Horror in France


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Sovereign Court

12 journalists killed. Over some caricatures and satire. I'm still in shock.

The Exchange

This isn't good.


Take their pictures and laser carve them on the moon.

The Exchange

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Take their pictures and laser carve them on the moon.

Yes, exactly, and...

Err. Or do something sane instead.


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Lord Snow wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Take their pictures and laser carve them on the moon.

Yes, exactly, and...

Err. Or do something sane instead.

People knowingly risked their their lives because the idea that no man or organization is above the reproach and criticism of the artists pen. They fought insanity with frivolity and died to make a very serious point. The violent opposition to something as frivolous as a drawing demonstrates how badly radical islam needs opposition to and questioning of its ideas. The message they drew with their own hands deserves to be disseminated as wide as possible and as long as possible to preserve their memory.

The moon might be a bit out of reach. But putting their pictures on every website, news station, magazine, and tv station to show that we will not be silenced by violence isn't.


I agree, BigNorseWolf.

Sovereign Court

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No take the Mohammad cartoon that sparked this and laser carve it into the moon.


I think turning this into the latest Crusade against Islam is what the attackers want and in all likelyhood this incident isn't really about cartoons as much as it is about a perception among many people in the world that the West (US, Europe, Israel) is mistreating the Middle Eastern countries.

There is no way to prevent incidents like this from happening, but the most effective thing you can do is to isolate the wingnuts by denying those who might be sympathetic legitimate reasons to be upset.


Fergie wrote:
I think turning this into the latest Crusade against Islam is what the attackers want and in all likelyhood this incident isn't really about cartoons

I think it is.

If they just wanted blowback they could have attacked anywhere: a school, an office building, a mall, a bakery or the Eiffel tower.

Quote:
as much as it is about a perception among many people in the world that the West (US, Europe, Israel) is mistreating the Middle Eastern countries.

They consider the cartoons part of the mistreatment. Its very hard to explain to some people the difference between government allowed and government sanctioned. To them, the french government allowing this sort of thing is no different than an attack on their religion from the french government. (much as we would see a missile being launched by the Pentex Corporation in Ruritania as an act by the Ruritanian government)

Quote:

There is no way to prevent incidents like this from happening, but the most effective thing you can do is to isolate the wingnuts by denying those who might be sympathetic legitimate reasons to be upset.

It seems odd. Cartoons like this seem to generate more hatred than actual wrongs from the west like carpet bombings, picking our favorite dictator out of the lot or invading their countries for oil.


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BigNorseWolf wrote:


It seems odd. Cartoons like this seem to generate more hatred than actual wrongs from the west like carpet bombings, picking our favorite dictator out of the lot or invading their countries for oil.

Because the cartoons are a symbolic representation of all the other problems (many of which are much more complex), and also the office is a lot easier to target then some military base or airstrip. It is being suggested that the attackers acted like trained military and there is a good chance that they got their training in one of our wars. Who knows they might have been trained by the US in Iraq or many of the other countries that we support militarily. Hell, we trained and encouraged thousands of incidents like this in Iraq for years, is it really so surprising when the tables are turned?

If the cartoonist had been attacked by a mob or some random incident, then yes, I would blame the cartoons, but an attack like this is part of a much bigger picture.

The Exchange

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This Christopher Hitchens piece from 2006 is worth reading:

The case for mocking religion

The Exchange

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Quote:

People knowingly risked their their lives because the idea that no man or organization is above the reproach and criticism of the artists pen. They fought insanity with frivolity and died to make a very serious point. The violent opposition to something as frivolous as a drawing demonstrates how badly radical islam needs opposition to and questioning of its ideas. The message they drew with their own hands deserves to be disseminated as wide as possible and as long as possible to preserve their memory.

The moon might be a bit out of reach. But putting their pictures on every website, news station, magazine, and tv station to show that we will not be silenced by violence isn't.

See, I happen to live in a country where I've seen this kind of thing happen before more times than I can count, and more personally, and directed at better people (See Gaberlunzies' post). The cartoonists are not heroes, they didn't die for a cause and they would have very likely not have done what they did had they known the end result.

Recently, a man was shot after voicing his opinion in a conference at Jerusalem. He was shot for the things he said, and by an Arab Islamic civilian, and nearly died from the attack. The media and the people went nuts describing the victim as a good man, as a symbol of freedom of speech. The fact that he happened to be a religous nut-job who was making very conceret threats agianst Muslim faith - essentially working to destroy one of the most holy arteafact in the Islamic world and replace it wit (and I am sadly not even kidding) the Third Temple, seemed to go largely ignored. The murder attempt against him was a murder attempt, and no more justified than any other, and I am glad that he didn't die. But there were some critical hours when it wasn't clear if he would make it, and in that short period of time he was almost raised to the level of a saint, even by people who normally see him for the dangerous clown that he really is.

Back to the case at hand. Quite frankly, despite being the victims, the satirist are not the point. Their death is not holier than that of anybody else. They are certainly not the first killed by terrorists with the intention of silencing people - very far from even being the first killed by Islamic terrorist in Europe. Simply the most recent in a relatively large attack.

The case should be handled face on. Both the french government and sane forces withing the Islamic community in French need to devout every resource they can to reducing the chance something like this happens again. Media, internet etc. need to make a strong statement to oppose this - but not as a worshipful drivel for the poor people who died. Not as a glorification of what they were. Once you start magnifying the victims, you lose track of the real horror of what happened - a bunch of nobodies were murdered for no reason, and the people behind it might represent a larger group and might do something like that again.


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Lord Snow wrote:
The cartoonists are not heroes, they didn't die for a cause and they would have very likely not have done what they did had they known the end result.

Their building had been firebombed before, there were threats against their lives, and they were listed by name and picture in Al queda of the Arabian peninsula most wanted list. They knew what they were risking.


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I am French. I know Charlie Hebdo, even if I wasn't a regular reader.

They weren't racist. They weren't homophobic. They hit-hard- on any religion, being atheist for most of them, and left-minded on matters of politics.

They used cartoons to shock and confront people with the reality of things, to denounce the lies we blind ourselves with, to denounce the discrepancy between the way we sometimes think or talk and the true meaning of the word we sometimes use, even if only in our heads.
And to them, religion (ANY religion) was the biggest of lies.

They were killed because they refuse to let fear annihilate their freedom of speech. You may not agree with their opinions, but they just wanted people to think by themselves, while the integrists (again, of ALL religions)and totalitarians want people to give up all their freedoms, including in their own brains, to better manipulate them.

Besides, they were artists, not armed lunatics.

The old saying was "the pen is mightier than the sword".
They died because for them, the pen was used on the long term to change people's lifes, while terrorist use rifle to put an abrupt end to people lifes.


This is an awful tragedy.

Al Jazeera has an article that I thought was a good read.


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It's pretty bad taste to pick a fight over it right here, right now, though. It doesn't matter if you think the victims were dicks or not. They were gunned down. Policemen were literally executed.

Don't give me any g'damn "murder is bad, but..." b#@$!%!~.

Not now.


The Onion chimes in:
Link

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