January 15, 2015
Yemenis say the attack on the Charlie Hebdo office in Paris is not representative of the views of the Yemeni people. They also condemn the satirical cartoons depicting Islam’s holy prophet and called on the French government to prevent the cartoons' publication.
This comes directly after Al-Qaeda’s branch in Yemen (AQAP) claimed responsibly for the shootings in Paris that killed 12 Charlie Hebdo magazine employees. Yemenis fear that the Paris attacks will have a large impact on the global war on terror strategy in Yemen.
Faris Ahmed Shamsan, University student, (man, Arabic):
“The fact that al-Qaeda claimed this attack in Paris is a result of the practices of the foreign press agencies. We want to say that Islam is the religion of peace, mercy, cooperation, and respect, and will never condone such crimes. What happened could be a result of what Yemen is suffering from.”
Waheed al-Muqtari, Citizen, (man, Arabic):
“The way France dealt with the problem was very negative. We all know that two Algerian people have died in the accident and were not mentioned in the French news as if they were not among the victims. Also the French government continued to support the newspaper that insulted Prophet Mohammad, peace be upon him. We are not justifying the actions that were taken against the newspaper, but the support that France is providing for the newspaper means that they are standing against Islam and that is something we cannot accept.”
Amin al-Kibsi, Journalist, (man, Arabic):
“The fact that "Ansar al-Sharia" has claimed this terrorist attack and there has been an accusation against the Arabic Peninsula or al-Qaeda of the Arabic Peninsula, or Yemen, is just a process of disinformation to execute American-Zionist plans.”
Hathem al-Hasabai, University student, (man, Arabic):
“The support that was provided by the French government for the newspaper will create more extremism than before. It was a hasty decision to support the newspaper that way. The French government should have worked on calming the international atmosphere and not on supporting the newspaper in that way. It will only increase extremism.”
Dr. Ismael Mansouri, Doctor, (man, Arabic):
“We have an ancient history, we condemn terrorism, but at the same time we refuse [to accept] our Prophet being insulted.”
Abdullah Abdalrahman, Teacher, (man, Arabic):
“Concerning the fact that "Ansar al-Sharia" have claimed this terrorist attack in France, it is a known thing that those terrorist groups do not represent Yemeni people. Al-Qaeda is only a tool in the hands of the west, they use it to justify actions they do later on, that was clear when France did investigations in Yemen, and this is what justifies its actions in Yemen.”