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botley
01-08-2015, 09:31 PM
Okay, so since I complained in the ISIS thread about Islamic extremists being lumped together, and there really being so much more to talk about in relation to this, what do you make of the Charlie Hebdo shootings yesterday in Paris? An outrage, sure — was it an attack on freedom of speech? What about the high percentage of public response that is purely racist invective, which al-Qaeda was probably counting on as an aid to their cause of drawing more French Muslims into their ranks? Elsewhere in France today, some idiots went out shooting at mosques (http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/6436224) in "retaliation". Surely that can't help but fan the flames.

Jinsai
01-08-2015, 10:44 PM
I just got angrily "unfriended" on Facebook over this... so... Right now, the people we need to be rallying support behind are the victims who were murdered, and the ultimate right that we should be defending is the right to be offensive, outrageous, mean, whatever the fuck you want to be, and not have to fear lethal retaliation. We also have to look into the intentions of the murderers, and I'm curious to hear them defend this, but I really got fed up with people having a tough time dealing with the fact that the comic strip was being heralded/championed despite their insensitive content. The support for Charlie Hebdo is in large part not truly an endorsement of their content, but a statement of support for the concept of free speech, especially against the threats of tyranny or terrorism.

marodi
01-08-2015, 11:25 PM
" I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."

Sutekh
01-09-2015, 03:15 AM
Charlie Hebdo is a racist paper (there is no doubt about this, they have portrayed black politicians as monkeys more than once) - but we don't kill racists.

It's certainly an attack on free speech in the vein of the Rushdie affair. The awful thing about this is we are moved to defend a puerile, racist rag. But tests are supposed to challenge, I guess

Also amusing how all these muslim bashers don't seem to realise that the cop who was shot point blank was a muslim

baudolino
01-09-2015, 03:27 AM
that's an oversimplification of satirical art. show me an un-altered cartoon that supports your claim.

Sutekh
01-09-2015, 03:53 AM
You could google it yourself in 2 seconds but very well, here's charb's cartoon depicting a black french MP as a monkey

not a monkey because she's messy, or stupid, she's just depicted as a monkey... zero context or props or scenery

You can accuse me of oversimplification but have you ever read the paper? It's for right wing armchair thumpers, they consciously toe the line because they can't compete with Canard. That's their audience and this is the kind of thing they put out
http://ripostelaique.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/charb-taubira.jpg

baudolino
01-09-2015, 04:04 AM
ehm, i asked for an UN-altered cartoon. the one you posted misses a lot. easy to google by the way.

Sutekh
01-09-2015, 04:10 AM
OK so why is the cartoon not racist? What's the worthy message there

baudolino
01-09-2015, 04:17 AM
OK so why is the cartoon not racist? What's the worthy message there

have you seen the original? anyway. Satirical art is per definition provocative and can easily be missunderstood. any society which support "free speech" also has to rely (to a certain extend) on the maturity of its citizens. But mature citizens are apparently a rare species nowadys.

Sutekh
01-09-2015, 04:33 AM
I'm not talking about satirical art in general I'm talking about this paper specifically. Satire is supposed to be provocative but that doesn't mean satire is an arena for racism - overt or covert. Satire is about throwing a light on political and social problems by using humour. Using publications to spread racist sentiments or sympathy isn't satire, it's closer to propaganda.

I guess it boils down to your perspective on that specific cartoon - myself, I've read the paper in the past and thought "ew", France has a large, burgeoning right wing population. The paper was, in my opinion, pandering to the racists in their crowd by putting out such an image.

The presented joke might not have been "black person is like a monkey", but there is no way it would not have occurred to the cartoonist that it would be interpreted that way. To me it's fairly obvious they knew full well it would score them some brownie points (pardon the expression) with their closet racist readership and generate a bit of publicity for the paper. While we're defining satire I think it's worth remembering that satire is supposed to be a noble endeavour, providing right wingers with an illicit thrill to sell a few papers is about as grubby as publishing gets

BUT

they should be free to be that shitty

baudolino
01-09-2015, 04:56 AM
I'm not talking about satirical art in general I'm talking about this paper specifically. Satire is supposed to be provocative but that doesn't mean satire is an arena for racism - overt or covert. Satire is about throwing a light on political and social problems by using humour. Using publications to spread racist sentiments or sympathy isn't satire, it's closer to propaganda.

