In a November 5, 2020 show on Al-Hurra TV (U.S.), Syrian-American human rights activist Ammar Abdulhamid and Egyptian-American researcher Samuel Tadros discussed the Charlie Hebdo cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad and the recent beheading of French schoolteacher Samuel Paty. Tadros pointed out that Charlie Hebdo and other media sources have mocked Christianity and Judaism on many occasions, but that there have been no protests or beheadings in response. The show cut briefly to an excerpt from MEMRI TV Clip No. 8404 in which a Miami-based imam claims that the murder of Samuel Paty was staged in order to frame Muslims, and Tadros expressed criticism of Muslims for refusing to take any responsibility for anything and for insisting that they are innocent victims of a conspiracy. For more about Ammar Abdulhamid and Samuel Tadros, see MEMRI TV clips No. 8263, 7899, 7818, and 7438.
Samuel Tadros: "Can a lesson in school about freedom of speech be considered slander? Is it criticism, or is it slander? Which one do you really want to outlaw?"
Ammar Abdulhamid: "This is the problem – we see it as an issue that is external to our culture, but, in fact, it is connected to the crisis we are experiencing today. We are talking about the relations between Muslims and about the relations between citizens who live in Muslim-majority countries. If a Shiite wants to express his opinion about [Muhammad's] companions or about Aisha... Be sure that his opinion will not be positive, since we know how the Shiite doctrine has evolved. Should this Shiite be prevented from expressing his opinion on this matter? If we are talking about rights of citizenship, we must acknowledge that there are Sunnis and Shiites and that both sides offend each other in their way of expressing their opinions, and sometimes this cannot be avoided."
Tadros: "Did you see the Palestinian artist who drew himself breaking the cross, for example?"
Abdulhamid: "Of course. And this..."
Tadros: "Is this considered an insult to Christianity? Should we prevent the artist [from drawing]? Should we execute him? What should we do?
"Many volumes of Charlie Hebdo mock Christianity and its symbols, mock Judaism and its symbols, and mock people's religious beliefs. We see only the things that concern us. On social media, after all hell broke loose, a lot of people showed many cases in which Christianity and its symbols were attacked [in the West]. There is a series on Netflix, for example, that portrays Jesus as a homosexual and insults various Christian symbols, yet we haven't seen anyone protesting or beheading anyone. Our constant feeling that there is a conspiracy against Islam, that there is an ongoing Crusade, and that Islam is being targeted – this is part of the crisis that we are experiencing.
"It always begins with total denial."
Imam Yousef Kablawi: "So, they have to come back with something. They have to make up something. That's exactly what this story is all about. I mean, these people have thousands and thousands of Muslim prisoners – in France – for whatever reason. They couldn't pick anyone, throw him there, shoot him and kill that teacher and then [say]: 'Here is a Muslim killing...' We are sick of these stories, these are fiction, bedtime stories, not even qualified to be that. When will we realize that we should not take the word of the infidels [as] credible?"
Tadros: "Whether you [are a Muslim] living in Miami or in Imbaba [in Egypt], the way of thinking is the same: We are totally innocent, it has nothing to do with us, and whoever did it is someone else, praised be Allah. [We have] zero capability of taking responsibility for anything."