Charlie Hebdo - new!

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Maysie Maysie's picture

80% of Anti-Muslim Attacks in France Against Women, Says Report


Fiyaz Mughal, the director of UK-based interfaith thinktank Faith Matters says that the term ‘acts’ covers a huge range of hostile actions. He says they have received complaints from Muslim women which include: “Spitting, general abuse, pulling and tearing at the niqab and the hijab, plus dog faeces being thrown at women, as well as bottles from passing cars and people shouting things like ‘Muslim whore’ ‘Muslim bitch’ or ‘Muzzie’.”

On why he believes Muslim women might face more abuse than their male counterparts, Mughal says: “All our data... shows that visible women are the ones that are targeted at a street level. This means that women who wear the hijab are the ones that are sometimes targeted for abuse and those who wear the niqab suffer more anti-Muslim hate incidents and more aggressive assaults.”


Sahar Aziz, a professor who teaches about Middle East law at the Texas A&M University School of Law wrote an article for American news site CNN in which she condemned the lack of response to these increased attacks from French feminists who had celebrated the 2011 ban on full face veils. “As Muslim women face threats to their safety in the anti-Muslim backlash, one cannot help but notice the deafening silence of French feminists,” Aziz writes.  


"And while the left and millions of Europeans will mobilise to condemn the 17 lives lost in the incident in Paris and defend 'Western values', there is no massive moral outrage from the Western public for the millions that have died at the hands of Western imperialism and the death and destruction that is promised with policies being considered for Syria and the Ukraine by the ruling elite in the US.

Fortunately, despite the political confusion of many leftists and the moral duplicity of liberals, signs of growing opposition to US war-mongering are emanating from a historically familiar place - African American young people..."

Obama's Legacy: Permanent War and Liberal Accommodation   -  by Ajamu Baraka


Like a lot of Counterpunch stuff, that sounds a bit simplistic. There were huge mobilizations against the war on Iraq, and certainly significant mobilizations against Israel's assaults on Gaza. The problem with Ukraine and Syria alike - though the situations are very different - is that the battle lines are not at all clear. I know people who were jailed and tortured under the Assad régime, and obviously don't support ISIS. There are progressives fighting for a free Syria, but they are very much in the minority.

Of course Baraka is talking about the US, not France or Québec. Anti-imperialism and opposition to French colonisation of Algeria and the war on the Algerian independence movement was a key rallying point among the serious French left. I know quite a few old-timers who were involved in that. It is an important legacy on the left. Has the Socialist Party sold out? Of course; not at all an exception. The "new-new left" is having a vey hard time getting born. And the left did support the Arab Spring, and supports Syriza and Podemos in southern Europe.

As for Islamophobic incidents against visibly Muslim women, of course they must be decried and protested, but at the same time how can you expect feminists to support the niqab, which erases women's individual identities? My Maghrebi friends in France, and in the Maghreb (leftists, including several feminists) are virulently against the niqab, which has no cultural or historical origins in the Maghreb. It is wahabism/salafism imported from Saudi Arabia. The Maghrebi friends view it as cultural imperialism fuelled by petrodollars, and using women's bodies as a battleground (as patriarchies East and West have always done).

What I see in the Newsweek report is a situation of conflict (and latent racial prejudice) giving free rein to macho violence, looking at the stats on who the aggressors and victims were. I think perhaps a feminist solidarity movement could be built in France on that basis, but not on the basis of opposition to laïcité. Anglo leftists tend to downplay the support for secularism among Frenchpeople of non-European and non-ancestrally Christian origins.

Maysie Maysie's picture

This is a few years old but still relevant, apparently.

Calling all feminists: Get over the veil debate, focus on real problems


 For many decades women who follow a religion were excluded as unable to be part of the feminist movement. Muslim women reject that. We believe that the movement towards more gender just societies must absolutely include women of religion if we are to achieve global and lasting change. 


[The] idea that western feminists will free Muslim women is a sentiment widely shared. It infantilises Muslim women. How can we engage if you treat us as lesser beings? Respect must be the crucial foundation. This is also lacking in some extreme Muslim discourse that refers disgustingly to non-veiled women as raw meat, and fair game. Mutual respect is a sentiment which will foster better outcomes for all.


