism na. Pag Muslim community ang i-attack, hindi sya considered na terrorism kundi self-defense (If a white person is killed everyone sympathizes. They will say it’s an act of terrorism. But when a Muslim community is under attack, it is not considered terrorism but self-defense),” said the lawyer who requested anonymity.
The lawyer, interviewed by Davao Today, also condemned the killing of journalists saying “we keep on saying that Islam teaches peace. That killing an innocent person is like killing the entire humanity.”
But she cautioned against dragging all because of the action of one person or groujp. She said this commonly happens “when one group does an act of terrorism or who has extreme views [that] the entire ummah (nation of Muslims) is being judged by the world based on the acts of a few.”
“May nabasa nga akong isang comment saying, why do all Muslims attack everywhere? If that were true, then I would’ve attacked that person for making a hasty generalization. Kasi I’m a Muslim (I read a comment (in Facebook) saying, “why do all Muslims attack everywhere?” If that were true, then I would’ve attacked that person for making a hasty generalization. Because I’m a Muslim),” the lawyer said.
The lawyer, who is a Maguindanao Muslim, expressed her disappointment on the “mockery” of the satirical-magazine.
“Sa pagmock nila, anong development o progress ang maidudulot non sa society? Wala. Purely entertainment lang. At mga Muslim-haters lang rin ang maentertain (What societal development or progress does their mockery contribute? Nothing. It’s purely for entertainment and only the Muslim-haters are entertained),” she said.
“As a Muslim, I condemn the killing. It is not in accordance with Islamic teachings. May nabasa nga ako: the best way to defend the honour of the prophet is to act like him,” she said.
The National Union of Journalists in the Philippines (NUJP) also expressed its condemnation of the killings.
“Kung irresponsible man ang Charlie Hebdo, dapat bang patayin ang mga nasa likod nito? (If indeed Charlie Hebdo were irresponsible, should the persons behind it be killed?),” said Jefry Tupas, secretary general of NUJP Davao.
“It is something which do not deserve violence. Carnage is just too much for ignorance or arrogance,” said Tupas. (davaotoday.com)