January 9, 2015

Silence in face of crime is collaboration with criminals

Radio Deutsche Welle
By Dr. Jamshid Farouqi, Head of Farsi section of Deutsche Welle
January 8, 2015
Silence in face of crime is collaboration with criminals
The terrorist attack against the office of Charlie Hebdo weekly was a compound crime. This atrocity targeted human life as well as one of the most valuable things in human life which is the freedom of expression. The terrorist attack in Paris tells us that the deadly blade of censorship does not just claim lives in suppressed countries. Now, the scope of crimes against exalted values of mankind has reached the free and democratic countries.
The silence of leaders and officials of the Islamic Republic in face of this horrifying atrocity is shameful. Many of the leaders and officials of the Islamic states have condemned this terrorist attack and stated that it is incoherent with Islam’s spirit. The Arab League, leaders and senior officials of Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Indonesia and many others have expressed solidarity with the victims of this tragedy and have issued statements to condemn this blatant crime.
The stance of Iran vis-à-vis this atrocity is limited to just a statement that many hours later was issued by Marzieh Afkham, Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson. Even this statement mostly concerns itself with condemning the abuse of freedom of expression in democratic countries, rather than condemning the perpetrators of this barbaric assassination.
Isn’t the silence of the leader, President and Foreign Minister of Iran regarding this appalling crime questionable?

We should find the answer to this question in the prisons of the Islamic Republic. The journalists who have been thrown into prison for their civil courageousness and their criticisms of country’s officials are not just a handful. So are the number of those who have been deprived of personal and social freedoms on the charge of abusing the freedom of expression, thinking differently, or just because they belong to the religious, ethnic or language minorities. The number of those threatened with death and execution or those who have even lost their lives on the allegation of insulting the religion and spreading blasphemy and atheism is not few.

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