The Charlie Hebdo Attackers Were Attacking You Too

Jan 10, 2015

FRANCOIS MORI—AP

By James Poniewozik

At least a dozen people, at current count, have been murdered at the French offices of satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, apparently because it published cartoons satirizing Islam and the Prophet Muhammad. This came just a month after hackers, purportedly angry over The Interview‘s depiction of the assassination of North Korea’s leader, attacked Sony’s computer networks and stole valuable and embarrassing data.

Maybe you would never have read Charlie Hebdo or seen The Interview. Maybe you think mocking beloved religious figures, or fictionally blowing up the head of a living world leader, is in poor taste. That’s fine; decent people can lawfully criticize speech and still hate it being attacked unlawfully.

But if you care about freedom, you don’t always have the luxury of defending monumental art. If speech rights only protected polite comments that everyone could agree with, we wouldn’t need them.

And no matter who you are or what you like, these attacks are also attacks on you.


Read the full article by clicking the name of the source located below.

69 comments on “The Charlie Hebdo Attackers Were Attacking You Too

  • First, a technical note: the source article can’t be reached -nor I can locate it on the internet with independet methods. Hope it will be fixed soon… In the mean time, I’ll comment on the part available alone.

    ~~~

    And no matter who you are or what you like, these attacks are also attacks on you.

    Absolutely. Everyone should feel hurt by these bloody deeds, at so many levels.
    Luckily, it seems from where I am, the world is having a rather healthy reaction to these deed: people peacefully gathering in squares, raising pencils… I heard only a few cries for holy wars or whishes of cultural segregation. That’s good. Of course, there are some nuts making a lot of noise… but, I think, they are few.

    I’m firmly convinced that they most powerful and destructive weapon against this kind of guerrilla is the universal access to secular education: that is the cure for fanatism, religious integralism, poverty, subjugation of women and all of the rest of the (in)cultural filth in which these massacres sinks their roots.



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  • 2
    Cairsley says:

    The link to the Times article does not seem to be working. In any case, the point made in the first part of it above is well worth making. People are free and entitled to think as they see fit and to express themselves accordingly. Others are equally free to listen (or read or watch etc.) or to ignore them. No-one in France is obliged to subscribe to Charlie Hebdo, and at 60 000 its weekly circulation is modest. Most Muslims are as smart as everyone else at taking notice of what benefits or suits them and bypassing the rest; in any case we just do not have the time to pay attention to everything. They are also just as good as everyone else at living and letting live. Unfortunately, not all of them have learnt that one yet.

    Je suis Charlie. Tout le monde est Charlie.



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  • 3
    Light Wave says:

    Cartoon Satire of political and religious figures has a long tradition in France….the French are also known for their revolutionary views and have always tried to keep French meglomaniacs in check like their flamboyant kings and pompous religious leaders and more recently the scandals in French Politics …..total freedom to express grievences has never really existed….but its never stopped people saying or showing what they really think….even though we all have a different sense of humour….the only offensive thing actually done was by the people with the guns…..who didnt share that long French tradition of penning their complaints…with or without permission….



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  • “Most Muslims are as smart as everyone else at taking notice of what benefits or suits them and bypassing the rest; in any case we just do not have the time to pay attention to everything. They are also just as good as everyone else at living and letting live. Unfortunately, not all of them have learnt that one yet.”

    Those Muslims who have “learnt that one” have done so despite the doctrine of their religion. If “living and letting live” were a clearly stated principle of that doctrine, perhaps fewer of them would fail to learn it.



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  • I am afraid the figures do not pan out on this one Doug. If most ignore the ‘doctrine’ then a change would not influence the few either way.



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  • If you put the ‘doctrine’ first and foremost then that would be true but, as I have stated before, I do not. There are many more things to fix before the ‘doctrine’ can bare the blame and is always the final excuse to commit crimes. Most muslims who live in a secure society do not feel the need to invoke the ‘doctrine’ and have successfully shown to shun it. I say this with only the interest to get to the real reasons and to stop this type of criminal action. This is the one thing that I disagree with RD on. His tactic is all wrong.



