SHAFAQNA – The Islamophobia Awards is an annual event to acknowledge – through satire, revue and comedy – the worst Islamophobes of the year. Charlie Hebdo has been given an international award for ‘Islamophobia’, two months after 12 members of staff were shot dead in a terror attack. The awards, which were devised by The Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC), took place at a ceremony on Saturday and saw the gong go to the French satirical magazine for ‘the world’s most Islamophobic person or publication’ in 2015. It beat Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, US president Barack Obama and American television host Bill Maher to the title.
IHRC chairman Massoud Shadjareh told IBTimes UK: “If you are saying that satire should be disassociated from Islamphobic attacks, then surely satire can also be disassociated from the attacks [on Hebdo].” Nearly 100,000 votes for Hebdo were cast by members of the public in the international Islamophobe category at the Islamophobia Awards, he said. The event was endorsed by figures including Dr Rowan Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury and former Telegraph whistleblower Peter Oborne. Shadjareh said the award for Hebdo was designed to show satirical humour was something in which Muslims could participate, alongside iconoclastic publications such as Charlie Hebdo. “The reality is that this is a satirical thing and if people think Muslims should be on the receiving end of satire, then why cannot Muslims give it, too? The point made against Muslims regularly is that they do not have a sense of honour; they are portrayed as being dry and angry, but we have a sense of humour and we can give it back.”