If the feminist argument is that Muslim women who autonomously choose to veil only think they are doing so out of free will, and are in fact being brainwashed to do so, then the core principle of feminism to elevate women’s control of their own destiny is immediately violated. And worse, it underscores the argument that feminism is a western imperialist project: that only western culture can supposedly liberate women, and that all other ideas are brainwashing. Perhaps the most insulting subtext of all is that Muslim women are infants, to be patronised into the 'right' choices.


Actually, in the World March of Women, women of various faith traditions and none have done just that. There are certainly many hijabi feminist activists. But it is not only patronising white westerners who oppose the niqab in France. Many people from the Franco-Maghrebi community have it in horror as it is NOT from their traditions and is seen as an imperialist import from Saudi Arabia. And there is a violent pressure on young women, not so much from their families as from youth gangs that want to put girls in their place.

Two (unveiled) Franco-Maghrebi women who have been targeted by far-right thugs (ISIS types and old-fashioned racist fascists) making credible death threats: Zineb El Razaoui of Charlie Hebdo by Islamists (Daesh = ISIS), who are also targeting her husband Jaouad Jaouad Benaïssi. and Villeurbanne écolo town councillor Zemorda Khelifi by the racist, fascist group "Génération identitaire"


NS NS's picture

lagatta wrote:

There are certainly many hijabi feminist activists. But it is not only patronising white westerners who oppose the niqab in France.

Many people from the Franco-Maghrebi community have it in horror as it is NOT from their traditions and is seen as an imperialist import from Saudi Arabia. And there is a violent pressure on young women, not so much from their families as from youth gangs that want to put girls in their place.


Your statement brings up important subject of agency of veiled women that is discussed and debated within feminist circles. On the other hand, you are generalizing non Muslim , Western Liberal femnists or "hijabi feminists' as patronizing.

Attacks by gangs do happen but not at the scale that you're suggesting. There should be an accounting of these attacks because it looks like women who choose to be unveiled and veiled are victims.  80% of the anti-Muslim acts which occur in France are carried out against women a new report published today by Nils Muižnieks, the Council of Europe commissioner for human rights, has revealed.

It is not unique within religious communities, even woman who are unveiled in Muslim majority countries also get attacked. However, It is problematic to paint and generalize Maghrebi men in such a stereotypical way.

From what I understand, there also secular men and women from Franco-Maghrebi who are allies of niqab-wearing women.

French businessman 'to pay all burqa fines'

Rachid Nekkaz (pictured) has set up a million euro fund to pay fines for women who choose to wear the full Islamic veil in countries, like France, where it is against the law to do so in public.

NS NS's picture

Liberty , fraternity but where is equality?

Old Tradition of Secularism Clashes With France’s New Reality


Laïcité, lie-EE-see-tay, the concept of state secularism, is a defining principle of the French republic.

Laïcité was formalized in the 1905 law, which since has meant that churches and synagogues built previously are state property and maintained by public funds. But Islam came later, mosques get no state funding, and the state has struggled to apply laïcité to public schools, beaches and sports halls. (Alsace-Lorraine, German in 1905, operates under the Napoleonic Concordat that allows religious education but does not include Islam among the religions that are studied.)

Regulations aimed at Islam have increased. A law banning head scarves (and other religious symbols worn conspicuously) in public high schools was passed in 2004. Another law banning the full-faced veil in public spaces was passed in October 2010.

Women are also banned from wearing head scarves while accompanying students on school trips if they “perturb scholastic activity.” Minarets, typically part of a mosque, are rarely allowed. Overcrowded mosques have forced Muslims to pray in the streets, which Marine Le Pen of the conservative National Front has likened to the Nazi occupation — and an occurrence mayors have the authority to ban.

After the killings, there is a new government edict to reinforce teaching of laïcité in public schools, where religious education is banned. The edict is aimed especially at schools of heavily Muslim suburbs, where many children shocked the country by refusing to obey a national minute of silence for the dead of Charlie Hebdo, which they believe insulted the Prophet Muhammad.

France has even declared Dec. 9 a new Day of Laïcité; teaching candidates will be tested on their understanding of the concept of secularism. Beginning in September, students and parents must sign a charter of laïcité to “demonstrate their willingness to respect it.”

At a news conference in Paris , President François Hollande said that France would defend its central values, including secularism. The concept of a secular state is “nonnegotiable,” he said, calling laïcité “a guarantee for France” against threats both internal and external.