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  • Not to diminish in any way the horror of the Paris attacks, but let’s also spare a thought for the 16 murdered by Muslim extremists in a bomb attack in Nigeria yesterday, and the hundreds killed by the same group, including women and children on Wednesday. I am concerned that we have become so desensitized to this barbarity that we only seem to react when the attacks occur in a Western nation. All these horrific crimes, wherever they occur, are directed at us.

    I’m not sure how we fight these people but it seems pretty evident that what we are doing now is not working. It’s time for a new approach and we need to think of this as a global problem, like Ebola, that requires a global and coordinated response.

    However, going back to the Charlie Hebdo massacre, there is currently a debate in the Canadian media over the best way to respond and to show solidarity with the victims. There seems to be a clear divide between the French language press, who generally are in favor of re-printing the cartoons, and the English-speaking press who are not. For me this is difficult. I understand the sensitivity of Muslims – and do not forget one of the victims was a Muslim policeman, who died while responding to the attacks. Presumably we should also be honoring his memory as well as those of the journalists.

    At the same time, anything less than re-printing could be interpreted by these scum as a victory – something we need to avoid at all costs. I am strongly in favor of supporting Charlie Hebdo financially to enable them to get back on their feet as soon as possible. Interested to hear others opinions on this.



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  • Every muscle in my body says ‘YES reprint’, but we have to take a step back and say who are we doing that against? The attackers want more recruits. Should we help them by reoffending decent Muslims instead of showing we are better? Donate and let the paper do what it does best. My opinion.



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  • 11
    voiceofarabi says:

    I think all religions are work of man, a bit like Santa Claus on steroids…. some people need it like a baby needs pacifier.

    To understand what is happening in Syria, Iraq, etc in places where “Muslims” are killing people for no good reason, you need to understand the whole picture of religion and in particular Islam.

    What is killing innocent people around the world today is not Islam, but “Wahhabi Movement”, and by the way, they are killing more Muslims than any other religion. (2 died in the paris attack, and more than 100,000 in syria and iraq)

    To give you an example, people who burned witches in the 18th century did it in the name of Christians, but certainly had nothing to do with the Christian religion.

    We must all fight this evil called Wahhabism, and bring the countries that support it into the picture, and embargo them like we did South Africa when it was an apartheid.

    Just my two cents.



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  • Every muscle in my body says ‘YES reprint’, but we have to take a step back and say who are we doing that against? The attackers want more recruits. Should we help them by reoffending decent Muslims instead of showing we are better?

    Are you so sure that decent Muslims would be offended? Most weeks, in churches, mosques etc, preachers will be making statements that I may well find offensive. But I don’t have to listen and if I am directly confronted by such offensive beliefs I have the freedom to counter with reasoned argument or even a little ridicule.

    Surely decent Muslims would understand that they were not the target of the decision to re-print and that the primary purpose would be the defence of free speech. And I find it astonishing that you seem to think there would be a danger of decent Muslims becoming recruited to terrorism.

    And do you really have to take a step back and say “who are we doing that against”?



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  • Again its black and white for you Mark. The worlds eyes on are on this and I am glad, as I have said before, that you are not in a position to show the ugly side of things. The decent thing to do is NOT reprint even if for “just in case’ purposes but I am hoping its because people are able to think and see the insult and the intent by the attackers and counter. It will do nothing more to the attackers, or those that think like them, than it already has. It will only please YOU and serve no other purpose. That is the question of ‘who are we doing this against’ or maybe more rightly ‘FOR’…..



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  • It would be nice to know the extent.

    Right now, it feels like we’re dealing with some giant sect. Although I doubt this is actually accurate. It’s hard to tell when the vast majority of its adherents are expertly keeping their head down.



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  • “This extremely grave barbaric action is also an attack against democracy and the freedom of the press,” said the French Muslim Council

    Are you proposing Charlie Hebdo stop what they were doing? They may not reprint but they will print more, just the same…



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  • As posted above??????

