Orhan Hadžagić: What is greater, 145 or 12?

16. Jan 2015. | 07:00 | Orhan Hadžagić

A day after the Paris tragedy, we have sent in the name of “Novo vrijeme” staff, a message of condolences and support, written in French, to the French embassy in Sarajevo and the French people regarding the attack against the “Charlie Hebdo” satirical magazine staff in which 12 persons were murdered.

From that moment, my conscience started working and I had to ask myself: why hadn’t I had that initiative when a terrorist group attacked a school in Peshawar and machine gunned 145 people, 132 of which were between 12 and 16? Why do I accept the glorification of one victim and the devaluing of another? Am I not then an accomplice in deepening of an already-existing gap between different cultures? Looking from the position of an active media, I see especially clearly that the media are exactly the ones who consciously or not, carried by desire for sensation and higher circulation, make the gap deeper and more difficult to bridge.

I did that by expressing my apologies for the delay (the Peshawar massacre happened on December 17). We have sent a message of condolences to the Pakistan embassy in Sarajevo in hope that the perpetrators and the brains behind it will be apprehended and tried as soon as possible. And I felt relief. This is about a horrific crime against freedom, not freedom of speech and press, but freedom of education and right to be young and to live.

A common denominator for all terrorists and destroyers is that they do not produce new values. They only generate new pain. After every terrorist act, the state in society can only be worse. However, even the representatives of “victims” do not lack cynicism. One could see it on Sunday, when there were, among the leaders in the first row who were protesting peacefully in Paris, leaders who apply state terrorism in their countries, and who, at the same time, unscrupulously suppres Why do I accept the glorification of one victim and the devaluing of another? Am I not then an accomplice in deepening of an already-existing gap between different cultures? s the freedom of press and undermine the state of law.

I am glad that the broad public as well as the media have recognized that cynicism and that they called it for what it is. The fact that that means nothing to a cynic and a hypocrite is not a surprise (they have no shame), but it is really important to call things for what they are and condemn them. Gandhi once said: “We know that our condemnation will not change much, but it is very important that we say it.”

Somebody has tried to generate fear anew in Europe. However, I am free to caricature and to conclude that they did not get the wanted effect. The French president called this event a barbaric one, and the German chancellor and the President joined the peaceful protests to condemn every kind of racism awakening. It is responsible and as expected of leaders.

Those who know the state of things in Germany are telling me that the central Jewish organization in Germany (Zentriat der Juden) has stepped in to protect Muslims by opposing the racist instances in the German society, although it is clear that terrorist acts, in Paris as well as in Peshawar, have nothing to do with Islam.

How to benefit from a tragedy and to recognize it as an opportunity? This is a way for the differences to get to know each other better. In their common fight against terrorism and unfounded representation of sacred values, the Europeans will be an example to the rest of the world. Maybe they already are. There is a problem in recognizing the sacred values which are traditionally regarded by Muslims and which obviously are incompatible with the press freedom in Europe. However, now we know that we have a problem and that we need to find a solution for it.

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