The attack on satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo has further inflamed ongoing anti-Islamic sentiment in Europe,
Tariq Ramadan, professor of Contemporary Islamic Studies at Oxford University, said on Thursday the attacks had to be condemned but added that there was a need to give the same value to all human life.
“As much as we condemn the attacks, we need people throughout the world to give the same value to any human life… people are being killed by the same violent extremists in Syria and Iraq, it’s as if this is normal? So twelve [people] in France, [and] this is an international controversy and evokes a reaction, while the others are normal?”
Ramadan said the attacks came at a time when mainstream political parties in Europe had joined the far-right in attacking and stigmatising Islam and Muslims, adding that this remained a worrying trend on the continent.
“There is an normalisation of this discourse in the West, not only from the far-right, traditional parties are Islamising [blaming] all problems, creating a climate of Islamophobia.”
“Western governments asking Muslims to apologise,” shows that some states believe the “lives of Arabs and Muslims have less value than the lives of Westerners,” Ramadan said.
“We need to be dignified how we stand for justice,” Ramadan added.