    Every muscle in my body says ‘YES reprint’, but we have to take a step
    back and say who are we doing that against? The attackers want more
    recruits. Should we help them by reoffending decent Muslims instead of
    showing we are better? Donate and let the paper do what it does best.
    My opinion.



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  • The worlds eyes on are on this and I am glad, as I have said before, that you are not in a position to show the ugly side of things.

    About what, re-printing? It seems you are the one who is seeing things in black and white. But you are confused. You said above:

    Every muscle in my body says ‘YES reprint’.

    So every muscle in your body says “show the ugly side of things”?



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  • Are you proposing Charlie Hebdo stop what they were doing? They may not reprint but they will print more, just the same…

    If fact, they are planning a print run of a million next Wednesday. A good job Olgun is not in control.



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  • Well done. It won’t be supported by me, but it won’t be opposed either. Freedom of speech and all that.

    No, it won’t be supported by you. As you said:

    The attackers want more recruits. Should we help them by reoffending decent Muslims instead of showing we are better?

    You have a low opinion of those you call decent Muslims.



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  • So every muscle in your body says “show the ugly side of things”?

    That is the ugly side of knee jerk reactions. Control is the key!!! I would rather say
    “Je suis Charlie” rather than ‘Je suis vengeur’. (If that is the right french?) but then thats me.



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  • You have a low opinion of those you call decent Muslims.

    NO! That is your interpretation but it is satisfying to see you change your stance and come out in defence of Muslims that you vilified so often lol!!!



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  • NO! That is your interpretation but it is satisfying to see you change your stance and come out in defence of Muslims that you vilified so often lol!!!

    That is the ugly side of knee jerk reactions. Control is the key!



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  • NO! That is your interpretation but it is satisfying to see you change your stance and come out in defence of Muslims that you vilified so often lol!!!

    Are you going to give some examples of posts where I have vilified Muslims so often?



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  • 25
    NearlyNakedApe says:

    What is killing innocent people around the world today is not Islam, but “Wahhabi Movement”, and by the way, they are killing more Muslims than any other religion.

    Wahhabism, itself a branch of Sunni Islam, is nothing more than ultra-conservative Islam. To say that the Wahhabi have nothing to do with Islam is like saying that the Hassidic have nothing to do with Judaism.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wahhabism



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  • “…a change would not influence the few…”

    Who said anything about a change? What I was imagining is the possibility that it might have been part of the doctrine from the start (but we all understand why it was not).
    But I get your point – “fix” one vile doctrine used by those who need an excuse to kill and oppress and another one will pop up to take its place. Sad, but probably true. A problem with no apparent solution.



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  • john.wb: I am concerned that we have become so desensitized to this
    barbarity that we only seem to react when the attacks occur in a
    Western nation.

    Yes. Me too. We have become blunt on violence around us. I think that press,tv media and films are quite guilty in that sense. We have become accustomed to violence so we can’t even recognize it as something horribly, but somehow we see it as just another show transferred via tv.
    With regard to reprinting, I say no. Because that is an act of spite (than that would be causing more violence). A satiric newspaper can continue their work if they want to, but reprint – I vote against.



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  • 33
    voiceofarabi says:

    Not exactly. If you do a quick research either by readying or even the web, you will find that Wahhabism started in the 18th century in an effort to land grab the Arabian peninsula. it was the effort of Mohammed Abdul Wahab and the Al Saud family that created Saudi Arabia as a country. in a way, they created their own “type” of Islam to control the tribes of Arabia.

    Sure, they have used the text from the holy book to support their claims, but so does any good lawyer who would “use”, “abuse” and “twist” words out of context to support their own claim.

    After all, Bhuddism is the one of the most peaceful religions I know of, yet there was Bhuddist killing other religions in South East Asia not so long ago.

    The same case is true with the Hassidic’s in Israel (and I don’t claim to know anything about it), but I know enough about religions to know they are mostly peaceful and about organizing societies, until some power hungry crazy person comes to power.

    So, to focus on the problem at hand… will you lobby your government to boycott any country, government, or person who supports. teach or even sympathise with Wahhabism??



