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Pondering

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
Oh, I think freedom of speech carries with it a responsibility to not be offensive when you are called out for being offensive to a minority or marginalized group in society, especially when caricatures perpetuate negative and derogatory stereotypes against people are least able to represent or defend themselves.

While that might be nice (the same as if everyone were just polite, all the time) freedom of speech carries no such responsibility.  It's for the law to say when speech goes too far, not finger waggers.

That something is not a legal responsibility doesn't mean it isn't a moral responsibility.

Freedom of speech extends to finger-waggers too.

In my personal view the powerful do have a moral responsibility to use that power judiciously not maliciously. That the cartoonists have a legal right to print the material does not abrogate my right to criticize it as in poor taste and a destructive force that contributes to hostility and misunderstanding. That's free speech too.

swallow swallow's picture

[url=http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/prophet-muhammad-cartoon-in-quebe... newspapers pulish same cartoon, showing the Prophet saying 'it's tough to be loved by idiots'[/url]

NDPP

Netanyahu: Paris Attack Proves World Must Fight Islamist Terror

http://www.timesofisrael.com/netanyahu-paris-attack-proves-world-must-fi...

"Netanyahu said the motive of Islamist terrorists was to 'destroy society and nations, to uproot human culture which is based on freedom, and the freedom to choose.'

Therefore, the prime minister continued, 'Free societies and all civilized people must unite and combat this terrorism. Combatting this means physically fighting, fighting against their false arguments and under no circumstances accepting the various justifications for their motives,' he concluded.

Former president Shimon Peres expressed shock over the shooting and said the attack highlights the need to protect the values of freedom and liberty.

'The choice we face is either freedom or terrorism the two of them cannot exist. I am sure that despite the pain, liberty will prevail, we must all mobilize everywhere in every way to cut off the head of the snake,' he said.

The US and Canada swiftly condemned the massacre as well."

 

We'll Need Harper's Tactics and Trudeau's Strategy To Fight Effectively

http://www.torontosun.com/2015/01/10/well-need-harpers-tactics-and-trude...

"And so. We're all Israelis now.

Now we, like the Israelis, who had to deal first with pan-Arabist terrorism and now Islamist terrorism, wonder when the next attack will happen on our soil, whether by Islamists, or Islamist converts, or non-Islamists influenced by Islamists.

And, as in Israel, a fierce debate is erupting across Western democracies about what to do about this growing threat..."

 

Who Ordered the Attack on Charlie Hebdo?

http://www.voltairenet.org/article186441.html

"The strategy of 'the clash of civilizations' was designed in Tel Aviv and Washington

We do not know who sponsored this professional operation against Charlie Hebdo but we should not allow ourselves to be swept up. We should consider all assumptions and admit that at this stage its most likely purpose is to divide us; and its sponsors are most likely in Washington..."

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
That something is not a legal responsibility doesn't mean it isn't a moral responsibility.

Of course.  So even though the sign says I cannot drive faster than 100 km/hr, how fast *should* I drive if I'm a good and moral person?

Quote:
Freedom of speech extends to finger-waggers too.

Indeed.  Wag away -- I won't shoot you for it.

Quote:
That the cartoonists have a legal right to print the material does not abrogate my right to criticize it as in poor taste and a destructive force that contributes to hostility and misunderstanding. That's free speech too.

I'm not being ironic nor facetious when I say that I don't think anyone's said anything in this thread that means to take that away from you.  Enjoy your freedom to speak your mind, "responsibly" or no.

 

6079_Smith_W

Pondering wrote:

I don't think the reprints here were posted with the intent of offending vulnerable groups.

Okay... that made me laugh.

I actually held off posting until it was pretty clear that the horse was out of the barn. You think people here get special license for intent so they can essentially wave images around, out of context, for shock value, but the original artists - making anti-racist, anti-theocratic cartoons - are apparently skewered for all the crimes of western civilization, as you put it? It's ridiculous, and you honestly think those who actually hold that extremist interpretation you seem to be giving so much deference to care about the distinction that they "didn't mean it that way"?

Speaking of repecting the seriousness of this topic, I think we're still waiting for that Obama minstrel pic. I'm sure that will make everything about this clear as day. Let's all put on our glum faces and get ready with the rotten tomatoes.

(edit)

And who is saying you have no right to criticize it if you don't like it? I take issue with the straw argument that the legal right to expression is contingent on any sort of moral responsibility to kowtow to others' taboos. Sorry, but it isn't.

Pondering

When you quote multiple posters please ensure that you attribute the quotes correctly.

Pondering wrote:
No, but no need to honour that which is produced with the specific intend of offending vulnerable groups rather than communicating a political message.

Mr. Magoo wrote:
That's right.  No need to honour it.  Why are so many acting like someone has a gun to their head saying "LAUGH at these cartoons, or face the consequences!"?

When a joke is just dumb, we feel no overbearing pressure to laugh.  Who's telling you that you have to LAUGH at any of this?

I never said anything about laughter and plenty of great political cartoons don't generate laughter. I agree with the decision of the CBC in not reprinting the images before or after the murders. There is no need for the CBC to honour them by reprinting the cartoons. I don't think other publications should have printed them either. Pay close attention here, I didn't say anyone should stop them.