I guess it boils down to your perspective on that specific cartoon - myself, I've read the paper in the past and thought "ew", France has a large, burgeoning right wing population. The paper was, in my opinion, pandering to the racists in their crowd by putting out such an image.

The presented joke might not have been "black person is like a monkey", but there is no way it would not have occurred to the cartoonist that it would be interpreted that way. To me it's fairly obvious they knew full well it would score them some brownie points (pardon the expression) with their closet racist readership and generate a bit of publicity for the paper. While we're defining satire I think it's worth remembering that satire is supposed to be a noble endeavour, providing right wingers with an illicit thrill to sell a few papers is about as grubby as publishing gets

BUT

they should be free to be that shitty

depicting popular persons as apes in cartoons has a long tradition in france. the sample you choose was incomplete and hence not suitable to proof your claim that Charlie Hebdo and its creators were/are racists. which they aren't imho.

Sutekh
01-09-2015, 05:07 AM
If that's what you think then I haven't made myself clear - I think they were making a non racist joke whilst towing the line in a way they knew would please their right wing readers. There's no point in saying the cartoon wasn't complete as the point I'm making only requires the caricature and some information about the background of the magazine and its readership

baudolino
01-09-2015, 05:23 AM
that is an unfounded assumption and contrary to the personal statements of the accused authors imo. And reducing that cartoon to a lone picture makes nothing clear but conceals its meaning/intention. Charlie Hebdo and every other contemporary satirical magazine i know of have the intention to encourage "self-thinking" in general. If you don't like it than it might just be a subjective matter of taste.

Sutekh
01-09-2015, 05:32 AM
No, like I've said, my issue here is that I believe there is a pandering to racist demographic within the image, if so, that would be objective reality rather than a subjective opinion.

And I really don't know about self-thinking being encouraged... it's a right wing muslim bashing paper in a country that is fairly right wing and has a tense relationship with its muslim community. They're totally going with the flow

edit - they've cornered the suspects now, it's moving to a siege

baudolino
01-09-2015, 05:39 AM
No, like I've said, my issue here is that I believe there is a pandering to racist demographic within the image, if so, that would be objective reality rather than a subjective opinion.

And I really don't know about self-thinking being encouraged... it's a right wing muslim bashing paper in a country that is fairly right wing and has a tense relationship with its muslim community. They're totally going with the flow

edit - they've cornered the suspects now, it's moving to a siege

It is a liberal (in the best sense) any (stupid) ideology bashing paper in a country that is in its majority left wing.

Sutekh
01-09-2015, 05:55 AM
A country where 400,000 people join a march against homosexuality and the national front is set to storm the next election? Where they have a government enforced dress code for muslims? I know it's all relative but France has a strong right wing current, it's not marginalised like the far right in the UK or Germany

Jinsai
01-09-2015, 06:03 AM
Charlie Hebdo is a racist paper (there is no doubt about this, they have portrayed black politicians as monkeys more than once) - but we don't kill racists.

It's certainly an attack on free speech in the vein of the Rushdie affair. The awful thing about this is we are moved to defend a puerile, racist rag. But tests are supposed to challenge, I guess

It's simple though. Yes, the paper was/is racist. Its form of humor wasn't really clever or insightful either, it's just shitty awful racism. True, it's easier to take the high road in a case like Rushdie with The Satanic Verses, which I finally did read and it's not a bad book at all. Even if I didn't like the book, at least there's a defensible artistic product at the heart of the debate, and it feels more rewarding when you defend that sort of thing.

But maybe it's essential that we have to defend something tasteless, awful, and racist against the idea that any of those qualities would make it any more or less worthy of being a target for violence. It's a bit of a wake up call where we have to stand up and defend the rights of people that we don't even really like, because that's a truer test of our values.