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  • voiceofarabi Jan 10, 2015 at 4:17 pm

    If you do a quick research either by readying or even the web, you will find that Wahhabism started in the 18th century in an effort to land grab the Arabian peninsula. it was the effort of Mohammed Abdul Wahab and the Al Saud family that created Saudi Arabia as a country. in a way, they created their own “type” of Islam to control the tribes of Arabia.

    So, to focus on the problem at hand… will you lobby your government to boycott any country, government, or person who supports. teach or even sympathise with Wahhabism??

    Let me see if there is a connection? Wahhabism, Saudi Arabia, USA, oil! ??



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  • Olgun,

    I’m sympathetic to what you are saying but was horrified when the editor of the Washington post removed Charlie Hebdo images in a story that is after all about a reaction to these very images. Their reason stated was the Post removed them so they did not cause offence to religious readers. So to my light this is giving these people exactly what they want. These madmen gunned down people for daring to offend and the Post refuses to publish? These people are getting exactly what they want, they want no-one to offend their sensibilities, if editors of papers are not prepared to print or even link to milder versions of images relating to the situation then Radical Islam (that is those willing to follow the prophets word literally) have already won.



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  • “With regard to reprinting, I say no. Because that is an act of spite…”

    I think it is actually an act of (justifiable) defiance, but to those whom it is directed (as well as many other unintended “targets”) it certainly could be misinterpreted as spiteful. Either way there are risks that cannot be ignored.
    The thing is, however, the violence is going to continue regardless of whether or not anyone reprints. There is nothing short of total domination and subjugation that will satisfy the source of the violence.



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  • To give you an example, people who burned witches in the 18th century did it in the name of Christians, but certainly had nothing to do with the Christian religion.

    Oh they had plenty to do with Christianity.



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  • @ Mark.

    There are papers and magazines that specialise in satire and more
    power to their elbows but papers do not specialise in offence, unless
    its a tasty headline to sell more papers. There are plenty of people
    who will NOT watch Family Guy for that reason.

    There is nothing in that that says I do not approve of Family Guy, in fact I love it and have recommended it to so many people I should get some payment for it!!!

    @ Reckless Monkey.

    There has to be someone who takes the high ground Reckless and I am so proud that editors are. To be honest, I did not expect it. I think quite the reverse. These terrorists want to bring all Muslims to their way of thinking and we should NOT give them the opportunity. They want division and the press are standing by right thinking Muslims by saying we are not animals like the terrorists, we are thinking human beings. I don’t believe it is cowardice but great strength to do so.



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  • Seen that episode at least six times. Still amazes me at the quality of the jokes…Brilliant. There is not a single episode that offends just one creed or religion at a time.



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  • Very sadly, they will not become poor with the end of oil. They are investing very shrewdly, not least in solar power, with the stated aim of the oil minister that SA will be to Solar Power in twenty years what they are to oil today.

    We need a strategy…



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  • i simply do not understand why world leaders tow the line that this has nothing to do with religion. these murderers are always spouting slogans and doctrines from their faith. what part are they misquoting or getting wrong? and, if it has nothing to do with religion, why are there so many muslims out their saying, this is not islam; it has nothing to do with us. surely, a failure to take into account the remote possibility that this is (all) to do with religion is part of the problem because it blinds decision-makers to a possible cause and hence effect and solution? it’s no wonder that in the absence of this, the un-heard are going to side with the only people to be saying it – that is to say, the right wingers.



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  • To be fair the cartoons did more than satirise Islam. I suggest you google image with safesearch off “Charlie Hebdo”. The cartoons are more obscene than anything I have seen before



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  • I think it is actually an act of (justifiable) defiance…

    Agree Doug. To not print means the terrorists win. But to print, reprint, and print again and again and again, means that their actions, and ultimately their deaths, have been in vain.

