Êtes-vous Charlie Hebdo?


Thoughts about yesterday:

There is no good reason to massacre cartoonists. For anything they have written or drawn. Ever. You don’t need to be a radical libertarian to espouse this view even.

There is also no inverse rule that says that we conversely are not allowed to criticize people for drawing or writing things that we don’t like, free speech includes the right to say that one doesn’t like Charlie Hebdo or that one found those Danish cartoons crude. If that criticism extends though to the idea that Charb and his people somehow “brought this on themselves” or deserved what they got though, you’ve rather missed the point.

Those ideas that are likely to come under some kind of special attack are the ones that are most in need of protection:

It will be cheap and easy for any number of obscure bloggers like me to post or repost those images that might have offended the attackers of Charlie Hebdo, none of us wear the target that someone like Neil MacDonald would speaking his opinions on national TV as a news correspondent (it is for this reason that I tried to be ecumenical in the header I posted here). I would instead challenge those who would defend satire to post images of their own religion or philosophy or values being satirized, to lead by example:

In my mind it is significant that the first victim of the Charlie Hebdo attack was a police officer who was himself a Muslim, and that we do not need any Muslim leader to specifically denounce these kinds of attacks. It is said that Voltaire claimed that he would defend to the death your right to say something he found disagreeable. Whether or not he actually said that, Ahmed Merabet did it. Have some respect for that.