I think focusing on the cartoons and free speech distracts us from the real reasons this happened which has little to do with cartoons.

Mr. Magoo wrote:
I'm not being ironic nor facetious when I say that I don't think anyone's said anything in this thread that means to take that away from you.  Enjoy your freedom to speak your mind, "responsibly" or no.

You said It's for the law to say when speech goes too far, not finger waggers.

Certainly sounds like you don't think I have a right to say when I think someone has gone too far.

You also used a derogatory term as a put down. That is so weak it's pitiful. 

Pondering wrote:
I feel quite confident in saying that the majority of Christians would not find the cartoon of the Holy Spirit sodomizing Jesus who is sodomizing God amusing and acceptable.

Mr. Magoo wrote:
How important is it that they find it amusing?  Or "acceptable"?

What if they say, do or find things "acceptable" that *I* don't?  Do they have to stop, and are they going to?

Then you do what I am doing. You express your opinion that you don't find what they are doing acceptable. No they don't have to stop but I would hope that they would listen to your opinion and consider your reasons and I hope other people would too.

I am free to call it out for what it is which is all I am doing. I think that "cartoon" is abusive and was of no political value.

I also support Canada's hate speech law which is narrow enough to allow these cartoons to be reprinted.

So what exactly is your problem?

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

Dr Paul Craig Roberts:

the terrorist attack that killed 12 people on Wednesday in Paris was a false flag operation “designed to shore up France’s vassal status to Washington.”

see link - Charlie Hebdo and Tsarnaev’s Trial: Cui bono?

Roberts takes a so-called conspiracy theory view on the events of September 11, 2001 and some other views that are questionable. One comment, however, that I like very much:

"As the US government has taught us since the Clinton regime, the safest assumption is that everything the government says is a lie."

6079_Smith_W

Never mind those cartoons making fun of the murderers. The most bitting ridicule is from Greta Berlin, speculating that they must have been MOSSAD because they were such good shots:

http://www.algemeiner.com/2015/01/08/bds-leaders-promote-anti-semitic-co...

Quote:

Here’s hoping the French police will be able to tell a well executed hit by a well trained Israeli intelligence service and not assume the Muslims would be likely to attack France when France is their freind (sic.) Israel did tell France there would be grave consequences if they voted with Palestine. A four year old could see who is responsible for this terrible attack.

You can't make this stuff up, really.

And more conspiracy theories:

http://blog.adl.org/international/anti-semitic-conspiracies-after-paris-...

with a reprinted cartoon from Latuff to go along with it:

We wouldn't want to have any of this dirty laundry left in the closet after they are buried, after all.

 

 

Pondering

6079_Smith_W wrote:

While we're at it, maybe you can do an inventory of who is actually claiming offense here. I see a lot of claims used as a foil, more often than not by people who aren't actually from those presumed vulnerable groups....

I can tell you what offends me... speaking about the Muslim community as if they are one and the same as these fundamentalist attackers, and the paternalistic assumption that their religious values - those who are religious - is going to trump their respect for media (not to mention their presumed sense of humour and political sensibilities).

The comments above certainly seem to be suggesting that not being a member of a group somehow invalidates my opinion not to mention the idiotic accusation that I was grouping all Muslims in with the terrorists.

I share the opinion of the Montreal Gazette and CBC and Radio-Canada even though the last did show them:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/prophet-muhammad-cartoon-in-quebe...

The Montreal Gazette, the English-language daily, decided not to run the same image, which was originally published in 2006.

Lucinda Chodan, editor in chief of the Gazette, said her newspaper’s parent company, Postmedia, has a long-standing policy against publishing depictions of the Prophet Muhammad....

“It isn’t political correctness or cowardice. It’s based on a philosophy of respect towards the Muslim faith,” she told Mike Finnerty, host of the CBC morning show Daybreak, on Thursday........

CBC News has decided not to publish cartoons from Charlie Hebdo that feature the Prophet Muhammad.

“This is not a ban, and it isn't censorship,”  David Studer, CBC's director of Journalistic Standards and Practices, said in an email on Wednesday, reminding news staff of CBC's long-established policy. 

“We are being consistent with our historic journalistic practices around this story, not because of fear, but out of respect for the beliefs and sensibilities of the mass of Muslim believers about images of the Prophet​. Similarly, we wouldn't publish cartoons likely to dismay or outrage mainstream followers of other religions​.”........

Michel Cormier, Radio-Canada's executive director of news and current affairs, said the image was used sparingly, and with the intention of providing context to the events unfolding in Paris.

6079_Smith_W wrote:
You think people here get special license for intent so they can essentially wave images around, out of context, for shock value, but the original artists - making anti-racist, anti-theocratic cartoons - are apparently skewered for all the crimes of western civilization, as you put it?

I don't equate posting here with the MSM publishing them. I don't think the posters here included them for shock value. I think it was to illustrate what we are talking about. I don't agree that the cartoons I have seen were anti-racist or anti-theocratic. I think they incited racism and intolerance.

They were cartoonists. They didn't deserve to die. They were chosen to make a statement and to incite hatred but mostly because this is the way asymmetrical warfare works. They can't fight a traditional war. I am sure they would much rather have killed Obama or taken out a control centre for drones but those aren't within reach so soft targets it is. 