    It is the privilege of the extremist never to doubt. The extremist mind is universal, and is not dependent on the brand of religion or the colour of the flag. Anders Breivik was a right wing christian extremist and terrorist and just as bad as the Kouachi brothers. And over in America, there are thousands of extremist christians, all armed to the teeth thanks to the stupidity of American gun laws, publicly stating they will resort to violence if certain threats are carried out in relation to their religion or intrusion by governments. The fact that it hasn’t happened in America yet, doesn’t mean it won’t. These American extremists are identical to the Kouachi brothers in the way that “Reason”??? their views. I do not differentiate with any of these people. The mindset that is extremist is beyond rational discourse.

    I don’t have an instant solution and I don’t think there is one. I can only see a 50 year campaign to slowly put extremist views of any description back in the box by encouraging the peoples of the world to be rational evidenced based decision makers.

    And while I am at the keyboard. I am of the view that one shouldn’t focus just on Islam or Muslims. The focus should be on extremists, and the condemnation should be universal regardless of brand. Every time you type the word “Islam” or “Muslim’ you should type the word Christian alongside. (or whatever nutter religion is going off at that time.) We will know when we are making progress when in America, the fundamentalist christian lobby has about as much influence as the flat earthers.



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  • “…blinds decision-makers to a possible cause and hence effect and solution?”

    So, let’s just say Islam (or any religion, for that matter) is identified (somehow) as the “cause” of all this terroristic violence. What possible “solutions” would any “decision-makers” decide to apply to a problem “caused” by a religion followed by millions?



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  • Now I am forced to apply for a gun lic because moderates will become extremists when the time is right:
    Eg. Telegraph London, Patrick Fournier director Centre des Monedieres told la montagne newspaper the pair were perfectly integrated and NEVER posed behavioural problems.



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  • 50
    NearlyNakedApe says:

    So, let’s just say Islam (or any religion, for that matter) is identified (somehow) as the “cause” of all this terroristic violence. What possible “solutions” would any “decision-makers” decide to apply to a problem “caused” by a religion followed by millions?

    The solution is better education which eventually leads to widespread secularization of entire nations. But history has shown that it has takes many generations before results start to appear. Today however, thanks to the Internet and social media, I believe the turnaround time can be significantly shortened. By how much is really hard to say.

    There is a solution but it’s hard and long. There is no quick and easy solution unfortunately.

    Like Christians from the Renaissance onwards, liberalization of ideas and increasing tolerance slowly lead to democracy and freedom of speech and the erosion of religious power over the masses. The Muslim world will eventually have its own Reformation because it must. I don’t think this has much chance of happening in my lifetime however.



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  • 51
    NearlyNakedApe says:

    The cartoons are more obscene than anything I have seen before.

    What I find truly obscene is the sight of that murderous thug coldly executing the wounded French cop lying on the ground writhing in pain and begging for his life. Cartoons of political and religious figures French-kissing (pun intended) and plooking each other in the backside doesn’t even come close.



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  • That’s false though. They both had criminal pasts and one of them had previously spent time in jail for terrorist related offences.

    “Cherif, 32, was jailed in 2008 and had long been known to police for militant Islamist activities, prior to the attack on Charlie Hebdo’s offices, which killed 12 people.

    Cherif, who also went by the name Abu Issen, had been part of the “Buttes-Chaumont network” that helped send would-be jihadists to fight for al-Qaeda in Iraq after the US-UK invasion in 2003.”

    A lot of the stink about this relates to the fact that the pair were on the radar for intelligence who failed to correctly monitor what they were planning, like the killers of Lee Rigby in the UK.

    By all means apply for your gun license if it makes you feel safe but please understand that these individuals represent a small fraction of the Muslim community.

    Having said that Islam seems unique in its calls for things they deem to be sacred to be banned in the media. Most religions hold their ideas to sacred and deem it to be offensive for them to be held up to scrutiny and criticism but Islam has pulled off the trick of having western media run scared of any criticism for fear of causing offence or being branded racist or simply causing the kind of reaction that saw Theo Van Goch murdered, 200 people murdered world wide, and buildings razed to the ground because of the Danish Cartoons and more recently the death and destruction world wide that accompanied the “Innocence of Muslims” video.

