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UCSB Professor Reacts To Paris Magazine Massacre

The mass murder in France was allegedly to avenge for the depiction of Mohammed, a prophet in Islam.

A UC Santa Barbara associate professor of Islamic studies said the reason the images are so controversial is because the religion does not allow for pictures of religious figures.

“To kill someone on the basis of a picture, two-dimensional picture or any kind of picture just seems to be beyond reason and justification,” said Juan Campo.

Campo has been a associate professor at UCSB for more than 30 years. He said the shooting is an assault on freedom of speech and on Muslims because the violence was done in the name of their religion.

At least 12 were killed and 11 wounded at Charlie Hebdo, a weekly magazine in Paris.

“So it satirized Christianity, Judaism, Islam, other religions as well as other subjects that are not connected with religion and this has been part of their freedom of expression. I think you have some radicalized Muslims that have decided to use them as a target,” said Campo.

It’s the images of Mohammed that seemed to spark the massacre.

“Kind of bad rational for being a little bit upset about stuff that’s printed in a magazine. They’ve gone a little bit overboard,” said Kemp Aaberg, a Santa Barbara resident.

“I did see the attack. I saw the gunmen out in the street. Horrible,” said Jody Steinmann, another Santa Barbara resident.

Elizabeth Stewart heard about the killings early Wednesday and believes the shooters contradict themselves.

“Retribution in the Koran is God’s responsibility, Allah’s responsibility. That human beings take the role of Allah, is even more of a blasphemy,” said Stewart, Santa Barbara resident.

“It violates a core, perhaps an even more core value found in religion and that’s respect for human life,” said Campo.

There are about a dozen UCSB students studying abroad in Paris. Campo said the study center is just blocks from the site of the shooting and he said all the students are safe and the university is in contact with them.

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