The Charlie Hebdo Attack


You may have heard there was an attack in Paris, France last week at a publishing company known as Charlie Hebdo, known for its satirical newspaper. Apparently, the company did something – again, as it was attacked once before – to anger Islamic extremists enough to make itself a target that took the lives of over a dozen people, including the shooters.

From the Huffington Post:

Gunfire broke out Wednesday in an attack at the offices of French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, leaving 12 dead, including four prominent cartoonists.

Known for its caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad, as well as critical depictions of Catholics, Jews and French politicians, the magazine regularly stirred controversy.

Charlie Hebdo gained notoriety in 2006 for its portrayal of a sobbing Muhammad, under the headline “Mahomet débordé par les intégristes” (“Muhammad overwhelmed by fundamentalists”). Within its pages, the magazine published 12 cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, bringing unprecedented condemnation from the Muslim world. The French Council for the Muslim Faith eventually sued the weekly for the cartoon. The issue has since been considered the one which positioned Charlie Hebdo as a target for terrorist attacks.

The usual reactions from the usual nutjobs surfaced. Right wing news media mogul Rupert Murdock stated that Muslims must take responsibility for this one incident. That’s like expecting all black people to be held responsible for any crimes by individual black folks. If that’s so, then let’s hold Christianity responsible for all the shit done by the KKK. Let’s hold all media moguls, all of the few straight white males, responsible for the kind of biased programming broadcast all over the world due to their lust for more and more media. Let’s take it a step further. Let’s hold all white people responsible for slavery, Jim Crow, mass murders, serial killers, pedophiles, etc. I mean if we’re going to use such backwards logic, let’s use it all across the board.

On NBC’s Meet the Press, Chuck Todd wanted to know who would “talk to these folks”. Islamic activist Reza Aslan responded:

“…Let’s be clear that every single organization, major organization, Muslim organization throughout the world and in the United States, every prominent individual, be it political or religious leaders — everyone has condemned, not just this attack, but every attack that occurs in the name of Islam.”

“Anyone who keeps saying that we need to hear the moderate voice of Islam — why aren’t Muslims denouncing these violent attacks doesn’t own Google.”

“That said, I do think that we do need to do a better job of providing a counter-narrative. What really I think puts an obstacle in the way is opinions like Ayaan [Hirsi Ali]‘s and so many others in the political and the media mainstream who continue to say that 1.7 billion people are responsible for the actions of these extremists.”

“That doesn’t help the fight against radicalism,” Aslan continued. “The answer to Islamic violence is Islamic peace. The answer to Islamic bigotry is Islamic pluralism, and so that’s why I put the onus on the Muslim community, but I also recognize that that work is being done, that the voice of condemnation is deafening and if you don’t hear it you’re not listening.”

I doubt Islamophobes like Murdock and Todd have enough brain power and moral capacity to take in such wisdom, let alone use common sense.


9 thoughts on “The Charlie Hebdo Attack

      1. Excellent essay, Brothawolf! Did you know that on a HuffPo article about Muslim condemnation of the Hedbo attack, you still had some commenters trying to say that the Muslims condemning the attack were not really sorry? It*s like **damned if you do, damned if you don*t!**

  1. ..Typical sentiments from anti-Muslims, hypocrisy and double-standards are their weak attempts to shield themselves from the Other, bigger terrorists on this planet-although I do believe this newspaper took a risk when they did a spoof of the religious leader (considering the reactions from the extremists groups), it is my belief that it is their right to express themselves and attacking the company instead perhaps discussing their unhappiness via a serious dialogue or other alternative would (in my opinion) be much more preferable towards a positive outcome..

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