6079_Smith_W

Actually the presentation of presumed insults to (presumably all) Muslims as a provocation that caused this attack has been constant throughout this thread, as has blurring the actual stated cause - depictions of the prophet - with presumptions of Islamophobia, and other content that has nothing to do with that, but which some people find insulting.

Some here have made the suggestion more strongly than others - going so far as to imply that they were asking for it -  but it has been steady throughout.

And sorry, but they didn't just decide to go after them because they couldn't get Obama, or a government minister, or a police station, and they were easier to get to. CH was targetted specifically, like Theo Van Gogh, Salman Rushdie, and Kurt Westergaard.

And asymmertrical? What imbalance are you talking about? The narrative of CH as a storefront operation for agents of western Imperialism (if they had drones and waterboards stashed in the back room it sure didn't help them any)... or the far more real imbalance of assault rifles against pencils?

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:

You said It's for the law to say when speech goes too far, not finger waggers.

Certainly sounds like you don't think I have a right to say when I think someone has gone too far.

Ah, OK.  I think we have two different meanings of "say" in play here.

It's for the law to "say" (that is, render a binding legal assessment of) when speech has gone too far, and also for you to "say" (give your personal opinion of) when speech has gone too far. 

My point, made upthread as well, is that we don't actually have a "responsibility" to not offend.  Perhaps we similarly disagree on the meaning of "responsibility"?

wage zombie

6079_Smith_W wrote:

And asymmertrical? What imbalance are you talking about? The narrative of CH as a storefront operation for agents of western Imperialism (if they had drones and waterboards stashed in the back room it sure didn't help them any)... or the far more real imbalance of assault rifles against pencils?

Are you serious?

NDPP

'Leave Muslims Alone': Paris Hostage Taker's Attemp to Justify Attacks Taped By Media (audio)

http://rt.com/news/221503-paris-gunman-argues-hostages/

"An argument between the slain gunman Amedy Coulibaly and hostages at the Paris kosher store was unwittingly recorded by French radio station RTL. The media released what it says was Coulibaly speaking on the West's 'attacks on Muslims'.

'Leave the Muslims alone, we will leave you alone,' the man believed to be the 32-year-old gunman can be heard as saying in fluent French on an audio clip released by RTL.

Coulibaly called his actions a revenge for the French military presence in Mali, Western intervention in Syria, airstrikes against the Islamic State and the French law banning women from wearing the hijab in public.

The gunman argued with the hostages and blamed them for implicitly supporting the French government by 'paying taxes' and not standing up to French politicians demanding they 'leave the Muslims alone...Everyone could get together. If they could get together for Charlie Hebdo...they could do the same for us - and get together for us.'

NDPP

6079_Smith_W wrote:

 

And more conspiracy theories:

http://blog.adl.org/international/anti-semitic-conspiracies-after-paris-...

 

Irrespective of what BDS activist Greta Berlin may have said, or what Smith and the ADL's Abe Foxman may ridicule and demonize as 'anti-semitic', the interests of Israel in France, remain anything but ridiculous. Unlike Foxman himself...

http://youtu.be/au1w7a_fbZY

 

NDPP

Arrests Come as Harper Mulls New Anti-Terrorism Laws

http://www.canada.com/News/canada/Arrests+come+Harper+mulls+anti+terrori...

"The arrests of two Ottawa men on terrorism charges comes with Parliament just weeks away from considering new legislation to give police and security agencies more power to try to prevent or counter terrorists.

A day after a gunman attacked Parliament Hill in October, Prime Minister Stephen Harper told the House of Commons that new laws giving police more powers to watch, detain and arrest suspected extremists are 'already underway and will be expedited."

rightward ho!

lagatta

Why on earth would anyone be suprised that Amedy Coulibaly spoke "fluent French"? He was French, as were the other two gunmen.

NDPP

It's an important point which reveals much...

Amedy Coulibably ISIS Video: Footage Shows Paris Supermarket Gunman Pledging Allegiance to 'Islamic State'

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/ahmed-coulibaly-isis-video-foota...

"What we are doing is completely legitimate, given what you are doing,' Coulibably says in fluent French. 'You cannot attack and not expect retribution..."

6079_Smith_W

wage zombie wrote:

Are you serious?

Deadly serious. That was quite a funny Pondering made there. I know they say the pen is mightier than the sword, but I don't think they mean it that way.

and @ lagatta

Yeah, my jaw dropped at that one too. Though it is no more surprising than the other assumptions being made about that community in the wake of this attack.

 

abnormal

My apologies if someone has already posted this

Quote:
 "The mayor of Padua has said that no more permits will be granted for the construction of mosques in the northern Italian city in the wake of the shooting at the offices of Charlie Hebdo, the satirical magazine, in Paris on Wednesday."

http://www.thelocal.it/20150109/padua-to-ban-new-mosques-in-wake-of-pari...

 

NS NS's picture

"I’m not going to make a career out of baiting some fucking religious fanatics . . . That seems crazy." R. Crumb

NS NS's picture

Charlie Hebdo and the hypocrisy of pencils

 

"What but cruel mockery is the contention that Western civilization fights its wars with the pen and not the sword?"

