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Anti-Charlie Hebdo protester carrying a sign reading "We are all Said Kouachi" in Instanbul on Jan. 16
Anti-Charlie Hebdo protester carrying a sign reading "We are all Said Kouachi" in Instanbul on Jan. 16
Ahmet Hagan

-OpEd-

ISTANBUL — The Turkish authorities all condemned the daily newspaper Cumhuriyet for publishing selections from Charlie Hebdo. From the president to the prime minister, from ministers to parliamentary deputies, the government was united in condemning the Turkish newspaper. Insulting the sacred is unacceptable, they said.

Meanwhile, al-Qaeda led demonstrations at mosques around the country, where the terrorists who killed the cartoonists and others in Paris were praised. There were more threats, with some saying that the same kind of attack will be repeated here in Turkey.

The government was, once again, united — in its silence. From the president to the prime minister, from ministers to parliamentary deputies, not a word. Not a single government official stepped forward to say, "Insulting the sacred is unacceptable, but so too is praising a crime or the criminal."

If the people running a nation's government condemn insults against a sacred prophet but are silent when murderers are lauded and encouraged, their message is clear. It's as good as telling would-be jihadists who might copy the murderers that it's justifiable to kill anyone they believe is insulting the prophet. It tells them, in other words, that the government would be on their side.

In Istanbul, a symbolic funeral was held in absentia for the two French brothers who murdered the Charlie Hebdocartoonists, two police officers and several others. I have some questions for those who prayed for killers Cherif and Said Kouachi.

Why don't you hold a funeral prayer in absentia for the 2,000 Muslims that Boko Haram massacred in Nigeria in a single day?

The Shia are murdering the Sunni, and the Sunni are murdering the Shia in Iraq. Why don't you hold funeral prayers in absentia for them?

The number of Muslims killed by the Islamist terror group ISIS is even higher than the number killed by Israel. Where are their funeral prayers in absentia?

In short, you say it is a must for you to hold funeral prayers in absentia for the murderous Muslims killed by French police — because they were killed by Westerners. What? The lives of Muslims killed by Muslims don't count?

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Society

Holy Mess! Spain's Disfigured Christ Mural Remains A Hit With Tourists

The clumsy restoration of a mural of Christ in a Spanish chapel 10 years ago shocked, then amused Spaniards and millions more abroad, and gave the local town a level of publicity, and tourist revenues, it never had nor could have hoped for. Here's how it looks 10 years later.

Man in front of the notorious disfigured Christ mural inside a Borja chapel

Marina Artusa

BORJA — Among the countless pictures and images of Christ around the world, it might not be outlandish to imagine that one of them might seek revenge — using humidity as the instrument of its vengeance.

One might say this of a by-now notorious mural of Christ inside a chapel in Borja in the province of Aragón, northern Spain.

Painted in 1930 by a painter and academic, the image was smothered in 2012 by Cecilia Giménez Zueca, a local resident and amateur painter. She wanted to help no doubt, but her "unfinished" restoration turned a venerable image of the suffering Christ — an Ecce Homo — into a bloated, indefinable cartoon.

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