Jean Baubérot, a sociologist, called the new measures aggressive. “This new laïcité, which I would call repressive rather than strict, is no longer that of 1905,” when the state legally separated church and state, he said. “It risks being draconian and counterproductive, leading to feelings of victimhood. We don’t need such things in the current situation.”

Pierre-Eric Nahon, a head teacher in Noisy-le-Grand, a nearby suburb, says he has an increasingly difficult job. Teaching laïcité was easy when his students were largely homogeneous and few were religious.

NS NS's picture

  On Laïcité and Secularism and Identity of Exclusion   

What Je Suis Charlie Has Become :A newspaper can't insult a segment of the population and be the symbol of France," one Muslim leader says


Charlie Hebdo's defense of laïcité may be particularly vigorous, but the siege mentality and assimilationist logic that underlie it—the notion that religion is a threat to France's egalitarian project, and that French citizenship demands the abandonment of all other values and identities for those of the Republic—are in fact, today, the norm.

At its introduction into law, in 1905, laïcité was understood to be a liberal construction, affirming worship rights for all religions. In recent decades, however, with the growth of a visible, practicing Muslim population, it has been interpreted as dictating that religious preferences remain hidden from public view and as requiring that the state refuse accommodations to the religions of its citizens. In practice, laïcité is now invoked to justify restrictions on specifically Muslim practices such as bans on headscarves in public primary schools and among state employees, or the refusal to offer halal meals in schools and prisons. (Defenders of the veil ban in schools note that yarmulkes or crosses of "manifestly excessive dimension" are also prohibited, for equity's sake, but to claim that the law was not written to address the specific phenomenon of Muslim girls wearing headscarves is disingenuous and historically false.) 

The social scientist Didier Fassin noted recently in Le Monde that, like all other inhabitants of nominally secular France, Muslims are granted Christmas, Easter, Ascension Thursday, Pentecost Monday, the feast of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, and All Saints' Day as public holidays. And yet, Fassin wrote, "we call them to the order of laïcité if they miss school or work on the day of Eid," as several Muslim holidays are known. Laïcité prohibits the state from directly funding the construction of any places of worship; still, the French state owns and maintains 39,000 churches, which became state property upon the adoption of laïcité a century ago. (The Catholic Church owns an additional 5,000, built since 1905.) The country counts only about 2,500 Muslim prayer sites and mosques, all of them established or constructed in the 20th or 21st century, most after the mass arrival in the 1960s and 1970s of immigrant workers from the former French colonies of North Africa; none of these mosques are owned or maintained by the state. Though France's self-declared Catholic population is perhaps only six times the size of the country's Muslim population, Catholic churches are about 20 times as numerous as mosques. These are discrepancies that laïcité legitimates; Muslims, and other critics of the system, speak of a "double standard" within the law.

"The community is for laïcité, but with fairness,"  said Hassan Farsadou, who runs the Union of Muslim Associations of Seine-Saint-Denis with Henniche.


Quoting NS:

It is not unique within religious communities, even woman who are unveiled in Muslim majority countries also get attacked. However, It is problematic to paint and generalize Maghrebi men in such a stereotypical way.

It has nothing to do with painting and generalising French teens and young men of Maghrebi descent in a stereotypical way, and very little to do with religion, except as the "flag" of a gang. In all hardscrabble communities, teenage boys and young men are attracted to gangs for protection, survival, and emulating the lifestyle of the wealthy. There are songs about the tough gangs in La Goutte d'Or in Paris long before any of their members were Maghrebi or Subsaharan African, and even before many were from southern Europe.

Perhaps you are also familiar with France, but that sounds unlikely given your anglocentric statements about Québec. When I was living in Paris, it was always in the so-called "no-go zones" (this has become a trope or meme) and many of my friends were from the former French colonies. I really like those people. I don't like religious fundamentalism, whatever the religion or culture. And while I have no difficulty understanding why young men - whatever their ethnicity - join street gangs in tough neighbourhoods, I'm really not fond of the street gang mindset, and how they prey on girls and young women of their own community, whatever their community may be.


Paranoia Strikes US Intelligence

"It was said of the French Revolution that it ended up devouring its own children. Something similiar is occurring with the United States national security establishment, as extreme responses surface in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris..."

NS NS's picture

France: 11 year old girl humiliated, forced to undress in school by staff who considered her tunic was a religious symbol.

