You heard the news about the firebombing of French Satirical Maazine “Charlie Hebdo”, – right ? – Of course you did, and you probably know also, that the attack had something to do with “the religion of peace”, – right ? – More specifically, it had a lot to do with a
hilarious obnoxious, Islamophobic frontpage-cartoon that – surprise, surprise – offended some gelotophobic Islamists, sensitive followers of said religion of peace, – so.. have you SEEN that frontpage ?
Since you read blogs, you have maybe seen it, especially if you also read the socalled anti-Jihadist blogs, but most likely not if you only stick to mainstream-blogs like, say, The Huffington Post, and if you are used to get your information from TV and / or newspapers.., – well, – then my guess would be that you have not seen it, but if you know of a “decent” newspaper anywhere in the world that has printed the cartoon, please let me know , ‘cause I haven’t seen it, not even in any DANISH newspaper ! – (I’ll get back to that).
Ok, – so before we continue, – here it is: – (and if you really don’t know what it is all about, then read here).
(100 lashes if you don’t die of laughter when reading this)
Now, – we can discuss at length why exactly it is you don’t see this frontpage in any mainstream-media, – e.g. political correctness, self-censorship, cowardice.. , – but it should be clear to everyone, that from a purely journalistic viewpoint, it is odd indeed.., – and if you really don’t see this, – consider this Charlie Hebdo Frontpage
A headline in English newspaper The Guardian reads:
Charlie Hebdo front cover depicts Muslim man kissing cartoonist
Muslim man kissing cartoonist.. ?! – In other words: Gay Muslim kissing (Islamophobic) cartoonist ! – I mean,- why on earth are we not allowed to see “L’AMOUR Plus Fort Que la Haine” ?– (Love (is) stronger than hate)
Get it now ? – We have a clear-cut instance of (self)CENSORSHIP at our hands, most likely a combination of political correctness, cowardice and FEAR, – probably not in that order..
Before I continue, I’d like to state what ought to be self-evident about the quint-essential importance of free speech. I am quoting from Abigail R. Esman at Forbes:
..free speech is perhaps the most precious of all the gifts democracy offers. It is what allows us to know the truth of things. It is what allows us the right to knowledge, to investigation, and through knowledge, the ability to choose for ourselves the characters and content of our own lives. It is what provides us with progress in science, in medicine, in opportunities to advance the lives and living conditions of people all over the world – yes, including in Muslim countries like Somalia and Afghanistan and Tunisia…
It should be equally self-evident, therefore, how essential it is to support Charlie Hebdo, – just as it was essential for Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, (in)famous for printing the Mo-toons back in 2005. Charlie Hebdo, of course, did support Jyllands-Posten, by publishing all 12 cartoons plus one of their own, so I’ve got to tell you this: I am deeply ashamed on behalf of Jyllands-Posten, who has now joined ranks with all the other ball-less newspapers and has not published any of the recent cartoons, – not even this one, that really drives home a point if you ask me..
Note: It is not known who actually carried out the firebombing and it COULD be just some drunken youth. This cartoon, therefore, is (somewhat..) misleading, but whoever did it is irrelevant for this blog-post and will not change one comma.
The sad truth of the matter is this: Violence, threats of violence, intimidation etc. WORKS !! – and it is a fact, that there have been several serious attempts to attack the Jyllands-Posten headquarters and “of course” cartoonist Kurt Westergaard and cultural editor Flemming Rose. In an editorial, – Jyllands-Posten – 2011-11-03, – explains: (Google translation, plus some editing).
“Every prevented attempt at terror against the newspaper is one big denial of the allegations that free speech is not at all under pressure and that Jyllands-Posten just invented a reason to publish cartoons. Freedom of expression is under pressure now as then, – there is still an intimidation of the public debate, and the recent attack in Paris is just the latest evidence.
In this way, the debates on freedom of expression proved more important than we imagined back then.”
“Charlie Hebdo stood side by side with Jyllands-Posten when we needed it the most - and while other media were busy looking away. At Jyllands-Posten, we understand fully the rage and frustration, but also the feeling of powerlessness, which the Charlie Hebdo employees and owners must feel right now.”
“Does violence work? – One must be firm in one’s faith, just to dismiss the question. Unfortunately, one must answer in the affirmative. But this much is certain: Bending to the violence provides not less violence but more violence.”
“Jyllands-Posten has lived in a kind of siege in the past five to six years. It’s less than a year ago that what is described as a large-scale terrorist attack on our head-quarters in Copenhagen was averted . We would like to say that we will keep fighting for a higher cause, whatever it takes. But we must be realistic.
We live and work in a security context, which can be called extreme. That has led us to make the decision not to press the French drawing.