Sutekh
01-09-2015, 06:17 AM
Absolutely - I'm loathe to defend hebdo, but free speech is important, important things should survive testing, and a test should be challenging

Khrz
01-09-2015, 06:56 AM
You could google it yourself in 2 seconds but very well, here's charb's cartoon depicting a black french MP as a monkey

not a monkey because she's messy, or stupid, she's just depicted as a monkey... zero context or props or scenery

You can accuse me of oversimplification but have you ever read the paper? It's for right wing armchair thumpers, they consciously toe the line because they can't compete with Canard. That's their audience and this is the kind of thing they put out
http://ripostelaique.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/charb-taubira.jpg


That drawing was in direct reaction to an actual quote from a far right magazine comparing that minister to an ape. Context. CH wasn't racist, its goal was to taunt every group and power trying to impose their view and shut down difficult topics. Their humor was lowbrow and offensive, but they made fun of every side.

Khrz
01-09-2015, 07:06 AM
A country where 400,000 people join a march against homosexuality and the national front is set to storm the next election? Where they have a government enforced dress code for muslims? I know it's all relative but France has a strong right wing current, it's not marginalised like the far right in the UK or Germany

Not trying to defend the decisinon about the burqa, but once again, context : France is founded on secularism ; Everyone has the right to be religious, but there's a very strong separation of the church and the state. As such every employee of the government, being a representative of the nation's value, ought to be religiously neutral in its appearance : no obvious diplay of crosses for instance. People are absolutely free to wear a burqa in the streets, wherever they go. Just not when you work in an officially national setting, or on the photo of your ID card (that should be obvious, but it apparently wasn't).

The march against gay marriage/adoption was deeply religious at heart (something Charlie Hebdo actually fought against/mocked), christians and muslims were heavily present there. Yes the right wing is gaining speed here, mostly because they've cleaned their act to be more PC, and also because the Far Left and left wing have left many left-leaning people disappointed. Traditionally, France remains left-leaning, only in the current political context, they are completely at loss with nobody left to which turn their votes.
I really don't want to sound confrontational here, I'm deeply sorry if I may come out that way, but where are you from Sutekh ? It sounds like you're making a lot of assumption based on actual information yes, but lacking any context ?

Sutekh
01-09-2015, 07:27 AM
Sorry but people aren't free to wear the burqa in the street - it's a total ban on burqa/niqab in public places.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-11305033

also remember this? This is not something that happens in a left wing country http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/france/11174663/Paris-Opera-cast-refuse-to-perform-for-veiled-woman.html

I'm from London but I visit france fairly regularly, I read french papers, have French friendfs etc (after all I'm geographically closer to France than I am to Scotland)... Like I say, it's relative - compared to the UK or Scandinavia, France is right wing. My French friends tend to be pretty uptight on a variety of issues, every conversation about politics I've ever had in France has always ended up with people preaching social conservatism to me.

At the end of the day you had that massive anti gay march, you banned the burqa and the national front is huge - whereas the BNP (UK equivalent of FN) get less than 2% of the vote, an anti gay march would never be allowed let alone be attended by nearly half a million, and we'd never enforce a dress code on minorities.

So from my perspective, France is a more right wing country than Britain, and this is because you've got a lot of rightwingers... I remember driving to nantes from clisson a few months ago, and every pillar on the motorway had a stencil of le pen on it. You just wouldn't get that in the UK, because the support isn't there - last election they averaged 1.9% support, whereas at the french elections in september, the FN scored about 26% & the socialists got 14%. To me that says something

Khrz
01-09-2015, 07:44 AM
Sorry but people aren't free to wear the burqa in the street - it's a total ban on burqa/niqab in public places.

Odd to see so many of them every day then ?

Traditionally left-leaning doesn't mean homogeneous. Indeed, there is a dangerously rise of the right wing, something most of the country seems concerned about. There was a massive anti gay marriage march (allowed under the freedom of speech and protest law), and massive pro gay marriage marches. The issue has proved divisive, but gays can marry, and everyone who tried to oppose that has been left behind. The leader of that movement is forgotten, and has lost all influence she could have after that. The fact that an anti-gay march wouldn't be allowed in a democracy is somewhat worrying though, isn't it ? Even though freedom of speech is relative in France (something I actually find paradoxical and unhealthy, I want to know who I disagree with, not have them rile each other in hidden forums), most issues are deemed worthy of debate.