Original French

Decent Google English Translation here


An event that embodies painfully abuse of power and intimidation of zealous officials specifically targeting nt a category of students in the name of secularism and accusing, just over this deafening silence of Education who is silent before these excesses gives a blank check to discriminatory exceptional measures.  Islamophobic practices that advance under the guise of secularism and sacrifice on the altar of an after-school Charlie and dignity of girls without the government does émeuve, breaking more confidence in the school as first and last defense injustice and arbitrariness.


The suggestion of 'school as first and last defense against injustice and arbitrariness' is of interest to me. It suggests there is or was such a thing in France. Or at least a belief that there is/was. It was never the case in Canada. Here schools are the purveyors of injustice and arbitrariness.

The communities will have to protect their children and if that means removing them from an environment turned toxic and terrorist, as a result of the jesuis effect, so be it. There and here.


I'm Still Not Charlie!

"...To piss on Islam is an extremely safe undertaking. To do it in the West, is an unmistakeable sign of 'coolness' and 'secularity'.

But deep down it is nothing more than ignorance, bigotry and collaboration with the regime, a sign of cowardice..."


This guy has obviously not read Charlie Hebdo. It "pisses" a lot on Christianity and on bourgeois so-called democracy, and certainly on militarism and imperialism. Far more than on Muslim extremists. Muslim extremists are also rightwing, and horribly oppressive to the populations in that part of the world. And yes, they are complicit with imperialism, which sided with the Islamists against the Left and Arab nationalists.

A study refuting his claims:

swallow swallow's picture

Useful link, that. Since many can't read it, I'll just paste in the graph analyzing Charlie content that the sociological study featured:


What did Charlie mock? Mainly politics. Of religious topics satirized, Christianity was targeted more than Islam. Those are the two major religions of France, but one's clearly more powerful and gets more mockery. 


And let's not forget all the conservative Christians and right-wingers who have also jumped on the " not Charlie" bandwagon (there are plenty on the link I posted in the week after the massacre).

Saw one on FB yesterday, claiming that CH were bad because they ridiculed Catholics more than anyone else.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Beyond Charlie and beyond France - blogger hacked to death for promoting secular humanism:


Yes, a terrible story, and not surprising it has been ignored. I suppose if there is any repsonse it will be claims he was a CIA operative, and that they killed him as a false flag. Obviously the only reason anyone would promote secularism is to serve the western Imperialists.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Clearly. And this was a man who, even while promoting secularism, was not derisive of religion. So perhaps there is more to it than just being rude.

NS NS's picture

France continues its crackdown:

France: 11 year old girl humiliated, forced to undress in school by staff who considered her tunic was a religious symbol 

Suspended French school teacher could face 5 years in prison for "defending an act of terrorism"  (French). The maximum penalty for such offenses is five years imprisonment and a € 75,000 fine.


Un basketteur nigérian de #ProA licencié pour avoir RETWEETÉ #JeNeSuisPasCharlie

Professional basketball player fired over from his team for re-tweeting a message that began, 'Je ne suis pas Charlie', meaning 'I am not Charlie,' in reference to the cartoonist who was killed. The tweet then went on,  'I am Ahmed the dead cop. Charlie ridiculed my faith and culture, and I died defending his right to do so '‪#‎JeSuisAhmed‬'

Yasir Qadhi on his facebook page observed: 

1) that his crime was to merely retweet something from the account of an activist who began this tweet (and tens of thousands of people retweeted as well)

2) that this news item is barely making any rounds in any mainstream media outlet

3) that this is not the first (nor, it appears, the last) of a line of people who have been arrested or otherwise penalized for saying something that was deemed insensitive to the Hebdo attack.

4) the complete and total hypocrisy of advocates of 'FREE SPEECH'. It appears the only defensible free speech is when Islam is being criticized.

In a way, these news items are good, because it shows what many have been saying all along: the issue really has nothing to do with the absolute right of free speech, and everything to do with the right to provoke and anger and insult a select group that is already politically marginalized and socially vilified, and expect no response.

NS NS's picture

swallow wrote:

Useful link, that. Since many can't read it, I'll just paste in the graph analyzing Charlie content that the sociological study featured:

What did Charlie mock? Mainly politics. Of religious topics satirized, Christianity was targeted more than Islam. Those are the two major religions of France, but one's clearly more powerful and gets more mockery. 