“We never imagined that one newspaper can win the battle alone. The entire civil society must contribute. During the cartoon crisis, there were many who were too busy to relativize violence and principles. Charlie Hebdo paid the night of yesterday a portion of the price. We have learned that cracks in the defense of freedom of speech is exploited mercilessly. Jyllands-Posten has become a symbol for fanatics; now Charlie Hebdo, the French magazine that has done nothing but keeping a nice, publicistic tradition.”
So, – there you have it: Violence can work, and Jyllands-Posten is yet another, sad, living proof ! – They seem to really have lost it. I mean, on the one hand they state that bending to violence “provides not less, but more violence”, – yet that is exactly what they are doing ! – although they do list a number of other.. – bla-bla-bla.. reasons for going into hiding.
Not so in the case of Charlie Hebdo, which is why I am stressing that violence can work instead of does work. Charlie Hebdo is refusing categorically and emphatically to bend to pressures, and the good news is that they are getting wide support from within France. The staff has moved momentarily to the headquarters of French newspaper “Libération“, – (what a truly appropriate name !), – and that newspaper amazingly hit newsstands with a four-page supplement /reproduction of Charlie Hebdo cartoons wrapped around copies.
Voilà! - Vive la libération !
Not so in English speaking circles.. – Not only do they “shy away” from publishing any cartoons, – a major newspaper like the New York Times has yet to publish an editorial in support of Charlie Hebdo, as noted by Abigail R. Esman: The Firebombing Of Charlie Hebdo And The Continuing Fight Against Radical Islam In The West
She goes on to say:
“I have yet to hear of Charlie Hebdo T-shirts being sold on the sidewalks of LA. I have seen no Support Charlie Hebdo signs in the “Occupy-Anywhere” demonstrations.
So here’s a little whisper in those editorial and protesting ears: If you truly value what you stand for, support them. Speak out: against Islamism, against terrorism, against the intolerance and subjugation of the free — and for the peaceful, simple power of the image and the word.”
Now, it is one thing to back down and hide in the bush out of fear and out of concern for the safety of your staff. – I mean.. at least that is understandable to some extent, – and forgivable.., – it is another being stabbed in the back by self-righteous
halfwits political opponents. The defense of freedom of speech really should transgress political boundaries, but has very much become a partisan left-right issue. Here some examples:
English The Guardian, 2 November 2011:
The attack is “A disturbing reminder of the underground tensions in society” -
Read: We only have ourselves to blame, – our Islamophobia and discrimination of minorities..
The Guardian, 21 July 2007 :
..the cartoonists and their publishers, who seemed impervious to Muslim sensibilities, failed to live up to their own liberal values, since the principle of free speech implies respect for the opinions of others”.
Read: Respect for the opinions of others implies self-censorship, when “others”, – be they
gelotophobic sensitive Islamists, Chinese, Russian and numerous other bullies, Syrian, Saudi-Arabian and numerous other dictators and you name them, – are of the “opinion” that we should “respect” them just the way they say we must respect them: By shutting up and being obedient..
HELL NO !!!
Bruce Crumley, Time Magazine / “Global Spin” blog, November 2, 2011 :
“What common good is served by creating more division and anger, and by tempting belligerent reaction? – The difficulty in answering that question is also what’s making it hard to have much sympathy for the French satirical newspaper firebombed this morning, after it published another stupid and totally unnecessary edition mocking Islam“.
Read: We do support freedom of expression, BUT, – (and there’s always a but..) – we should not say, write, draw anything “unnecessary”, – and WE decide what is necessary and what is not… In short: The “Charia Hebdo” attack was really a foreseeable consequenc of Its Own Obnoxious Islamaphobia.
Get it ? – Blame the victims !
Think about it: If a reader, so offended by Crumley’s excuse-making for theocratic nutcases, bombs TIME’s Paris Bureau, would that make Crumley a “victim” of his own obnoxious cowardice?
How Orwellian it has all become..
Danish left-wing and highly intellectual newspaper “Information” did publish the Charlie Hebdo frontpage. As you can see, the photo shows the devastation and the cartoon / frontpage, which is what “information” is all about, – no.. ?
I am told , that another Danish newspaper, – “Weekend-Avisen”, – also published it, and I will have to trust this is true, as I don’t have online-access to that paper, so maybe there is hope still.. – That does not, however, make up for the truly disappointing fact, that “Jyllands-Posten” did not publish it.
Compare the two photos below.. – The one without the frontpage-cartoon, – (or similar photos), - is what you will see in newspapers everywhere, – New York Times, The Guardian, etc. etc. – Do ask yourself WHY ??