Thank You Charlie Hebdo

The latest issue of Charlie Hebdo magazine comes out today with the Prophet Muhammed himself on the cover holding a Je Suis Charlie sign under the headline “Tout est Pardonné” or, “All Is Forgiven.” .  Distributors have ordered 3 million copies in anticipation of high sales, much more than their usual 60,000.  I hope they sell out.  Since I’m unsure of copyright issues, I won’t be posting the image but NY Magazine has one here.

Making fun of a person’s religion or putting out offensive material in general is not my cup of tea but there is a bigger point to this. As an equal opportunity offender, Charlie Hebdo makes fun of all religions, races, politicians and sexes, no one gets spared. Is some of it tasteless and inappropriate? Most definitely but by stretching the boundaries of free speech they strengthen it for the rest of us.

What happened in Paris last week was a tragic massacre but there is more to it than that. Topically you could say the killers were motivated by cartoons that made fun of their religion but the deeper reality is it was a direct assault on Western values and of our most cherished freedom, that of speaking your mind.

We are at a crossroads it seems on whether to take seriously the threat of Islamic extremism or to go on pushing lone wolf theories and “extreme workplace violence” euphemisms with our heads buried deep in the sand.

True freedom comes from having the choice to decline something not to your liking as opposed to someone in power making that choice for you. Charlie Hebdo publishes offensive cartoons because terrorists say they mustn’t and for that, they deserve our gratitude and a resolve to protect their freedom to continue on in safety.

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4 Responses to Thank You Charlie Hebdo

  1. La Panzona {Pahn.So.Nuh} says:

    Sometimes I wonder if we won’t revert back to the “Wild West” days where everyone carries a gun and if you don’t like a person, for whatever reason, you can just easily “get rid” of them. Silencing another says more about the Silencer than the Silencee. And change takes a long, long time. I think it’ll take another 200 years before the concept of “freedom of speech” is sufficiently digested in non-western minds..

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tricia says:

      Yes La Panzona, those are wise words and it really does say so much more about the sliencer then the person or people they attempt to shut down, doesn’t it? People have always gotten killed I guess for expressing the “wrong” opinions but we are at a strange time in history where political correctness is preventing western leaders from truly understanding and expressing what’s happening. Most Muslims, I believe abhor the type of violence brought by the Paris attacks and I think are ok with free speech, but there are many that cheer it and until we get serious about this, things will continue as is.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Dennis says:

    Charlie Hebdo has the opportunity to make fun of anyone or anything they want but they must be willing to suffer the consequences. The consequences can be benign or severe and we saw just how far some people will go to defend what they think are slander to their way of thinking. What bothers me is the double standard we impose on Islamist. If the “majority” of Muslims are peace loving why do they not demonstrate their anger at the extremist and put a stop to the killing? After all there are more “peace loving” Muslims and they could end the violence if they choose. If things don’t change in the next few years there will be an all out war on Muslims even the “peace loving” ones because hatred does not make the distinction. It will be “kill them all and let God sort them our”. If Muslims continue to take over cities states and countries then when they try to invoke their laws in the U S then all hell will break loose. Hide and watch!


    • Tricia says:

      Hmmm, I don’t agree with you at all that Charlie Hebdo staff should suffer the consequences of being murdered for printing offensive cartoons. Did they know something like this would happen? Yes surely as there were bombing attempts in the past and they were probably getting daily death threats. The whole point of carrying on though was and is to show the fanatics they will not be bullied out of their free speech rights. We don’t have to agree with what Charlie Hebdo is printing but we sure as heck better stand behind their right to do so or we might as well give up the ghost and surrender now. I do share your sentiments on Muslim immigration however and think you make a lot of sense. Western Europe and to an extent the U.S. seems afraid to require assimilation. Allowing Sharia law and “no go” areas where police and firemen aren’t allowed is absolute suicide for any nation. And indeed more moderate Muslims need to speak out but there is some hope. See Egypt’s President give a fiery speech about it here,
      And this from Rott Rotterdam, England’s Mayor telling radical Islam to “pack your bags and f*uck off” is awesome!


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