After two months, you still want to talk about quantity of content or targets of CH.  Makes me think that you might be one of those free speech fetishists.  You conveniently want to steer the debate away from power, priviledge and access to free speech. The exercise of free speech is an asymmetrical one.  Whether or not CH mocked religions or groups equally is not as important as whether certain groups have equal access to free speech.  At the end of the day free speech is not free.  All speech has a price and the  currency is privilege.

Do Muslims have the same access as the Christians and politicos in French discourse?   The answer is obvious.  I am going to sound like a broken record but satire should ‘afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted’ (H. L. Mencken's definition of good journalism).  The trouble with a lot of so-called ‘satire’ of CH is that its quite clear who it's afflicting, or who it's comforting.  So let us be honest.  As a society, France is now more than ever is willing to accept that some groups are worthy  of protection from racism and insult, while others aren't.  The fact is the  expression of some speech against some groups is not acceptable even in the name  of "liberal values" and "democracy"  ( for example: we in Canada no longer accept racist depictions of black and indigenous people in our media).

I am interested in elevating this conversation to look at why Muslims appear to be exempt from such protection (see my posts on France crackdown).  Freedom implies universality in application in but it is a pretence to believe that the French protect all forms of freedom of speech.

swallow swallow's picture

Deeply appreciate your efforts to show how the Charlie Hebdo killings are being mobilized to crack down on Muslims and other marginalized groups, NS. 

As to the rest. Well, in fact, I am interested in having a conversation about the complete disconnect between anglo leftists in North America and any significant awareness of local context. Which could be about any country, but in this case is about France. I already know that's not a conversation that is likely to emerge on this thread. 

If the point is that Charlie Hebdo, originally a left publication, was often blind to power dynamics, then I agree, obviously. It's not a hugely profound point, no matter how much it's hammered home.

But to read Counterpunch et al, you'd think we were talking about a neo-nazi rag, which is inaccurate and shows a lack of understanding of the historical development of leftist movements in France. Such portrayals betray an all-too-common inability (or unwillingness) on the North American left to seek understanding of cultural variance, and instead to project the racism of our own society onto other societies as if both were identical. Is France a deeply racist society? Obviously. So too is North America. The tone of much criticism I've seen reads, to me, like a powerful North American consensus hammering a French publication while (whether ignorantly or deliberately) refusing to see its own privilege or the local contexts, some of them anti-racist, which were also at play in Charlie Hebdo. 

Charlie Hebdo emerged in a contest of French anti-theist leftism. I agree that their mockery of Islam was often unjustifiable, but I'm disappointed that North American leftists look at their lampooning of the National Front and blast it as blackface. I see much mockery from a more powerful imperial centre (in which the North American left, like all of North American society, is implicated) of a miniscule and, yes, juvenile French publication (Chalrie Hebdo was, like our own Mike Constable, mostly sniggering rather than satire, I agree). I see less effort to engage with French anti-racist movements in a spirit of listening and understanding. 

Of course, in the last graphic, I just thought it would be useful to share the results in graphic form since 90% of babblers will see the link was in French and not bother scrolling down. 

 for example: we in Canada no longer accept racist depictions of black and indigenous people in our media

Seriously? There I am going to have to respectfully disagree, given recent Toronto Sun cartoons of Olivia Chow, much of what was said and shown on Sun TV, the Cleveland Indians, the racist imagery directed at Theresa Spence, the language of "special rights" directed at people claiming their treaty rights, the Washington Redskins, the continued existence of redface, the victim-blaming responses to calls for an inquiry into murdered and missing aboriginal women, the Atlanta Braves and tomahawk chops, Pocantonas Hallowee'en costumes, the routine and deepening Islamophobia of our own country, every Tea Party image ever produced of Barack Obama, the glorification of Don Cherry, the attack on the propsoed design of the $100 bill for having a scientist who looked "too Asian" and her replacement by a scientist who was "ethnically neutral" (i.e. white), etcetera etcetera etcetera. I assume it's not necessary to argue much over whether "depictions" can cover a lot more than cartoons. 


Actually NS, you are confusing a number of issues, two main ones being whether satirists have any obligation at all to be anyone's ventriloquist's dummy, the second being whether the default position should be that of politicos who are completely clueless about anything that is not propaganda for their cause, or religious zealots.