To the victims of military occupation; to the people in the houses that bore the brunt of “shock and awe” bombing in Iraq; to those whose bodies were disfigured by white phosphorous and depleted uranium; to the parents of children who disappeared into the torture cells of Abu Ghraib; to all of them – what but cruel mockery is the contention that Western “civilisation” fights its wars with the pen and not the sword?

It is not to even mention the brutal rule of French colonialism in Algeria, and its preparedness to murder hundreds of thousands of Algerians and even hundreds of French-Algerian citizens in its efforts to maintain the remnants of empire. It is leaving aside the ongoing poverty, ghettoisation and persecution endured by the Muslim population of France, which is mostly of Algerian origin.

The history of the West’s relationship with the Muslim world – a history of colonialism and imperialism, of occupation, subjugation and war – cries out in protest against the quaint idea that “Western values” entail a rejection of violence and terror as political tools.

6079_Smith_W

Well I got the joke anyway. And I don't think it was that living in fear from those fanatics is an advisable or sustainable course of action.

And I guess I'm losing my comic touch too,if it's not clear that I am calling out the portrayal of CH as just another arm of imperialism as bullshit.

Kinda begs the question of why these murderers didn't go after the offices of le Pen, or their newspaper.

Professional courtesy, I suppose.

KenS

I'm not going to read backward. And I don't remember exactly what I have said, or even necessarily remember accurately what I have thought along the way in general terms.

But on consderation, I think I have revised my feeling that the CH cartoonists were and are culpable in stoking racism in France. It can be argued that they are not helping, and I certainly would not argue with that. But culpable is different.

So I still think the French- including the French left- are appalingly complacent about their racism. But that is nothing new- cartooonists don't change that. And I don't really know enough about where CH fits into that.

I am most comfortable with the wisdom of Crumb. What the CH cartoomists did/do about provoking zealots is crazy. He is mostly saying it is a crazy risk for oneself, but he does also indicate that on a collective level its kind of a crazy thing to do.

Sacco says the same thing: I could do this, but why would I?

 

The tack that it is irresponsible to be doing that instead of poking at the opressors- that is a different discussion. And the validity of it does not trump the Wisdom of Crumb.

And the notion, blatantly perpetrated here, that the killing of a bunch of cartoonists is trivial next to what imperialism does to set this all in motion... that notion is offensive. People are entitled to peddle that. It does have a rationality to it. [So what.] And I do not find it appalingly offensive. But offensive it is.

lagatta

There have long been strange xenophobes in Venetian towns such as Padua. Historically, Venice itself was the exception, it was the "red" area of the Veneto. Of course there are next to no Venetians, and very few Venetian workers, in the historic town, but they live in the new districts on "dry land" such as Mestre.

They weren't racist only to Muslims or other "furriners" such as Balkan refugees, but even to southern Italians. During the economic crisis in Argentina a decade ago, a publication in one of those Venetian cities (perhaps Padua) appealed for VENETIAN Argentineans to "return" to Italy (though their ancestors had probably left a century earlier). None of that olive-skinned swarthy rabble.

Red Winnipeg

I think a fundamental question is: Should a person's right to speak depend on the political content of the speech? If it does, then I think that is a very dangerous precedent to set.

Unionist

Red Winnipeg wrote:
I think a fundamental question is: Should a person's right to speak depend on the political content of the speech? If it does, then I think that is a very dangerous precedent to set.

The precedent is already set. And in France, no less - by the [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laws_against_Holocaust_denial#France]Gayssot Act[/url] of 1990:

Quote:

Art 9. – As an amendment to Article 24 of the law of July 29, 1881 on the freedom of the press, article 24 (a) is as follows written: <<Art. 24 (a). - those who have disputed the existence of one or more crimes against humanity such as they are defined by Article 6 of the statute of the international tribunal military annexed in the agreement of London of August 8, 1945 and which were a carried out either by the members of an organization declared criminal pursuant to Article 9 of the aforementioned statute, or by a person found guilty such crimes by a French or international jurisdiction shall be punished by one month to one year's imprisonment or a fine.

Art 13. - It is inserted, after article 48-1 of the law of July 29, 1881 on the freedom of the press, article 48-2 thus written: <<Art. 48-2. - publication or publicly expressed opinion encouraging those to whom it is addressed to pass a favourable moral judgment on one or more crimes against humanity and tending to justify these crimes (including collaboration) or vindicate their perpetrators shall be punished by one to five years' imprisonment or a fine.

[emphasis added]

P.S.: This is usually described as a ban on Holocaust denial. Don't expect anyone to be prosecuted for denying the murder of countless thousands by France, NATO, etc. in Mali, Iraq, you name it - or denying that those are crimes against humanity.

Acts of terror and murder are abominable and must be condemned, by everyone.

Freedom of speech? France abolished that. And nobody gave a damn.

France is not Charlie.

 

Red Winnipeg

I agree that France has limited speech when it comes to "Holocaust Denial" (which I think is a mistake). But, France has not "abolished" the right of free speech. Relative to most countries, the ability to speak and write freely in French society remains significant and open.

Unionist

Red Winnipeg wrote:
I agree that France has limited speech when it comes to "Holocaust Denial" (which I think is a mistake).