I have no idea if Britain is more left wing than france, and honestly don't care, as I fail to see the point of that comparison. The problem when comparing politics between countries is that despite using the same terms, they describe very different things. Obama is liberal, but applied to french politics, he's strongly right wing. Your right wing sounds less social than ours. Those things are extremely relative, and only representative of the politics inside each country. Issues are different, background is different, history is different...

Look, I'm not trying to defend some of those political stances, being left-leaning myself I disagree with most of them. The decisions about the burqa for instance, were made under Sarkozy's stewardship (UMP/right wing), and many of his stances were dictated by populism. Indeed, those aren't left-leaning decisions. But you're painting that picture with a broad brush, and I ought to add some nuances to that picture. There's a precise timeline to those events, a political and social context that is absent from your posts.

Exocet
01-09-2015, 07:52 AM
There is a second hostage situation taking place in Paris. A guy walked into a restraunt with two machine guns.

Sutekh
01-09-2015, 07:57 AM
Yeah don't get me wrong - I'm not saying France is Nazi Germany or that most French people are wingnuts, I'm just saying that generally speaking it is pretty right wing & it has a lot of right wingers compared to the rest of W Europe - which is a stone cold fact, as the election results, policy changes and social issues illustrate

Comparison is far from pointless - you're correct that much of politics is relative and terms have different meanings across different borders, but there are certain objective barometers which indicate how socially liberal a country is, things which mean the same in every country - the general attitude towards LGBT and Ethnic communities are two of the biggest indicators.

An anti-gay march is an anti-gay march wherever you are, it means the same thing, it's not quite like the strange American alternative universe use of the word "liberal", which everywhere else means classically liberal in the vein of Locke, whereas in America it means a fabian society type middle class socialist progressive

The point of the comparison is you might not be able to appreciate how far left or right of centre your own country is as much as someone who is from a different political climate could. If you've been somewhere very right wing and somewhere very left wing, you get a better sense of what the middle ground is. Excesses that might seem normal or usual to you will stick out more to someone who is from a different kind of system. The other side of the coin is that a lot of my friends from Poland, the middle east and yes France think the UK is suicidally liberal

Khrz
01-09-2015, 07:58 AM
It's in a jewish supermarket actually. Probably related to the recent events, but until those (a woman and a man) guys are arrested, there's no way to tell to which extent. It seems way more random.

Sutekh
01-09-2015, 08:00 AM
BBC news is saying it's the guy who shot the policewoman

I'm sorry to say this Khrz but I dread to think what's going to happen to the politics in France over the coming months, I think you're going to see exactly what I've been talking about mushroom in terms of support

Khrz
01-09-2015, 08:10 AM
The point of the comparison is you might not be able to appreciate how far left or right of centre your own country is as much as someone who is from a different political climate could.

Alright, that's a very god point. And the fact is that the political left side is getting weaker and weaker, as the right wing has had a tendency to rely on populism to gather votes and attention. It is generally accepted that some right wing politicians are trying to sweep the rug from under the FN's feet by using their own rhetoric, which has proved a disastrous maneuver, as it only reinforced the status or the far right.

The fact that an organized anti gay sentiment has been expressed is important indeed, but isn't it just as important that countless spontaneous counter-marches have been held all over the country ? Or the fact that gay marriage has passed and is considered a non-issue by now ? Doesn't that say just as much about the population. People saw right wing, hard religious movements organize and gather, and decided they had to take to the streets to show they were supporting the right of everyone to marry and have the same status as every other citizen.

Fact is, the right wing is trying to act against religious extremism and doing a disastrous job at it, while the left wing is too scared to touch the issue with a hundred-foot pole, as it would inevitably stain their already problematic image. Everyone's trying to figure out how to handle this without alienating the population, and so far it has been less than successful.

And yeah, I have the same concerns, everyone has. The attack on CH is going to benefit a whole bunch of very nasty, despicable dickheads.

Oh, an addendum : FN is notoriously considered right wing, but it is not, not really. For instance I have a family relative who's very far-left, and who's counting on the success of the FN to "stir shit up" after the countless failures of the far left to deliver. Their voters come from all backgrounds, associating with various sides of the coin. While the FN used to be indeed far right, the ascension of Jean-Marie LePen's daughter has completely shuffled the cards in the recent years.

icecream
01-09-2015, 08:23 AM
Sutke, I thought UKIP was a pretty right wing party, almost like FN. Are they just right wing but not far right? My understanding is they are becoming quite popular too.