And the third being how satirists are in any way responsible for the state abusing this situation. And frankly if you have been actually following what CH and other satirists have been saying about the state, you;ll will know that assumption is complete nonsense. Charlie Hebdo made fun of politicians taking advantage of the funeral for their own cartoonists, so what are you talking about?

As for the question of access, and what white people and non-white people can do, you seem to be making some assumptions about what values white and non-white people have. What about the blogger Timebandit just mentioned, the newspaper cartoonist in Jakarta I mentioned who is facing blasphemy charges, the Muslim copyeditor who was gunned down in the offices of Charlie Hebdo, and the white Christians who are lining up to say they aren't charlie, and that the cartoonists got what they deserved?

And the fact that we aren't talking about political freedom, but very specific differences of opinion about secularism and religious dogma - that is, the freedom to criticize.

Elevate the conversation? Feel free to try, but that analogy can also apply to a bad smell rising up in a room. Open a door, I say.




And this:

Blasphemy. This is what should be done to correct a presumed imbalance in free speech? Any comments?

And no, I seriously doubt this is some secondary target because they really wanted to attack the police station. THis was done in the interest of enforcing dogma, and nothing else.




I could be mistaken, but NS doesn't seem to have much actual knowledge of French society. Not that a lack of knowledge of any one of the hundreds of countries in the world is something to be at all ashamed of - I've never been to Asia at all, which is over half the world - but the way NS writes sounds as if that poster is claiming some inside knowledge or understanding of that society. In another thread, someone posted about the problems with the shorthand using countries' names to refer to political or economic leaders "Germany", "Israel", "Canada", etc when we know that societies are complex, that they are fundamentally class societies, that all to varying degrees are racist, sexist, homophobic etc. But also that there are forces of worknig-class, direct-democratic and popular resistance and at time offensives against the ruling classes.

Many of the people who originally turned out for the spontaneous "Nous sommes Charlie" rallies were furious about the way that movement - against killing people for what they drew and wrote, remember - was confiscated by the ruling class. These included leaders directly involved in imperialist war, in economic war on the south of Europe and the Global South, in direct human rights violators in their "own" countries: Netanyahu, the delegate from Saudi Arabia etc.

There are movements underway in France to refuse to allow the outpouring of support for satirists killings being used to shore up the "strong state" (similar to what is happening here with C-51). Some of the people involved say "Nous ne sommes pas Charlie", but not all of them. I have friends over there who have taken variations on both positions, and no, their stance does not depend on their ethnic or racial community of origin.

One thing that would sound odd to many Frenchpeople is the talk of "Christians". Yes, of course France has a deep Catholic heritage; many holidays are still based on Church feast days, but very very few people attend Mass then and people of Muslim, Jewish and other backgrounds (not all of whom are religious by any means either) also take the days off. Initially during the Revolution, all those feast days were changed, as were the months and days for ones relating to nature. And in France, certainly unlike the US at least, atheist Presidents don't have to make any show of Christian faith.

I could post a lot of progressive, antiracist stuff from France, but the people who read French here are not those that have very odd images of France, and I really don't have time to translate everything. I will be posting an interesting piece on fighting antisemitism in the context of fighting all racism in that thread - the best response against those who would use the fight against antisemitism to foster racism against Arab and Black Frenchpeople or those viewed as Muslims (whatever their actual beliefs or lack of beliefs).

And as for Counterpunch, it is a very strange site in many ways. With some exceptions, it has a kind of macho, bullying ethos. Oddly, it also comes out of a muckraking tradition. While it is a useful publication for the left in exposing some ruling-class associates and underreported stories, it has also had some very dubious associates over the years, such as Israel Shamir.


I like Counterpunch but not Charlie Hebdo. Olivier Cyran didn't like CH either and for much the same reason I don't. And he worked there for a decade so he should know. Probably quite familiar with French society as well. Just to refresh our memories and for those who haven't seen it yet, here's OC on CH again:

But perhaps even CH tires of their relentless mainstay Islamophobia sometimes. In any case, recently they decided to forego their usual prey and attack a different oppressed group and official enemy - the shell-shocked survivors of the western supported Ukrainian Nazi terror war - the resisting people of Donbass.

Boredom Sets In

I'll say one thing for these imperial flunkies, they sure know which side their bread is buttered on.


Never mind that the butt of that joke seems to have gone right over your head..

