Facebook was abuzz with comments and lots of praise for the Toronto Star publisher, John Cruickshank, today. Reading the article made me feel really happy that the world has this type of people. Thank you so much Mr. Cruickshank for making the decision you did. You can’t imagine how much it means to Muslims across Canada. I posted this on Blog Her today:
With all the hundreds of arguments going on right now, I certainly didn’t want to get involved with this. I thought it better to keep some of my opinions to myself for once, I have seen some arguments turn very ugly on the internet. But I had to write this today because of the Toronto Star. This is one of those times that I am really bursting with pride to be Canadian. Don’t get me wrong, I am always proud to be Canadian, but today it is just overflowing and won’t stop.
As a Muslim I do condemn those murders, there can be no justification for it. It was cruel, it was inhumane. I feel sad for the families and what they must be going through. But I also could not bring myself to post “Je suis Charlie” everywhere. I believe in Freedom of Speech. I just don’t believe in mocking anyone in such a manner. Not because of someone’s religious beliefs, their sexual orientation, their color or anything. It is just too mean and hateful.
Hate hurts. It hurts everyone, and I don’t see the point in promoting it. Yes there should be freedom of speech, but should it have so much freedom that it hurts another person? Then what is the difference between bullying and freedom of speech? Why are we so intent on defending the right of someone to hurt someone else? Today Toronto Star showed the world that difference.
I grew up in Canada. I faced bullying and racism a lot. When I was little I didn’t understand why I was not liked, I didn’t know I was “brown”. As a teenager I had an even harder time with it. I would often cry it out alone, my parents had enough to deal with. It was just something I had to face on my own.
It doesn’t feel like I am facing it alone today. Today all the hurt seems like a small thing, today someone said, “you know what this is stupid, we aren’t going to do this because we respect you.” Thank you John Cruickshank, from all the Muslims living in Canada. And even the ones living elsewhere, I am sure. Je ne suis pas Charlie. Je suis one proud Canadian.