    This is why we have the word “Islamiphobic” and not “hindu-phobic” or “christian-phobic”. It is a way of trying to close down free speech by inducing fear in people of being branded racist.

    In short there is something generated by the ideas of Islam that induce infantile and violent reactions in millions of its followers at the merest suggestion of blasphemy, and our politicians will never recognize that, nor will the bulk of the media.



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  • I generally agree with you, Mr. Ape.
    I have long believed that (proper, complete, science-based) education is the key to a (fully) civilized world. Unfortunately this is an idealistic (thus unrealistic) belief that will likely never be realized (in anyone’s lifetime). There are just too many opportunities for failure.



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  • 55
    NearlyNakedApe says:

    Unfortunately this is an idealistic (thus unrealistic) belief that will likely never be realized (in anyone’s lifetime). There are just too many opportunities for failure.

    It is idealistic I agree, but unrealistic?… Maybe not so much. After all, it did happen in 18th century France with the Enlightenment. The Catholic Church which had tremendous power over everybody’s lives for centuries, common folk and nobility alike, was slowly eroded and now most of Europe is secular.

    Now the forces of obscurantism are looming at the horizon and progress does tend to move in a see-saw pattern: one step forward – one step back. So it’s quite tempting to give in to hopelessness. I get that and I am in no way immune to it myself.

    But I hang on to the historical lesson and the belief that if it’s been done before, it can be done again. Just not in my lifetime.



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  • Just about all of us that contribute regularly to this forum agree that Free Speech includes the right to “give offense”, particularly when commenting on “offensive behaviour”. Just because it is our right, should it be our default and continual practice, especially as it seems counter-productive in that it seems to unite moderate moslems with their psychotic brethren. In my youth the default designation of homosexuals was “Queers” and I used the term, I felt; without judgement. I found it awkward to use the new word “gay” until it was pointed out to me that I was needlessly offending people I had no intention of offending. I was asked if I would similarly refer to a black person as a “nigger” and I was horrified to realise the connection. None of us would use either of those terms today because we would not wish to cause offense and to use it would certainly produce and angry response. So while I find Islamism offensive, it does not move me to violence, so should it move me towards insulting moslems? There are plenty of ways of opposing these maniacs without giving simple offense to their more moderate co-religionists, just because we can.



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  • Agree Doug. To not print means the terrorists win. But to print, reprint, and print again and again and again, means that their actions, and ultimately their deaths, have been in vain.

    Hebdo are planning an edition on Wednesday. It’s likely that they will reprint certain cartoons. They are talking about a print run of a million, far more than usual. Would that make the deaths of their colleagues in vain? Do you think they would discourage others from re-printing?

    It is the privilege of the extremist never to doubt. The extremist mind is universal, and is not dependent on the brand of religion or the colour of the flag. Anders Breivik was a right wing christian extremist and terrorist and just as bad as the Kouachi brothers.

    But when you hear of a terrorist attack, do you think to yourself, I wonder what was behind that terrible action. Or do you assume it would most likely be what Cameron today called Islamist extremism. When people understandably link these terrorist attacks to Islam (the terrorists did claim to be avenging the prophet Muhammad), we often hear something like your reply. And for the last few years Breivik has been the standard reference for a non-Islamic brand religion-related attack. Did he also claim to be defending his prophet? I think his was more a right wing nationalist agenda – he called himself a cultural Christian.

    The Breivik attack was in 2011. Why didn’t you point to an attack that has happened since the Hebdo attack? Because of the numbers.

    Since Hebdo, as others have pointed out, there have been other Islamist attacks that are even worse. The Guardian reported on a Boko Haram attack that is feared to have killed thousands.

    And then there was this report about an attack in Nigeria using a 10 year old girl who had explosives strapped to her body – noone has claimed responsibility but do you think they are wrong to assume Islamic extremists? I certainly think the headline was wrong in saying Girl Bomber kills 19 – she was the first victim.



