“A Muslim Walks Into A Bar….”

I am already sick of that ridiculous “Je Suis Charlie” hashtag. It is meaningless. I am also sick to death of candle-lit vigils and I am sick of the “creatives” waving their pencils like it actually means something.
Before last week, I had never heard of Charlie Hendo. I was pretty happy about that.
I am a bit of a philistine so French arty-farty people are not my cup of over-priced coffee. Nor am I big fan of lazy anti-clericalism or snarkily abusing the things that people hold dear…including Religion (ANY religion).
If you want to be snarky….stick to the Internet. Its the best place to be snarky.

But it seems to me that a hashtag and a pencil are ineffective.
If you really want to piss off Islamist extremists …then #amuslimwalksintoabar….would be more effective.
I dont know if there is a joke that begins “A Muslim walks into a bar….” But there should be one.
So make up your own punch line.

A Muslim walks into a bar where he meets his Jewish friend and they have a beer and a ham sandwich…and have a great time”

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9 Responses to “A Muslim Walks Into A Bar….”

  1. Political Tourist says:

    I do wonder at times about the Liberal/Left.
    Was there nobody in that Paris office who said “maybe this ain’t a great idea at this time”.
    Maybe somebody like yourself, a wise old owl who’s been round the block a few times.

  2. I am not so wise.
    Its all related to History.
    The tradition of Liberal Democracy in Ireland and Greater England is very different to France.
    The French Republicans have the Jacobin and Girondin tradition of terror in defence of the Republic. We tend to look on that part of the French Revolution as an excess. But there is a tradition in France with “radicals” which is very uncomprgomising.
    It. Is the values of the Republic above Everything.
    We are….”softer”. We agonise about what the right “liberal” thing to do is….the balance of Free Speech and being Multicultural.
    If the Muslims dont fit in to French Society, thats something that the extreme Left will react to as much as the Extreme Right.
    It is a History “thing”.
    English Society was much the same in 16th/17th century.
    Young men from good homes went off to fight religious wars on the continent. …for Spain in Flanders. Radicalised by Jesuits, they come back to England and engage in “terrorism” against “English liberal” values.
    In 2015 young English men from good families go off to fight religious wars in the Middle East. They come back and radicalised by Muslim clerics and engage in “terrorism” against English “liberal” values.

  3. Kevin says:


    Your piece more or less sums up exactly what I’ve been thinking on the matter. I ordinarily wouldn’t have wiped my backside with Charlie Hebdo, and this schmaltzy, crass, “we are all Charlie” stuff winds me up. At the same time, their front cover today shows a lot of courage. I’d rather put up with liberal artsy-fartsy types than a Caliphate.

    The Jacobin legacy in France, running through to the anti-clericalist putsch in 1905, is a similarly dangerous mentality that, once loosed, could sweep everything and anything in its wake. It is potentially as dangerous as a Shariah state.

    • Just to add…their front cover this week is brave and honourabble.
      But although it was flashed “blink and you missed it” across the screen on last nights “Newsnight” is any British newspaper or BBC ITN, RTE or Sky going to re-produce it.
      Will people sell Tshirts?
      Every answer that the Liberal Democracies come up with ….produces a new question.
      In a few years Turkey will be a member of the European Union. We need to re-think that one for a start.

  4. The French Republic was absolutely ruthless (as they neededto be) to protect itself from external and internal enemies. The treatment of the young French Dauphin, who died brutalised in captivity was child abuse of the worst kind. his story is harrowing.
    The French addiction to Democracy is not as extreme as the American devotion to its constitution or the old Soviet extremism of Socialism or the revolutionary Muslim states (or Israel for that matter).
    There is something extreme aboutFrance and it cannot cope with its own view of Freedom and Multiculturalism.

  5. Political Tourist says:

    I’d be curious to know what the more devout religious people in France think of this magazine.
    I know the two previous generations of my relatives would have took offensive at remarks about the say Pope or the Virgin Mary.
    I can only guess what Moslems must think of this attempt at satire.
    Crikey, 39 local authorities in the UK banned the “Life of Brian” film which i thought was more of a dig at the “Left” than organized religion.

    • There is a quasi fascist Catholic extreme in France. It was after all where Archbishop Lefevre set up. But most French Catholics work within the context that France is a secular State.
      I think there IS a big difference between satirising institutions…including religions and really having a vicious go at the decent human values.
      Every time I go to Dublin, I see Tshirts for sale “The Pope Smokes Dope”. I wouldnt wear one myself because its on the bborder of acceptability ….everybody has a different threshold.
      But certainly within Irish Catholicism and broader Christianity we have a capacity to laugh at ourselves.Look at “Father Ted”, perhaps it lampooned Catholicism but to an Irish audience, we were laughing at Irish life….the Church certainly, Edna O’Brien, Sinead O’Connor, The Rose of Tralee Contest, Daniel O’Donnell.
      The nature of humour is that it crosses the line. You never really know that you have crossed the line until you have done so.
      We (Irish) were inviting the world to laugh with us but we (or at leastI do) get annoyed at people laughing AT us.
      I think thats the general line I take.
      To ridicule the Virgin Mary IS offensive to Catholics. I have head the chants from Linfield supporters at Windsor Park and at Orange parades….and clearly the intention IS to offend.
      I am not offended by GODS frequent appearances in The Simpsons …it always seems gentle and inclusive.
      But there is a nastiness about the treatment of GOD in Family Guy.
      I am not for one minute suggesting that Comedians in the West should be deliberately offensive to Muslims. But what I am suggesting is that the Muslim relogion is generally off limits to comedians.
      Is it Cowardice?
      Is it Hypoocrisy?

  6. Political Tourist says:

    Maybe I just remember back to the early 1980s and somebody i knew in West Belfast who didn’t have a TV because they felt it was full of smut.
    And then there was Mary Whitehouse who lasted into the age of the Sky TV and the “net”.
    Btw, if France is so liberal, why did it ban the niqab.

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