Sutekh
01-09-2015, 08:25 AM
icecream
UKIP are doing pretty well but nonetheless their success is nothing compared to FN's. The general election in May will show how far UKIP have advanced. Thus far they have 2 MPs, and both of those were established and well liked Conservative party politicians who simply switched sides. We've yet to see a UKIP candidate knock out an existing MP
Khrz Sure - there's more to it. Like I said, I'm not saying France is Nazi Germany, just that there is a strong right wing current that is more pronounced than in the rest of western Europe (although the rest are catching up). There's a strong socialist and secular tradition in France which is to be admired. Also on a more frivolous note I've always liked how the French aren't uptight about nudity (Brits are messed up in that department, still in victorian mode)

I'm sure there's lots of tactical and punishment voting going on, but let's be real, most people who vote FN do so because they agree with what FN say.

It seems to be happening across Europe at the moment, with the Freedom party in the netherlands, true fins in finland, UKIP in Britain and also the rise of street movements in Britain and Germany such as pegida and EDL... antifascists often oppose them, but such groups are almost always composed of members of the far left - there's no populist anti fascist groups in the way there's populist right wing groups.

Anyway this is drifting to the point where it almost belongs in my "Europe lurches to the right" thread

Khrz
01-09-2015, 08:38 AM
I'm sure there's lots of tactical and punishment voting going on, but let's be real, most people who vote FN do so because they agree with what FN say.

Well that's the problem : since Marine Lepen's leadership, and due to the very nature of France secular tradition, most of what the FN say has become actually politically correct. When her father used to make jokes about Jews and cremation ovens, she simply talks about stopping Muslims from praying in the streets. Which is, okay wtf, but not too different from a UMP representative claiming Arab kids are stealing other kids' chocolate bread "because it's Ramadan" (which never happened of course, but that's how low the guys are going).

So, you have religious extremists trying to impose their views in a secular country (to which CH regularly reacted, hence why you would consider them racist, when it's only an instance of their content reflecting the zeitgeist, they mocked Catholics just as well, only Catholics have learned not to be so vocal anymore), a left wing party who wants nothing to do with it, a right wing party trying to act AND stop the FN from stealing their votes, and the FN pointing out at that mess and saying "isn't it time those fuckers went back home ?"

That's the context for the attack on Charlie Hebdo, that's the context under which Charlie Hebdo operated.

aggroculture
01-09-2015, 09:07 AM
"This isn't about free speech. Free speech is just an oppressive western myth. There is no right to protect oppressive/racist discourse. Fuck free speech."

All the while using free speech to express those very opinions.

So if we want to do away with free speech, tell me - what better alternative do you propose?
If people aren't "free" to voice their shitty opinions in whatever shitty way they choose - who's to say your "good" opinions should have any space either?

We need more freedom of speech, not less.
Yes, we need more centering of marginalized voices; yes we need more diversity in media; yes we need more emphasis on the importance of "punching up" rather than "punching down" in comedy and satire; yes we need more light shined on power, economic and race imbalances. Can't do ANY of this without freedom of speech.

Khrz
01-09-2015, 09:18 AM
When you start censuring opinion, you lose the ability to debate and/or refute those opinions, and are betting that your opinion will never be deemed unworthy of expression. There's nothing to gain from shutting someone up, if you disagree you can always argue, shout or laugh.
Not to mention the fact that ideas and concepts that remain shut down for too long tend to eventually come out in the most extreme ways. For instance, hadn't we allowed the marches against gay marriage, how do you think things would have fared for the gay community ? More often than not, people who cannot express themselves tend to resort to violence.
They need to be able to blow steam, not blow shit up.

Jinsai
01-09-2015, 10:23 AM
This does become a problem when people start responding with the sort of defense that implies that they are not guilty of some really racist/awful shit. They are. The important thing is to acknowledge that and then move on. I'm not going to claim that I was really familiar with them before this happened, so perhaps I'm missing something, but this is not the sort of thing that you want to jump up and defend on the merits of its humor.

http://cdn.frontpagemag.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/charlie-hebdo-s-est-deja-attire-les-foudres.jpg

This isn't even the one I was looking for (which involved a hassidic jew with dollar bill signs for eyes), but we don't need to defend the content to understand that we support their right to say it, especially in the aftermath of a tragedy like this.