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  • I heard one erudite islamic journalist commenting on the Paris killings say that islam should kill their [ridiculous] taboo on imagery of the prophet and not kill the people who disregard it.
    The majority of Muslims, perhaps mostly in democratic open societies, must hold moderate opinions but they must now face up to the fact that, particularly their religion, is supporting these horrific acts.
    Most of christianity has cherry-picked the innocuous material from their archaic writings and absorbed human morality to over-ride, or has quietly dropped, some of the worst biblical excesses.
    The islamic religion must now do at least this and also expunge later inhuman teachings and prejudices acquired during its history.

    These deluded killers profess to wanting to turn back the clock and create a world only of islam.
    They see the knowledge of the modern world encroaching on their limited world view. Realising they cannot prevail with their doctrine they have no other recourse but to violence in order to resist.
    As with all religions, indoctrinating their children lies at the heart of this continuing nightmare.



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  • 60
    Lorenzo says:

    Thanks David, this is one hell of a good comment.

    If I wanted to add something, I may speak about schooling, which I believe can be the ultimate cure for this kind of acts -whatever the brand. And social justice as well. It seems to me that if you have some people who are “the lasts” both in the possiblity of access to good quality knowledge and percieve themselves as rejects from society… well, you’re just creating a big reservoir of potential integralism.
    Of course this can’t be an universal solution, as Breivik was a scholarized, middle class guy, but I think it will reduce the overall risk.

    To not print means the terrorists win. But to print, reprint, and print again and again and again, means that their actions, and ultimately their deaths, have been in vain.

    Absolutely. I’d add something that might not be obvious to some: reprint all of them. At Charlie Hebdo, they had something for every ridiculous faith and political orientation and, unsurprisingly, those who adhere -beyond reason- to those faiths and political orientations are smuggling, with various degree of skill and taste, the message that what happened was deserved or “called for”, because of the Paper’s lack of “respect”.
    This I’d call complicity -albeit a posteriori. And it must be fought, in the only decent way: printing again, printing all of them and never stop producing new comics while they are needed.



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  • 61
    Imperius says:

    Extremism is culturally determined; by many historical standards, the modern West is the most extreme civilization to ever exist. What I hear many of you arguing for is essentially “beigeist totalitarianism” and conquest of the world by Western secular values — call it the “End of History” delusion. But this kind of beigeism and imperialism are producing precisely the opposite reaction: greater extremism. Why do you suppose that is?

    The deep problem that atheists need to ponder is why rationalist, beigeist societies are failing at the most basic tasks of any society: reproduction and defense of culture and lands. It seems that liberal rationalism alone is not enough — that it psychically and culturally neuters people in ways that have visceral consequences. Some historians will tell you that the rationalist phase of any civilization represents its declining, terminal phase, when it begins to lose the vitality and confidence that made it powerful in the first place. Eventually, despite all its rationalism, these civilizations fall to the next wave of barbarians.

    This, I would argue, is a good description of where the modern West finds itself today: it exudes weakness, barrenness, cultural exhaustion and lack of passion, and Islam provides a potent antidote. And more secular rationalism is unlikely to solve the problems, since it is largely the cause of our malaise. In fact, history suggests that nothing can solve it, except conquest, collapse and a historical reset (aka a dark age). But hey, we’re post-Enlightenment Westerners, so maybe we’ve escaped the bonds of history and human nature and are ready to rocket off into the galaxy — just as soon as we finish ending history, getting rid of the terrorists and building the secular progressive global state (aka the atheist Millenium). LOL, right.



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  • 63
    Natasha says:

    When I was 18 years old I lived in a Sunni Muslim community in New Zealand. My boyfriend was a Muslim, which is why I was there.
    I am a white New Zealander.
    When September 11 attacks happened on the World Trade Center, I can tell you that suddenly these very everyday, non-extremist Muslims were suddenly ready for war.
    The boys were all only 19-25 years old, then ones we knew, the big group we associated with. They received a direction from their mosques to join the WAMY – World Association of Muslim Youth – if they hasn’t already. WAMY then started making statements that any offence to Islam should lead members to prepare for Jihad.
    I am talking intelligent young men raised in NZ, parents not extremist, they themselves largely ignoring doctrine, being suddenly willing to die.
    In the years since I have often heard people say talk about ‘non-extremist religious people not being any threat’. If a person is halfway in, it’s easier to get them the rest of the way.