That's not what the law says. I just quoted it. The French authorities apply it selectively, to suppress some expression but not others. The same as Saudi Arabia, where you are free to publicly express your love for the King, but will be lashed and imprisoned and fined for doing the opposite.

ETA: I deleted a portion, having misunderstood something you said.

Red Winnipeg

Unionist wrote:

Red Winnipeg wrote:
I agree that France has limited speech when it comes to "Holocaust Denial" (which I think is a mistake).

That's not what the law says. I just quoted it. The French authorities apply it selectively, to suppress some expression but not others. The same as Saudi Arabia, where you are free to publicly express your love for the King, but will be lashed and imprisoned and fined for doing the opposite.

ETA: I deleted a portion, having misunderstood something you said.

Right, but you also said: "Don't expect anyone to be prosecuted for denying the murder of countless thousands by France, NATO, etc. in Mali, Iraq, you name it - or denying that those are crimes against humanity." So, in effect, while the law may be broad, it's really a "Holocaust Denial" statute.

That said, do you agree that a person is pretty free to say and write what one wishes in France?

NS NS's picture

Thank you Uniionist

 

Charlie Hebdo were ironic until the end.. Even the march that followed their death was bitter irony

Display of "unity" by world leaders, including Bibi who is a "defender" of free speech when his forces targeted press workers/offices during Gaza slaughter

 

 

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

NS wrote:
Charlie Hebdo were ironic until the end.. Even the march that followed their death was bitter irony

Display of "unity" by world leaders, including Bibi who is a "defender" of free speech when his forces targeted press workers/offices during Gaza slaughter ...

Well, yes, and there is good evidence to suggest that Israel isn't averse to killing a Palestinian cartoonist by the name of Naji al-Ali ...

 

Pondering

Mr. Magoo wrote:
My point, made upthread as well, is that we don't actually have a "responsibility" to not offend.  Perhaps we similarly disagree on the meaning of "responsibility"?

Could be.

If I am walking by a burning building and I see a woman holding an infant out of a second floor window I have a moral responsibility to stretch my arms out and try to catch the baby.

There is a moral responsibility not to add to the burden of abused groups or incite more violence against them. If someone chooses to offend a group for no reason they have a right to but I don't have to condone the behavior.

Frosh rape chants aren't offensive just because they insult women. They are offensive because they promote violence against women by minimizing a very real threat.

Satire to me is not just about mocking or insulting people. Regular humour does that all the time and does get criticized for fat jokes and rape jokes etc. Fat jokes and rape jokes are generally not defined as satirical even though they ridicule the targets. Political satire is elevated by it's attempt to communicate some message beyond simply insulting people.

Maybe some of Charlie Hebdo's cartoons communicated a message beyond denigrating people but the ones I saw did not.

Red Winnipeg

Pondering: "Political satire is elevated by it's attempt to communicate some message beyond simply insulting people."

When is speech an "attempt to communicate some message" versus "simply insulting people"?

If I say, "Fuck the Pope!" should I be barred from doing so because it is "simplying insulting people" or can I say it because I have attempted "to communicate some message"?

NDPP

In Solidarity With A Free Press: Some More Blasphemous Cartoons  -  by Glenn Greenwald

https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/01/09/solidarity-charlie-hebdo-c...

6079_Smith_W

@ NDPP

Yeah. This got posted in the other place too. Do you think Greenwald is going to get any bomb threats? He is free to reprint those.Is he suggesting they are forbidden?

But as I also said, it is a pretty tone-deaf comparision if he doesn't recognize the difference between political and religious criticism and open racist propaganda (and not even funny propaganda at that). Greenwald is not a stupid man; I refuse to believe he can't tell the difference between Chevy Chase on Weekend Update and Der Stuermer.

It used to be we laughed at totalitarians about their "depraved art" thing. Evidently there is an equivalent blindness on the left.

And he is mistaken about the his allegation that CH hasn't received charges of anti-semitism.

 

6079_Smith_W

dp

Pondering

6079_Smith_W wrote:
Actually the presentation of presumed insults to (presumably all) Muslims as a provocation that caused this attack has been constant throughout this thread, as has blurring the actual stated cause - depictions of the prophet - with presumptions of Islamophobia, and other content that has nothing to do with that, but which some people find insulting.

I reread the entire thread and I think you are misinterpreting the arguments people are making and making links they did not make.

Let's pretend for a minute that nobody was shot and we were just discussing the quality of Charlie Hebdo's work. Some of us are saying their work was crap. It was not political satire it was just an excuse to be offensive. 

Their crap is not the cause of hostilities between the Western World and Islam. They just exploit it and they are an easy target.

The fact that they were slaughtered doesn't change my opinion about their work. It's still crap. Some of us question the motivation behind reprinting crap just because the crap producers were tragically murdered.

6079_Smith_W wrote:
And sorry, but they didn't just decide to go after them because they couldn't get Obama, or a government minister, or a police station, and they were easier to get to. CH was targetted specifically, like Theo Van Gogh, Salman Rushdie, and Kurt Westergaard. .....

