On those who seek to justify the Paris attack

There’s no difference between those who killed youths of the Syrian al-Sheitaat tribe, those who enslaved Iraqi Yazidi women, those who killed Saudi border guards a few days ago and those who killed the Charlie Hebdo journalists in Paris. The perpetrators are the same as extremism and extremists come from among us, from among Muslims. The source of the crime is the same across the board, even if the crime scenes are different.

We are going through a major ordeal. This is the beginning of a torrent of violence rooted in rhetoric and capable terrorist organizations. We may even witness crimes that are bloodier than the daily practices of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and the al-Nusra Front.

Paris is yet another target of the same ideology, violence and media wrought havoc that mires our region from Iraq to Syria

Abdulrahman al-Rashed

We don’t need to blame murderers because they are terrorists whose plans and hostility against the world are clear. However, we do blame those who justify these terrorists’ crimes and who try to mislead Muslims with lies and excuses. Some people have even written in defense of the heinous crime of murdering French journalists which shocked the world. What sort of ignorant man can think that a government conspires to kill its own citizens in order to serve a foreign plot? What nonsense and ignorance can make some of us descend to this level of justifying the murder of fellow journalists?

Condemning these acts

Apologists of killers provide cover and legitimacy for terrorists at a time when we are all supposed to be at the forefront of those condemning these acts. Those defending terrorists must realize the severity of the crimes which they are committing. These actions and similar ones over the years have secured for terrorism a base in our region. Their sin is no less grave than the crimes of ISIS and al-Qaeda whom they have long praised. They have misled millions of people by presenting terrorist groups as defenders of the rights and existence of the Muslim diaspora.

Paris is yet another target of the same ideology, violence and media wrought havoc that mires our region from Iraq to Syria, Yemen to Somalia and Libya, and before that in Riyadh, New York and even Doha. No Arab capital was spared this evil which is the natural result of extremist religious thinking and misleading media reporting. It’s because of them that our region remains incapable of exiting this tunnel of terrorism which has now become a threat to the whole world.

The threat of Islamic extremism has grown; it is now larger than attempts to justify it or remain silent over it. It has become the biggest threat to the world’s stability and today it’s the only cause which unites superpower countries, from China to Russia to the U.S. to Europe, against it. Considering the spread of this Islamic extremist threat, these countries will not keep silent when this disease of terrorism reaches their soil and they won’t accept ignorant justifications or statements bragging about what happened in Paris and other countries.

This article was first published in Asharq al-Awsat on January 8, 2015.


Abdulrahman al-Rashed is the former General Manager of Al Arabiya News Channel. A veteran and internationally acclaimed journalist, he is a former editor-in-chief of the London-based leading Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat, where he still regularly writes a political column. He has also served as the editor of Asharq al-Awsat’s sister publication, al-Majalla. Throughout his career, Rashed has interviewed several world leaders, with his articles garnering worldwide recognition, and he has successfully led Al Arabiya to the highly regarded, thriving and influential position it is in today.


Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:46 - GMT 06:46
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