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Friday, January 16, 2015

Charlie and the Anti-Muslim Media Factory

This article posted on Facebook yesterday tripped the trigger for me, likely because I disagree with everything it says and it was posted by someone I like. Read the article in the link below.

Link to article that made me lose my cool

I am all for sharing all sides of a story but what a load of bs is to be found here.
  • First how can the author compare Charlie Hebdo cartoons to a Twitter hashtag titled killallmuslims? Charlie Hebdo created cartoons. Provocative, insensitive and yes offensive to some but they were caricatures, not calls to war.  Caricatures of world leaders are done every day without retaliatory attacks, hostage takings or killings.
  • Continuing on, the author refers to a discussion on whether or not to serve pork in a school within a town of 3,500 people and 180 students.  Why does a decision to serve pork in this school intrude on the rights of students who do not eat pork? And is this any different from serving meat or dairy products in schools even if some students have strong moral objections to consuming products from livestock? Seems like everyone has the choice to eat something different that day.
  • The author's comparison to the 2011 Norwegian lone-wolf attack attacks is a weak one. Although the Norwegian killer was apparently politically motivated, a single person does not create the same global ongoing threat as a radical religious and political organisation pledged to destroy basic rights and freedoms and the people who hold these ideals.
  • The author places blame for the Paris attacks directly on the failure of the intelligence and security forces to monitor and stop these extremists. I beg to differ. The blame must remain on the individuals and extremist organisations who have taken "credit" for the killings.
  • And here is the author's finale; "If we close our eyes, we can think that the Paris attacks exposed a contradiction between Islam and freedom of expression – and between Muslims and Europeans." Close our eyes - I do not think so. Never mind that the author started out by discussing a perceived injustice to European Muslims and now seems to be making a distinction between Europeans and Muslims. We can actually agree that indeed there is a basic contradiction in that many of us respect and value the rights and freedoms provided by the country in which we live. The extremists responsible for the Paris attacks not only contest those rights and freedoms, but strive to take them away from the rest of us by threatening and killing innocents. I agree - this is a contradiction, although perhaps not in the sense the author believes.
  • I do understand that it is offensive to Muslims to caricature the prophet. However if we are to avoid publishing all that is offensive to all groups I think the list of forbidden images will be long. Let's start with forbidding the publishing of women's bare faces, women in the work place, inter-racial marriages, black presidents, handicapped children in regular schools, female world leaders, pork producers, pets in the home, race horses, dairy cattle confined to barns... the list could be almost endless if we are to avoid offending anyone's moral, religious or political sensibilities.
  • In Paris last week employees of Charlie Hebdo were killed for making cartoons. Other innocents were killed for some other reason - being of Jewish faith apparently. This is what we are standing up against. We are not simply having an intellectual debate about the quality or desirability of the magazine, its contents or its contributors. People were killed in a country where freedom of speech is not only permitted, but encouraged. We do not have to like what is published. We do not have to buy what is published. We do not even have to read what is published. But it is our responsibility to allow it to be published.

1 comment:

  1. You have an amazing way with words. And a first-hand understanding of the situation. I was not even able to understand everything the author wrote until you explained it.


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