....And asymmertrical? What imbalance are you talking about? The narrative of CH as a storefront operation for agents of western Imperialism (if they had drones and waterboards stashed in the back room it sure didn't help them any)... or the far more real imbalance of assault rifles against pencils?

The imbalance between the weaponry being deployed against populations in the mid east versus the type of weaponry they have to fight back with. They can't bomb us or send drones after us the way we do them but that has not convinced them to surrender. We call them terrorists while refusing to acknowledge that if anyone is terrorized it is the people of the mid east by our bombs and drones from which the innocent are defenseless. We are the terrorists.

I read the building was guarded by two police and there was a receptionist they needed to get the code from. The security was aimed at stopping an untrained lone wolf type, the type that took the market.

The gunmen seemed to know about the editorial meeting and where to go in the building and they had military training.

Charlie Hebdo is no Salman Rushdie. Media is targeted but so are transportation hubs, major shopping centres and luxury hotels. Schools too for those who can stomach it.

6079_Smith_W wrote:
And I guess I'm losing my comic touch too,if it's not clear that I am calling out the portrayal of CH as just another arm of imperialism as bullshit.

Kinda begs the question of why these murderers didn't go after the offices of le Pen, or their newspaper.

Do you think the brothers were radicalized by Charlie Hebdo cartoons and that is why they went to Syria to train? I think the target was secondary to the shooters' motivation. If it were not Charlie it would have been another target in France. Sure, it could have been le Pen if there were no Charlie Hebdo, or any other number of targets. It would have been someone somewhere because the shooters went to Syria for training and returned to France to do battle.

CH is not being elevated to the importance of being an arm of imperialism. By all accounts they had a really small circulation.

Terrorist groups are looking for targets that make strong statements or intimidate people or cause maximum political harm and get them maximum press. If they could have bombed London with planes and drones I don't think they would have bothered with Charlie Hebdo.

Comments by the market hostage taker are very telling:

Originally posted by NDPP:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/ahmed-coulibaly-isis-video-foota...

"What we are doing is completely legitimate, given what you are doing,' Coulibably says in fluent French. 'You cannot attack and not expect retribution..."

http://rt.com/news/221503-paris-gunman-argues-hostages/.

The gunman argued with the hostages and blamed them for implicitly supporting the French government by 'paying taxes' and not standing up to French politicians demanding they 'leave the Muslims alone...Everyone could get together. If they could get together for Charlie Hebdo...they could do the same for us - and get together for us.'

To go a step farther, also posted by NDPP:

Who Should Be Blamed For Muslim Terrorism?  - by Andre Vltchek

http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/01/09/who-should-be-blamed-for-muslim-t...

"...Almost all radical movements in today's Islam, anywhere in the world, are tied to Wahhabism, an ultra-conservative, reactionary sect of Islam which is in control of the political life of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other staunch allies of the West in the Gulf.

It is very clear from the historical record that without British help neither Wahhabism nor the House of Saud would be in existence today. Wahhabism is a British inspired fundamentalist movement in Islam.

Through its defense of the House of Saud, the US also supports Wahhabism directly and indirectly  regardless of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

Charlie Hebdo's "cartoons" are not why they are dead. The cartoons themselves are just a symptom, like a pimple, not the cause of Islamic radicalism. If we could convince all Muslims that the cartoons are harmless free speech that would save cartoonists but it wouldn't reduce the violence it would just shift it.

...standing up to French politicians demanding they 'leave the Muslims alone...Everyone could get together. If they could get together for Charlie Hebdo...they could do the same for us - and get together for us.'

6079_Smith_W

You know what, Pondering, I'm not going to bother even responding to most of that because it really has nothing to do with anything I said.

But presenting those last words of the murderer who killed over a dozen people? Somehow I don't think I'd be interested in whatever it is he thinks we should "get together" with him for.

And given the prevailing responses within the Muslim community to this tragedy in favour of freedom of expression and against violence, I see no reason why I should give any weight to the ideas promoted by that butcher. Seems to me it would undercut everything many of them have said to the contrary.

... if we want to talk about reprinting offensive shit, that is. And making paternalistic assumptions that he speaks for all Muslims.

 

 

lagatta

Islamist terrorists don't attack Le Pen. They feed each other.

Remember that Le Pen was not just a rightwing blowhard or a plagiarist of the Italian fascists' flame. He was a TORTURER, in Algeria.

6079_Smith_W

And on something a little upthread, I have always considered the criminalization of holocaust denial (as somehting distinct and separate from willful promotion of hatred)  to be not all that effective, and a double standard. In the first place, people are going to believe those and other crazy theories anyway, and they are far better challenged with real evidence.

 

 

Red Winnipeg

6079_Smith_W wrote:

...they are far better challenged with real evidence.

 

 

I think this response should be the sole response for all speech that one finds offensive.

NDPP

Michel Houellebecq's 'Soumission'

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/author-of-book-env...

"The leader of France's Muslim party has beaten the far-right Front National in the Presidential elections, women abandon Western dress and leave work, non-Muslim teachers are forced out of their jobs and polygamy is reinstated - this is France in 2022 according to a new book.

Michel Houellbecq's sixth novel , Submission (Soumission), has caused a national scandal before its release. WIth the creation of the fictional Muslim Fraternity party and subsequent erosion of present day religious freedoms, critics have accused him of inciting Islamophobia with a far-right scare story.

