Charlie Hebdo: Islamists tap into the West’s war on free speech
You crying? You feel the prick of tears? You angry? You should be. You should be furious. The cold-blooded attack on the offices of French magazine Charlie Hebdo claimed 12 lives. You should weep for the lives of the murdered. They were champions of free speech and free thinking. And you should be angry that all we must hold dear is under attack.
The 12 dead are victims of a slaughter by violent, Islamic racists. The magazine’s “controversial” cartoons and editorials – always billed as “controversial” in the mainstream press, as if it were a bad thing – were meant to trigger a battle of ideas. The sane could debate the rights and wrongs. People would talk. No-one would get hurt – not by voices and debate. Charlie Hebdo would be the polemicists, fomenting a new view and changing the dialogue. You don’t have to like it. You don’t have to buy it. You can criticise it. You can vote with your feet at the offence and blasphemy. But the Islamists took up guns.
The 12 victims were murdered for taking the piss out of Muhammad, for showing their comic liberty.
Is Islam so weak it cannot counter a French magazine? Is it so fearful it kills all debate, unable to confront ideas with sanity and reason?
And what now? Do we look to ourselves, the free thinking and censor our views so as not to offend the gun-toting nutters? Do we strive to understand the mindset of two men who see a picture and murder a dozen people? Hey, everyone’s a critic, right? Or do we skewer the censorious bastards with wit?
How brave are we in the West?
We banned the Jesus and Mohammed T-shirts. Police demand we tell on anyone saying something unsayable on Twitter, turning us into police narks.
You know what. Screw them. Say what you think. Don’t be gratutious. Don’t seek to offend. Just say what you think and believe. Be prepared to debate that view. Be open to ideas and people. If the other person disagrees, then your argument has failed. Don’t pick up a gun and shoot them dead. Don’t put them in prison. Mock them.
Free speech used to be a right in countries where it was allowed. It’s spread. Online, we enjoy speaking out, sharing our views, prejudices, stupidity and relishing our right to cause offence. These Islamists want to smah that. In doing so they have placed us all on the front line in the war on free speech. We must fight them.
Our police and protectors we need to uphold freedoms hard won are seeking to licence journalist with a poxy Royal Charter and spy on us with the horrendous RIPA law.
Fight it. Appeasement has its limits.
Charb, one of the caricaturists killed today, said:
“I am not afraid of retaliation. I have no kids, no wife, no car, no credit. It perhaps sounds a bit pompous, but I prefer to die standing than living on my knees.”
Stand up to tyranny.