Sutekh
01-09-2015, 10:59 AM
Yes or delightful pictures such as this.
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/511yobp7FlL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg
When one thing looks iffily racist... fine... but 2 ...3 ...4... how many until we just cut the crap and call a spade a spade. I stick by my assessment that they tow the line with the retreat option of claiming it's making a different point. But the same racial caricatures again and again... I just can't pretend that doesn't say something about the terms in which the paper and the readership view the world

Khrz
01-09-2015, 11:49 AM
How far back are you gonna dig ? That one is at least 30 years old...
And then again, this is a weekly, illustration-based satirical journal. Its inception predates its title. It is the direct successor of Hara-Kiri, a leftist magazine that reveled in gross, vulgar, offensive humor. After being banned for making fun of the death of Charles de Gaulles (and here again, I'm not going to delve into the context of the era, or even why they made fun of that), Charlie Hebdo was born.
This is the spirit they were carrying on. Outrageous, offensive humor.

So yeah, you're going to find a whole lot of drawings and illustrations that are insulting and offensive, to the Jews, Christians, Muslims, Handicapped, Bankers, politicians, cops.... A bunch. That was the point. Since the mag reacted to the news weekly, you're still going to be out of context and forced to make up your own.

Edit Charb was married to an algerian, daughter of a harki for fuck's sake, and Cabu was your typical hippie leftist pacifist...

Cat Mom
01-09-2015, 11:53 AM
The thing is, we live in a scary fucking world, now, where this shit happens a lot. So, you can go ahead and have your right to make cartoons about whatever you want, but don't be surprised if this happens if you do.

We used to be able to flip off other drivers on the expressway as a way to "express ourselves" and our rage. Now, we risk getting shot in the head for that shit. Guide yourselves accordingly.

Your Name Here
01-09-2015, 12:17 PM
...................

Sutekh
01-09-2015, 12:32 PM
How far back are you gonna dig ? That one is at least 30 years old...
And then again, this is a weekly, illustration-based satirical journal. Its inception predates its title. It is the direct successor of Hara-Kiri, a leftist magazine that reveled in gross, vulgar, offensive humor. After being banned for making fun of the death of Charles de Gaulles (and here again, I'm not going to delve into the context of the era, or even why they made fun of that), Charlie Hebdo was born.
This is the spirit they were carrying on. Outrageous, offensive humor.

So yeah, you're going to find a whole lot of drawings and illustrations that are insulting and offensive, to the Jews, Christians, Muslims, Handicapped, Bankers, politicians, cops.... A bunch. That was the point. Since the mag reacted to the news weekly, you're still going to be out of context and forced to make up your own.

Edit Charb was married to an algerian, daughter of a harki for fuck's sake, and Cabu was your typical hippie leftist pacifist...

They can be all those things and still be up for cynically making money. They can also be all those things and be misguided. They can also be complicated - you can have a north african girlfriend and still be racist or xenophobic... let me put it this way, you get misogynists that marry women! No such thing as a good guy badge

But ultimately I'm fairly convinced they do stuff that tickles racists, knowing full well they'll lap it up. And I do think it's because France is a bit more right wing and it's not seen as that outrageous

Maybe in the UK we're all a bit pussified and politically correct, I'm open to that possibility

The magazine may well have had a broad range of targets, but when it came to Jews, Muslims and black people... it's the same old dodgy caricatures. Like it is possible to lampoon all of those things and it not appear racist, but it's funny how in their case it appeared a bit racist pretty much every single time

And the cartoon being 30 years old only proves it's a long tradition, and my point was this paper has been a bit dodgy for as long as it's been around, so...

Khrz
01-09-2015, 12:50 PM
They can be all those things and still be up for cynically making money.

Well most of all they're dead.
You know, I usually would be up to a healthy, if a bit circling, debate about all that stuff, but that shit hit pretty close to home as far as I'm concerned. So, I won't be able to participate in this discussion anymore and watch those guys being called racist, money-grabbing cynics who eventually got what was coming to them. I'm sorry. You guys have fun.