I can see why the rebels are a bit testy about it, considering that the Luhansk so-called culture minister wanted to have a cartoonist shot by firing squad for making fun of her.

(posted this already, by the way)



But she can't hold a candle to Ms Jaanika Merilo...

Slava Ukraini!



Mr. Magoo

And that has WHAT to do with Charlie Hebdo?

Aren't there more than enough threads about Ukraine and "the Roooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooskies?"



And "sexpots"? Really, NDPP? In the first place, nice try at shaming, but I don't think her response would be to demand the editorial staff of the Observer be shot.

And again... you REALLY didn't get that joke.



Dissecting the Media - The Words They Use, the Minds They Sway  -  by Dennis Bortko

"Je suis, well informed, critically thinking individual..."




The Collapse of French Intellectual Diversity  -  by Andre Vltchek

"...But the people of France, at least the great majority of them, believe that they live in an 'open and democratic society'. If asked, they cannot prove it, they have no arguments. They are simply told that they are free and so they believe it.

1984 is happening but people are too blind to see it."

like here


Vltchek is of course a great expert on French intellectual milieux, as on everything else, according to a certain odd Putinoophile left current.

I'd tell Vltchek to bugger off too, if I were a surviving Charlie staffer.

"Terrorist whores" is a VERY poor translation of "Putain de terroristes". "Putain", the "whore" imprecation that is so common in popular street French (even among sex workers, yes, I've heard them using it often!) roughly means "fucking", "bloody" or "damned" (as in Renaud's song "Putain de camion" about the traffic death of his friend and colleague Daniel Belavoine). Here in Québec, we'd be using words referring to Church furnishings!

And there are plenty of exhibitions and videos on the social subjects Vtlchek refers too. Usually farther east; just like here in Montréal and in other cities, there are more "establishment" galleries and others that challenge such norms and apolitical art. I could point out several to him, but I don't think he is really interested in the French left.

He also confuses François and Françoise, unless his friend is in transition, not indicated anywhere. Sounds like sloppy understanding once again.

The new Philharmonic was deliberately built at Parc de la Villette, in a very "populaire" and multicultural part of Paris (where I've lived, happily). I know that such attemps to bring culture to the poor masses are contradictory and can lead to further gentrification, but the intent was ANTI-élitist and anti-racist. There are accessibility schemes for neighbourhood people to be able to attend events there.

And he only cites the far-right racist Michel Houllebecq among contemporary French writers (I refuse to call that turd an "intellectual"). Charlie hated Houllebecq; he appears (horrifically) on their last edition prior to the massacre. There is no rue 89, indeed he doesn't mention the many musicians, rappers, writers from the former colonies who are indeed providing new blood to the French cultural scene, as is also the case in London.

The "Grande Croisade" poster is from the collaborationist Vichy régime.

Right now, several of these non-existent French leftist intellectuals are at the World Social Forum in Tunis, going ahead with it despite the threats (the Islamists killed two leading figures of the Tunisian far-left, after the Revolution) in solidarity with our comrades in workers' and social movements in that country.


lagatta wrote:

 a certain odd Putinoophile left current.

Only in Canada, is a Nazi murderer like Andriy Parubiy, chief orchestrator of the Odessa massacre, who burned alive anti-fascist demonstrators, officially welcomed and feted by Parliamentary politicians, including most notably the staunchest supporters of this American regime change operation, even more than the Cons  - the NDP.

Only in Canada, is one demonized as 'Putinoophile' for insisting this is wrong and compiling a very complete archive of alternative information, in hopes that the truly 'odd' Canadian 'left current' will stop confusing a US-backed, fascist coup with a 'democratic revolution', and supporting a dangerous Russophobia in aid of a NATO encirclement, Chomsky recently described as taking us to "3 minutes to midnight."

As for 'Je suis Charlie' the veil fiasco, it is a rather threadbare pretext for even more Islamophobia and authoritarianism, poisonous to any genuine cultural milieu, French or otherwise.



I've never written anything in support of the crew in Ukraine. Discussing this matter with an anarchist friend, he said there is often no reason to take sides, when there are militaristic, far-right elements on both. I don't belong to the NDP.

I almost get the impression that you support the massacre at Charlie Hebdo. Surely that cannot be? Please don't insinuate that I'm unconcerned by massacres in Palestine etc (where the lines are clear) I was demonstrating against them just about every day during last summer's Israeli assault and was on the coalition's press committee.