    ALL religion is the the problem, and I really feel that so long as we keep hearing arguments about ‘getting the good ones in the religion on side’ we are wasting our time and making risky bets.
    To my mind, anything that supports religion is counter-productive and they should be told to stop being silly.



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  • If I draw a ‘stick’ man with five straight lines and a circle it is surely inoffensive – kids do it everyday. If I say it is a picture of Mohammed, the pizza delivery man who lives next door then likewise, it should cause no offence. So where does the taking of offence begin? As I understand things it only becomes offensive when I declare it to be a picture of the prophet Mohammed. Therefore it is not the cartoon which causes offence, but me. It has nothing to do with the cartoon and everything to do with my perceived disrespect of this particular religion. In short, the religion wants my respect, and it reserves the right to act in the most barbaric and disrespectful manner to achieve this end.



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  • @Marktony. Currently Islam/Muslim are the current champion terrorists. Agreed. However I find myself cringing when I hear arguments specifically about Islamic/Muslim terrorists. I’m of the view that the people making those arguments should make them more generic and aim at the extremist mindset, regardless of the adjective that precedes the word “Terrorist” (Insert extremist). It is the defect in humanity that allows our brains to come to an extreme position and act on it that is the problem, not the brand or the flag.

    Some of the comments I read are just racism in disguise. When you read a comment, insert the word “Nigger” and you will be able to detect the difference. You may see where I am coming from.

    The bible has just as many references to committing atrocities as the Koran. The only difference today between these two main religions is timing. Go back a few hundred years and we would be blogging about christian terrorism. Sure the christians aren’t committing atrocities now, but they were, and given the millions of heavily armed American extremist religious nutters, it would only need to spark to set that lot off. It is still the extremist mind that is the problem.

    So I think by concentrating on the brand “Islam/Muslim” we are missing the target. it is irrational extremist thinking, acted upon, that is the issue.



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  • 68
    Mcguffin8 says:

    The west has been at war with Islam off and on for about 700 years. Of course, time outs were called to engage in internecine slaughters that became necessary and the advent of the Ottoman Empire solidified the Muslim character of the Levant and North Africa right up until the 20th century. The changes in Europe and the new world made conducting wars on purely religious grounds less appealing (mostly) as the populace was becoming less willing to fight for these reasons. There are now other reasons to fight . My feeling is that all this yapping about a ‘Clash of Cultures’ is an effort on the part of ruling elites in the west to continue the battle to gain hegemonic control over the resources by recasting the fight for wealth as a defense of the secular state in Europe and a defense of Christianity in America. Given the national mythology’s of the west, which is all supposedly about freedom and self-determination, democracy and such, killing people to steal their stuff just won’t do. So we hear all this baloney about Muslims wanting to conquer the world and impose Sharia when in fact there is no Muslim country that can possibly accomplish that. In fact with the exception of the western client states (states that would collapse without western military support) few Muslim countries can even defend their borders. Consider the fact that globally 70 percent of all military spending benefits the USA and NATO. Before I get all worked up about the murders in Paris, I would like to feel assured that this isn’t a false-flag for some further assault on what’s left of democracy in the Western nations. I mean just look at the leadership of the west. That line-up of sock-puppets, all of whom have been complicit in the deaths of literally hundreds of thousands of Muslims and probably even a couple thousand Jihadists. So in my opinion, the ‘solution’ won’t be found by some joy-stick jockey playing video games with drones or the spaghetti draped military careerists deploying massive military budgets but by real people who start taking their humanity and their citizenship seriously and remove these fools from leadership and leave the Muslims to sort out their own problems.



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  • @BroughtyBoy:
    They do not have to see your stick figure personally. They do not have to know anyone who has seen your stick figure personally. They just need to hear it reported that you have drawn a stick figure, and called it Mohammed, and they will riot and go out and kill people who have nothing whatsoever to do with you.



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