Cat Mom
01-09-2015, 12:55 PM
who eventually got what was coming to them
I think that's going a bit farther than what this conversation said ... certainly nobody deserves to DIE for their opinion. But when you deliberately poke the bear, the bear sometimes turns around and eats you. This isn't a big "surprise."

Sutekh
01-09-2015, 12:57 PM
Well most of all they're dead.
You know, I usually would be up to a healthy, if a bit circling, debate about all that stuff, but that shit hit pretty close to home as far as I'm concerned. So, I won't be able to participate in this discussion anymore and watch those guys being called racist, money-grabbing cynics who eventually got what was coming to them. I'm sorry. You guys have fun.

I never said they got what was coming to them or deserved to die - in fact I've made three posts saying in our corner of the world we don't kill racists or cynics, and they have every right to print what they print - and we should defend them even if we disagree with them

If you can't keep a cool head and take in what's being said then maybe it is time to back away and cool off, because if you put words like that in my mouth then this certainly is over

aggroculture
01-09-2015, 01:18 PM
@allegro (http://www.echoingthesound.org/community/member.php?u=76) = victim blaming, fatalism, endorsement of "might is right."
Galileo might disagree with you. He poked the Catholic Church bear - and he was right.

Happening today, in a country that does not recognize free speech: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/raif-badawi-saudi-arabia-urged-to-halt-flogging-of-liberal-blogger-sentenced-to-1000-lashes-9967008.html

I am not comfortable with those racist cartoons; even when racist tropes are used to mock racist tropes; they're still harmful (like the Colbert case: in that instance I agreed with Suey Park's position). But in the case of insulting Mohammed - I think it's very important we don't have sacred cows. That nobody is above mockery.

I don't think muslims should be abused - and the attacks on muslims in France following this are awful.
I do think religion should be mocked. Life of Brian was banned in Britain when it was released.

I think in fact that however wrongheaded or misguided by "false consciousness" and white-savior values that get harnessed by the western imperialist war machine - I want to give these people the benefit of the doubt and think maybe they were genuine in their love for humanity and desire for people to be liberated from oppressive religion. And maybe that's why they were killed: because their work is a threat to power that uses religion to oppress people.

Cat Mom
01-09-2015, 01:26 PM
@allegro (http://www.echoingthesound.org/community/member.php?u=76) = victim blaming, fatalism, endorsement of "might is right."
Galileo might disagree with you. He poked the Catholic Church bear - and he was right.
Lots who poked the proverbial bear were imprisoned or even beheaded. But, that didn't stop people from poking the bear; they did it, anyway, knowing the risks*. It's knowing the risks that's the important part. There is no shield from the risks.

*edit: I'm thinking, specifically, of Milton (Paradise Lost)..

Deepvoid
01-09-2015, 02:19 PM
According to a BFMTV journalist who was able to speak with the terrorists before they were killed, the brothers were trained by Anwar Al Awaki and were before he got blown into pieces by a drone strike. They were financed by Al-Qaeda in Yemen.
He stated that he was avenging the prophet and that the cartoonists were not civilians but "targets". Stated that he would not kill women and children even though Westerners are killing plenty in Iraq and Afghanistan.

On the other hand, the terrorist that staged the 2nd hostage situation claimed he was not from Al-Qaeda but from ISIS. He claimed to be fighting for the rights of oppressed Muslims in Palestine. His targets were Jews, thus the Kosher supermarket.
The beginning of his attack was coordinated with the brothers' attack.

I just realized I used about a dozen trigger words. If you don't hear back from me within the next 24 hours, call my

Sutekh
01-09-2015, 02:32 PM
Life of Brian was banned in Britain when it was released.


