Je Suis Charlie?

The horrible murders in Paris today are beyond belief.
The French journalists who held up signs “Je Suis Charlie” (I am Charlie) absolutely did the right thing, identifying with their murdered collegues.
But the spectacle of this heart-felt tribute becoming just another “hash tag” on so-called social media.
I hope the killers are soon caught.It is in the best interests of the large Muslim community in France.

I think its possible to condemn these murders and be uneasy about the large number of Muslims who are killed on a daily basis in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Palestine, Mali, Algeria, Libya, Pakistan etc. Many of course innocent and at the hands of fellow Muslims. And many innocent at the hands of “The West”.
Is it simply a matter of Freedom of Speech (unfunny cartoons) and Political Correctness (avoiding offending the Muslim population).
It is not a simple choice.
“Political Correctness” is a debased term.
But it should be possible to exercise Freedom of Speech AND have good manners.

Lets be frank here.
There are a lot of factors. There is a post-imperialist legacy and the Muslim minorities and social exclusion in France and Britain means those old imperial powers are no longer homogenous societies.
Journalists love stories about Journalists. Especially anything that makes them look heroic. So the Media will fall over the selves to associate themselves with the French journos.
Nobody will ask hard questions about forefign policy.
And nobody will be reflecting that the “West” is very selective about the despots in the Middle East. Some are allies. Some are enemies.
“Je Suis Charlie” only disguises the Hypocrisy.

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2 Responses to Je Suis Charlie?

  1. Political Tourist says:

    Was a childish crude cartoon really worth that loss of life?

    • No.
      But I think we are in danger of going back to the Future.
      Some very vitriolic things said about the Irish by “comedians” in early 1970s.
      Political Correctness blew those old style comedians off TV.
      Some might claim that the vitriol was actually a safety valve. that the English laughing at Paddy and Mick jokes meant that Irish people were not lynched in London.
      It has seemed to me for a long time that the Internet and Twitter has allowed racism, sexism, anti semitism and anti Islam “jokes” to make a comeback.
      mainstream TV….is a curious mix. Mock The Week, HIGNFY, QI etc can make jokes about Catholicism, Christianity, the Royal Family and somehow coy about making the same kinda joke about Jewish people or Muslims.
      I am a big defender of “political correctness” . I just consider it to be “good manners”.
      But I think cartoonists, comedians and the rest have a big decision to make.
      In the name of fairness do they hold back on making jokes about Christianity because they dont think it right to lampoon Mohammed.
      For example GOD is a regular character in The Simpsons (and well treated).GOD iis not so well treated in Family Guy.
      Is it political correctness or just physical or moral cowardicce.
      The journos and comedians who are talking about Freedom of Expression….who is going to be the first…Stephen Fry, Dara O’Briain, Frankie Boyle, Serb McFarlane….to really put this into practice.?
      Will the Guardian publish a cartoon of Mohammed? Would that be more acceptable than the Sun.?
      While the Western Establishment dithers about a response…UKIP, French National Front, Tea Party…they are filling a void and that is very unhealthy.

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