But that article was crap.

swallow swallow's picture

So, he doesn't like what's on at the art galleries, it was too psot-modern, and Charlie employees didn't like being harassed during their smoke breaks, and he saw a man give beer to his poodle who must therefore reprsent the terminal decline of all French people, and there's only one gallery in which the French state confronts its past experience of collaboration with fascism (one more than most countries have), and the author is unaware of the many examples of antio-colonialist art and struggle being waged by French citizens today. 

Yes, definitely, France sucks. All of it, unconditionally. 

Sheesh, if an article like that was written about Russia, we'd see it roundly mocked as "the new russophobia" within seconds. 


Kids these days, eh? They got no respect. You should get into comedy yourself, NDPP.

That blurt of outrage is so over the top you sound like someone defending the religious or political establishment. How dare anyone expect you to back up stuff, or point out outright lies? Given all the outrageous crap you post - ad nauseam -  with no one stopping you, my only response to that post was to laugh out loud.




Your 'impression' I 'support the massacre at Charlie Hebdo' is like your characterization of my opposition to Canadian support of the Ukrainian fascists as 'Putinoophile', untrue and 'sloppy understanding' at best.

@Smith. Your position on Ukraine and who you support is well documented here.  It is unsurprisingly similar to the view of Harper, Trudeau and Mulcair. 'Outrageous crap'? This was frequently repeated by those who also supported Canada's role in Libya and Syria here also.  History will judge.


On the subject of earnest, disappointed, and laughable:

I think the real world is actually more of a threat to satire than the murderers.




The Furor Over 'Fuck France'

"...Now we can clearly see that every time the dominant class tries to exploit a situation, it give way to more racism, it opens the floodgates for more Islamophobic acts."


[url= Ondaatje boycotts PEN gala over Charlie Hebdo award[/url]

Michael Ondaatje, Francine Prose and at least four other writers have withdrawn from next month's PEN American gala, citing objections to the literary and human rights organization's honouring the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

PEN announced Sunday that the writers were upset by Charlie Hebdo's portrayals of Muslims and "the disenfranchised generally."


The New York Times identified Peter Carey, Teju Cole, Rachel Kushner and Taiye Selasi as the other writers to withdraw.


Salman Rushdie responds on Twitter to boycott by Ondaatje et al:

.@JohnTheLeftist @NickCohen4 The award will be given. PEN is holding firm. Just 6 pussies. Six Authors in Search of a bit of Character.

— Salman Rushdie (@SalmanRushdie) April 27, 2015


Double Post.


Pen Writers Protest Charlie H Award

" opportunistic exploitation of the horrible murders in Paris to justify and glorify offensive material expressing anti-Islamic and nationalistic sentiments already widely shared in the Western world."


Charlie attacked the far right more than it attacked any particular religion. And it was not at all tender towards the supposed "socialist" president of France.

Do I agree with all their caricatures, or think they were in the best of taste? No. Do I think most anglophones have about zero understanding of francophone culture. Yes.

There is a great difference between the spontaneous solidarity demonstrations in France and elsewhere (large ones here in Montréal and Québec) and the recuperation by a motley crew of heads of state and government, many of whom had blood on their own hands and themselves repressed dissident cultural workers.


Good article by Glenn Greenwald about the boycott of the U.S. PEN gala and the exploitation of the murders by "the U.S. government and its acolytes".



The biggest surprise there is that Salman Rushdie seems to have learned nothing from his own experience if he is so quick to bully others for holding different opinions.



6079_Smith_W wrote:

The biggest surprise there is that Salman Rushdie seems to have learned nothing from his own experience if he is so quick to bully others for holding different opinions.

That was exactly my reaction.


The 'Terrorists' R Winning...

French Muslim Girl Banned From School Over Long Skirt Sparking Outcry

"Wear a short skirt and you're 'asking for it', wear a long skirt and you're a threat to secularism."



Don Quixote, Charlie Hebdo and the Politics of Laughter : From Satire to Schadenfreude   - by Paul Michel Johnson

"..A closer examination of the motivations behind our laughter also reveal the ways in which it is both coopted by and constitutive of power."


Charlie Hebdo Cartoonist: 'I will no longer draw Mohammed'

"I've got tired of it..."