The Double Edged Pen: Charlie Hebdo Attack Didn’t Just “Happen”

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  • danya

    Very well said!

  • Trajinous

    No. You’re compartmentalizing Charlie Hebdo as if they only satirize Islam. They drew about all religions. It’s disingenuous to focus on just that. Sticks and stones….. how about not killing people period. You’re defending the attacks and that’s frightening.

    • Anon

      A member of Charlie Hebdo’s staff was fired for anti-semitic remarks. Charlie Hebdo actively targets the oppressed Muslim community in France. Demeaning a targeted minority is racism.

      Also, the author specifically underlined the part where she blatantly criticized the terrorists. AKA she isnt defending them.

      Standing up for Charlie Hedbo’s racism doesn’t mean defending the aggressors. Don’t be narrowminded. Look at every story from both sides.

      Charlie Hedbo was a bully who deserved to live.

      • Storm

        “Demeaning a targeted minority is racism” is flat out false. Claiming a cartoon is demeaning may be your subjective interpretation, but that does not make it racist. Satire and ridicule are a very powerful way to enact criticism on powerful institutions such as governments and (organised) religions. In a medium that revolves around satire on society there should be no special pass for religions just because they feel they have a divine truth: they get to be ridiculed just as much as politicians/environmental activists/whatever. Don’t pull the racism card when it is not applicable.

        Besides, racism is by no means the same as religious intolerance. Anyone can change their religion (not taking into account states where there is limited religious freedom) whereas race is set in stone. The difference between attacking someone’s genetics or someone’s set of ideas and beliefs should not be confused.

        • Anon

          The very plain, very obvious truth was that Charlie Hebdo’s comics fueled islamophobia in France.

          Charlie Hebdo released comics demeaning Muslims and Islam as a whole, and while it may have been satirical, I’m sure the readers who shared a few chuckles over the drawn Boko Haram sex slaves will think of Charlie Hebdo’s ignorant drawings the next time they see a Muslim.

          It’s a vulgar disrespect.
          French Muslims already have a problem walking in the streets without being harassed. They are an unwanted minority, and they know it.

          The definition of racism is: prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior.

          By a firing a staff member for anti-semitic remarks, but standing by their anti-islamic remarks, Charlie Hebdo is antagonizing, generalizing, and stereotyping a race (and yes, religion can be a race look it up, especially Islam which is so culturally intertwined, it’s a way of life) that they feel is inferior to another race.

          Don’t try to sugarcoat it. Charlie Hebdo is not some sort of hero. And religious intolerance against Muslims already exists and has existed for a while in France. Otherwise, Charlie Hebdo wouldn’t be such a successful paper.

          And, as for your belief that anyone can change their religion, I don’t believe that anyone should have to change their religion simply because they are being antagonized. That’s preposterous. And if you are defending the right to slander a religion, but not the right to defend a religion, you are sadly, sadly mistaken. (Mind that I do not mean defense with any level of violence, that is against the teachings of the Prophet himself who advised extreme passivity towards anyone who insults and aggresses.)

          And, as for your random religious/ genetic philosophy, most people believe they were meant to be a certain religion (Muslims believe that everyone was born Muslim, again look it up). That their religion runs in their veins. Just like homosexuals believe they were born homosexual (and the westboro baptist church believes it was a misinformed choice, as you are doing with religion). This whole matter is subjective. You can’t define that. But it is a quality that must be protected.

          Moral of the story: Charlie was a racist rag. The terrorists were misinformed, violent psychopaths claiming Islam. No one deserved death.

          Point Blank.

          • Storm

            “French Muslims already have a problem walking in the streets without being harassed.” This is horrible and should not happen in a liberal society. French
            muslims are not alone in this, since I encountered the same in my home country (also Western European). They are, however, by far not the only social group to receive harassment. Homosexuals, transgenders and women receive a lot of harassment as well. Does this mean that there should not be satire about homosexuals? Of course not.

            Just because religious intolerance exists and there are people who misinterpret satire for fact, using it as propaganda for their ideas, does not make the satire an
            attack on Islam. This is as much true as these gunmen claim to be representing Islam: using a piece of literature, be it modern media or holy scripture, for your own goal does not make the creator of that literature the one to blame. Charlie probably had a successful paper because of that he made fun of both immigrants and anti-immigrants, coalition and opposition, etc. I have no
            means of proving this of course. The hypothesis that readers just reinforce their own opinions (racists like it because they consider it insults on that group, others like myself just laugh over the point being made in the cartoon and move on) is as much valid as saying people will even slightly compare their muslim neighbor to a Boko Haram sex slave.

            My “philosophy” as you frame it is merely an attempt
            to show that the proper use of terms is important here. Because your religion states all were born Muslim does not make it empirical fact, nor does my statement prove the opposite. The fact that there is room for subjective
            interpretation here makes it essentially different from race. I am disgusted that you even suggest that I said that someone should change their religion while it is extremely clear I am presenting a variable on which race-identity and religious-identity are different. I can’t even comprehend how you could
            reach that interpretation.

            Charlie was not a racist rag, he was a stubborn cartoonist who didn’t give any ideology a free pass on criticism. The terrorists were indeed horribly delusional if they believe they represent Islam. Don’t frame your
            response as if I have a problem with Islam whilst I am solely arguing that Charlie does not qualify for the racist tags he receives.

          • Jekyll

            Satire about sexual degenerates is hate speech, about jews antisemitism and about Muslims freedom of speech.

  • Ilona Juhanson

    One of the goals of Charie Hebdo (as I read on Wiki) was to make institutions and religions of all sorts human and diminish their power yet it was only now that someone retaliated. I value the integrity and dignity of people regardless of their beliefs and life choices but the very fact that these men went and spilled blood is a testament to their own insecurity and malevolent intent. Had they been sure in their faith and confident in their God, they would not have needed to kill people regardless of their deeds. It is a human weakness, to lash out even though everything will be taken into account in the end, adding to it. I also feel that this insecurity is one of the main subconscious causes of religious extremism, islamic or christian (youtube has many videos on the latter). I am one of those cynical people who doesn’t like authorities telling me what to do, so I understand the need for such satire. It makes institutions with too much power laughable and therefore levels society so no one can look down upon anyone. However, I also understand the implications of sensitive topics such as depicting Mohammad. Had this happened with christian icons in the old Byzantine empire, they would have been executed as well. However, as tasteless as it is or could be, in Europe, if it doesn’t harm your human rights and you don’t like it, you look away because it is their right to express themselves as they see fit as long as they don’t break the law and violate human rights. Humor is humor and people have different tastes. This is the manifestation of a greater problem for both sides and I hope it gets solved soon to mutual benefit.

  • Sam

    Did Charlie Hebdo ever create cartoons about French imperialism…about the French colonization of Algerians (99% Muslims)…which only ended in 1962? The disenfranchised Muslim population in France that exists now (French but not “really” French is the message) can’t be understood well outside the context of the French colonialism of Algeria.

  • Andree

    I don’t know what you’ve been reading (or not reading) but I have read many references to the Muslim police officer who was murdered.
    And can we get back to basics?! You do not murder someone who draws a cartoon.
    No excuses.