Yesterday I did a post regarding Ted Rall and his tribulations with The Los Angeles Times and the Los Angeles Police Department, who between them managed to deprive him of his platform for his views, as well as attempting to smear his reputation and deprive him of future work. Ted Rall is shall we say, a man of strong opinions and a “difficult” personality, and this was just a red rag to a bull. Rall came out fighting kicking and biting. More power to him.
Charlie Hebdo the Paris based French magazine are also cartoonists who face the wrath of those they lampoon. Admittedly they faced far stronger force than Ted. But suddenly the other month Charlie Hebdo just gave in. They folded in the face of threats and violence. They just gave the barbarians the terrorists the very victory they wanted. Luz has stated he will no longer caricature Mohammed.
But they will still take the piss out of Christians and Jews yes?
Luz is saying that “ drawing Mohammed no longer interests me”. Now I find that odd because if a bunch of terrorists tried to kill me over something I had drawn you can bet your bottom I would never lose interest.
Being rude to the religious is not just a position, it’s a fundamental right.
Satirising, being rude to Hitler or Stalin or Franco – would Luz not have done that seventy years ago because they might have taken offense? Vraiment? So why now when the threats to civil liberties are as high?
And if Hebdo insults every religion except Islam Fascist Islam has won surely? It vindicates its radical methods does it not?
Being rude to the religious has no history in the Islamic world, and the West with her democratic principles and long fought for free(ish) speech, is a revolutionary force in this part of the world. To a traditional Muslim there is no separation of Church and State and little idea of the concept of a diverging but allowed opinion. Islam can be seen as much a Political philosophy as a religion. The Western way of life way is seen by many as a complete upheaval in their world view and one which they wish to set right. The very fact that women have equal rights in the West, that they dress according to their whim or fashion, and lead independent sexual lives uncontrolled by their families is anathema even to traditional Islam far less its fascistic cousin. The acceptance of homosexuality as part of mainstream life is quite beyond the pall and do not get them started on the education of those free-wheeling sexually liberated women.
So why the falling back by the West here? Why the giving ground to the fascist? Well that can be explained in part by America, and by extension the West, in the last decade having let down her good intentions of democracy and extension of human rights and sufferance, by their own foolish actions in becoming involved in wars which had no foundation of legality, assassinations in friendly or neutral countries, huge civilian losses of life in those wars and well publicised acts of tactless insensitivity.
Add in torture, war crimes and imprisonment without trial, and America has a long way to go to win back significant influence. Her previous generous support of the very dictators that the uprisings condemned does not assist her in pressing the progressive elements of her case. Were the West – and America in particular – to ride back on their abuses, and take a more considered approach to the Muslim world as a whole there would be hope of challenging this Islamic fascism sooner and more effectively.
But our previous cack-handedness does not mean we should not flinch from facing down at every turn, arrant nonsense, religious revisionism, attacks on homosexuals, minorities, Christian, Jews, women, free speech and old books, churches, portraits, historic sites and education. We must never condone attacks on our values even if it does means that we are rude to the religious
Only today Ansarullah Bangla Team from Bangladesh, who have a reputation for killing people who say things they don’t like, have declared they will take their “censorship” worldwide “Cancel the Bangladeshi citizenship of enemies of Islam and [Muslim religious] education, atheists, apostates, unbelievers, anti-Islamic … bloggers, agents of India … otherwise they will be killed wherever they can be found in the Almighty’s world,” said the statement. This militant group have published a global hit list of bloggers and writers that they wish to terrorise into silence or to murder.
“The terrorists did not win” said Luz to the German magazine Stern. ” Les Inrockuptibles”. Aye right son, you keep believing that.
Copyright David Macadam 2015