Laurent Joffrin, editor of French national newspaper Liberation, argues that Submission 'will mark the date in history when the ideas of the Far-right make a grand return to serious French literature.'

It's release on Wednesday, comes less than three months before the French Presidential election ,which has already been dominated by debates over immigration..."

'Islamophobic' Michael Houllebecq Book Featured By Charlie Hebdo Published Today

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/france/11329625/Islamop...

"Submission, the latest controversial work by Michel Houllebecq, was featured on this week's Charlie Hebdo cover. [Houellbecq] denied that the novel - which has triggered furious debate prior to its release over whether it is Islamophobic - was a 'Christmas present' to Marine Le Pen, the far-right Front National leader.

Francois Hollande, the French president, on Monday said he would read the book and that literary freedom must be respected. But he urged the French not to give into 'fear' of 'submersion, invasion, submission'."

 

French PM: France Without Jews Would Be A Failure

http://www.timesofisrael.com/french-pm-france-without-jews-would-be-a-fa...

"To all the Jews of France, all the Jews of Europe, I would like to say that Israel is not just the place in whose direction you pray, the state of Israel is your home,' Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a televised statement.

Other Israeli leaders echoed the call to French and European Jews to come to Israel..."

 

an email from France:

Greetings,

"Here the state propaganda machine is working at full tilt. I want to puke every time my eyes stumble upon any of the mass media. It is becoming a devious hate machine and I'm really afraid that my country will become heavily divided. Future looks bleak. Keep on with your work, we have our own people here doing that kind of work, but it is so creepy to see that so many people are completely eaten by the propaganda machine.

Regards"

NS NS's picture

I concur with Pondering

Red River, we have all heard by now that Charlie Hebdo went after all religions equally.  We are told that they were "equal opportunity offender"

The argument raised goes like "it's not racist because it makes fun of everyone, including Christians equally".  But did they really?

 In an Unequal World, Mocking All Serves the Powerful

American cartoons such as South Park and Family Guy joke about the disabled and the terminally ill, and constantly engage in "envelope-pushing" racist and misogynist humor. But these "no holds barred" shows never mock, say, 9/11 victims, or soldiers killed in Iraq. American newspapers do not publish pro-ISIS cartoons".

Satirists do have sacred cows and finds certain topics sacrilege. They adhere to their own moral compasses and standards whether they like to admit or not

jerrym

The image of the the estimated 3.7 million unity marchers that stuck in my mind was not the world leaders marching arm-in-arm. but the interview with a Black woman and her white husband who when asked about the impact of the week on them. They said their child (at most eight years of age) had made a cartoon, which he then proudly held up. It showed a man firing a gun with the word "méchant" (wicked).

I agree that the western media have often ignored the racial and religious problems around the world. However, the world media, people in general and this website also often ignore these issues. When I tried to bring up the more than 6 million killed in the Congo since WWII, or the 150,000 killed in conflicts between Christians and Moslems in the Philippines, I was attacked for distracting from the Israeli-Palestine conflict, which some posters stated they view as more important. There is an orthodoxy to much of the comments on this website.

Of course, I'm prejudiced. My wife is Filipino and her uncle was burnt to death by Moslems in this conflict that grew out of the Communist guerilla movement of the 1950s. When the Americans warned the Filipino elite, whom they had reinstalled in power in return for a free trade deal with the US after their collusion with the Japanese during their invasion in WWII, the elite told Filipino Christians to take over Mindanao, the second largest and mostly Moslem island, instead of introducing land reform, leading to a 60 year conflict. When you have to deal with the anger and prejudice of some your own relatives by marriage about such situations over many years, you come to see things as not black and white (or brown), but as all too complexly human. When you know people for a long period of time who one day say you cannot trust Moslems because their own relatives have been burned to death by them and later tell you they are deeply worried about what will happen to Moslems in France after these killings, you come to see how conflicted people can be. 

When you live with a Moslem in the 1980s who was so conflicted over the Russian invasion of Afghanistan that he sometimes shouts "Kill the bastards" repeatedly in comments that has no relation to entire conversations, you see how global events can transform lives and often for the worse.

When people tell you that white people cannot understand prejudice, you have to laugh if you're Irish. Malthus, the father of population economics and a capitalist economist of course, argued that the Irish were a different race from the English (even though every ethnic group that settled England also settled Ireland with the exception of the Romans). He later corrected himself by saying the Irish did not belong to the human race. When his close associate in early capitalist economics, Nassau Senior, was told that a million Irish had already starved to death, his response was that's not enough (another one to two million did starve to death, leading to one half of the population starving to death or emigrating to survive. When Charles Trevelyan, the civil servant in charge of Irish relief and another follower of liberal (now neoliberal) economics, considered the Famine a gift from Providence to reduce the Irish population by starvation resulting in Ireland being the only country in the world with fewer people than it had in 1840, you realize that race is much more a social than a genetic construct, abused by many for their ideological purposes. It was only in the 1960s that "No Dogs, No Irish" signs were banned in the UK. In the 1970s, I was told in Birmingham, England that there were too many g-d Blacks and Irish in England. 

Today there is hope. As a demographer noted in the 1990s, by 2050 at the current rate of intermarriage it will be impossible to tell what race the majority of people in North America are by 2050. However, new problems are on the horizon. 

Global warming is threatening to create 200 to 600 million flood refugees, primarily because so much of the world's population lives near a coast. Bangladesh alone has an estimated 20,000,000 possible flood refugees. India has constructed a wall around Bangladesh over the past 20 years, initially to keep out Bangladeshi economic refugees with 1,000 of these refugees shot by Indian border patrols. Now this wall is ready to block the exit of many of the future climate change refugees, yet almost no one talks about it here or elsewhere. 

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/libertycentral/2011/jan/23/indi...

It's time to broaden the discussions on this website. Do I expect that to happen? No. I expect to get blasted. 

 

Pondering

6079_Smith_W wrote:

... if we want to talk about reprinting offensive shit, that is. And making paternalistic assumptions that he speaks for all Muslims.

I don't know where you get this weird shit about one person speaking for all Muslims. He doesn't speak for all Muslims, he doesn't even speak for all Muslim terrorists. At the same time I don't think it's a coincidence that he expressed the same thoughts as the Boston Marathon bombers.

You claim we should accept the motivation of censorship based on the the name of the editor being shouted by a gunman as the complete explanation but then want to ignore the words of the other terrorist who spoke much longer.

If I accept your conclusion then there is nothing we can do other than submit to extreme security measures.

I do struggle with my personal responsibiity for the actions of my government. To what extent am I innocent or guilty of what is done in my name? Not just by the military, but also the government's treatment of indigeneous people right here in Canada, and child poverty right here in Canada and the expansion of the oil sands. Lots of people do a lot more to make a difference on these issues.

In an immediate sense of course I am innocent. I have no direct influence over the decisions made by politicians. I'm limited in who I can vote for. I certainly don't deserve to be murdered and neither did those people in the market.

I think that the primary concern should be preventing further carnage and that will take being brutally honest with ourselves.

Why aren't we at least equally horrified by the hundreds of thousands of murders being committed in our names funded by our dollars as we are by these murders?

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
There is a moral responsibility not to add to the burden of abused groups or incite more violence against them.

What do you suppose has incited more of the violence against French Muslims in the past few days?  Some cartoons of the Prophet?  Or the actions of a couple of Muslims?  To answer, you might consider life in France as it was a week ago -- how many Mosques were firebombed that day?

Of course I'm not endorsing that, or any, violence.  But to suggest that people's attitude to Islam is primarily dicated by what amount to some Mohammed knock-knock jokes, and not by (say) groups like Boko Haram deciding to grab themselves a few dozen child-brides in retaliation for them being schooled, or ISIS/ISIL carring out some more ethnic (really: religious) cleansing in that name of religion seems to me to really miss the point.

6079_Smith_W

@ Pondering

Well why DID you reprint them? Just for fun or dramatic effect? It's a pretty clear statement, even if the demand is competely unclear. If it isn't advice you think we should be taking you might have explained why you felt the need to reprint it.

He never actually explains what he means by "leave Muslims alone" but considering it involved murdering a roomfull of people for drawing pictures, I'd say we might want to think twice about going along with it just because it is the stirring last words of some fellow who claims to be avenging his prophet.

And yes, I do find it odd that the fact they murdered people gives his words more weight  for some than the far greater majority of people who have no such values, and in fact oppose them.

And certainly, if we are calling people on reprinting offensive material getting sucked in by that mindless victim shit just because it sounds romantic and revolutionary tops anything else in this thread.

 

ygtbk

This thread has been kind of enlightening over the last few days. I have a few comments:

1) Murdering people because they drew a cartoon that you think might insult an abstraction is NOT a reasonable reaction.

2) Stating that criminals should not be held responsible for their actions, because oppression, is verging on stupid.

3) Excusing the actions of people who performed the murders is at best unwise. You get the behaviour you incent.

4) Criticizing people who notice 1) is not a reasonable reaction.

5) Stating that we need a lot of time to analyze the motivation of people who yell "Allahu Akbar!" when they are killing people is at best disingenuous.

lagatta

NS, the Anglosphere also tends to set itself up as to what is racist and how antiracists must combat racism.

There have been powerful antiracist movements in France and other francophone societies, but they do not tend to espouse the "privilege-checking" and guilt that such movements in some anglophone societies, particularly the US, seem centred on. AKA, changing discourse more than reality.

There is also a (sorry) black-and-white portrayal of French society, in which the outlying districts are predominantly inhabited by people of colour.

The old city of Paris is very small. You can walk across it in either direction in a day, without being an athlete. This is like saying all people in NYC would have to fit into Manhattan, or all Torontonians into the old city. In truth, there are many people of all colours and creeds who live in the so-called suburbs, and not all of them are hideous or horrible.

Yes, of course there is racism, sexism and class privilege in French society, but isn't that the case in all modern capitalist societies?

I certainly don't agree with all of Charlie's "humour", but they have nothing to do with Michel Houllebecq or other spokesbots for racism and the far right.

DaveW

 

Charlie staffer outraged at false friends:

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2015/01/we-vomit-on-charlies-sudden-friends-s...

 

 

 

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