I think that was Norway - in sweden the tagline for the film is "the film that was too funny for norway" :D

In the UK Palin & Cleese had a debate with 2 bishops and totally ruined them... one of them said you wouldn't dare do this about mohammed. Cleese said "yes and 200 years ago we would have been burned at the stake... I'm suggesting we've made some progress"

fantastic clip, well worth looking up

Sallos
01-09-2015, 04:43 PM
You could google it yourself in 2 seconds but very well, here's charb's cartoon depicting a black french MP as a monkey

not a monkey because she's messy, or stupid, she's just depicted as a monkey... zero context or props or scenery

You can accuse me of oversimplification but have you ever read the paper? It's for right wing armchair thumpers, they consciously toe the line because they can't compete with Canard. That's their audience and this is the kind of thing they put out
http://ripostelaique.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/charb-taubira.jpg

It's target audince is for right wingers you say? Funny though that most of the cartoonists were lefwing themselves. French are complicated people.

Sutekh
01-09-2015, 05:09 PM
Well... if you're asking for an explanation of the discrepancy, I'd say it's the left/right axis becoming outdated as the centuries go on

how do we think of the far right? anti-semitic and racist, sexist, homophobic, ethnic nationalist... but what are the the rising modern far right groups in Europe like? Not explicitly biologically racist, anti semitism largely a thing of the past with little populist appeal, gay marriage has general support - in fact the homophobia of muslims is used as a rallying point for the far right these days. The English Defence League wave Israeli flags and have an LGBT division... but they're still far right with a whiff of 30s fascism

However "target audience" is incorrect on my part... I'd say Charlie Hebdo has a broad target audience (as they lampoon all sorts), but again (and honestly I'm not up for outlining this a 4th or 5th time), I think it's the case that they know there is a right wing element to their readership, as there is a strong right wing element in french society (at least compared to UK, DE, ES & scandinavia), and that's who they try to titillate

Jinsai
01-09-2015, 09:36 PM
so now that I've looked into it more, some of the really anti-Semitic Charlie Hebdo comics that I've seen people use as examples of the publication's overt racism are actually... not related to the paper at all, but parodies of their covers.

icecream
01-09-2015, 09:43 PM
After reading about this more, I think it's far too simple to break it down to free speech vs censorship. When something borders on hate speech, shouldn't there be some sort of system to keep it in check, (regulation)? I obviously don't side with people would murder someone they disagree with, but it is extremely hard to feel bad for the paper. You could argue extreme liberalism, ( the real term, not the American definition) and it's values have allowed the dominant culture to force its views on people. You don't hear much in the mainstream about how Western nations fucked the "global south". Maybe that, and the fact Islam is portrayed unfairly in the media is the reason the attacks happened. The speech isn't really free when only the one side gets its voice heard. I feel bad for the overwhelming majority of Muslims getting grouped in with a few assholes.

Edit: added a word

Jinsai
01-09-2015, 10:01 PM
but they aren't exclusively mocking one religion. I've heard some people make the claim that that's their fallback alibi for when they get called out for Islamophobia, but no, I don't think there should be regulation in place to stop offensive humor. The reaction is unpredictable too. I still don't get what the outrage is all about with The Satanic Verses. The comic that really pissed people off this time was the cover image with Muhammed on it, but the translation of what he's saying in the caption isn't hate speech. It's "100 lashes if you don't die laughing!"

They're satirizing a punishment that is employed in large parts of the Middle East. Right now, in Saudi Arabia, a blogger is about to be lashed 1000 times for allegedly insulting Islam. He will be lashed 50 times every week for 20 weeks. It's insane. Mockery may not be the most effective tool for dealing with this sort of madness, but shutting up the mockery under the claim that it is hate speech is definitely not the answer, especially in response to the assassination of comic strip artists. I've heard people say that mocking images of people being beheaded for insulting Islam are in some way hateful and racist... but this actually still happens. They still publicly behead people in Saudi Arabia (for crimes like sorcery, not kidding). If your crime was deemed really awful (like blasphemy on top of apostasy, and maybe the effort to convert others away from Islam), they will occasionally crucify the headless body of the executed in public, and hang his severed head in a plastic bag above it.

It's not just a "few assholes."

icecream
01-09-2015, 10:29 PM
I understand they don't single out Islam. But, they do feed into the Islamophobic sensibilities of the far right. They know their audience.

The issue shouldn't be about making a joke about lashing. In Islam you aren't allowed to depict Mohammad. That's the issue South Park ran into with their episode. The draconian punishments dished out in the Middle East is horrendous to us, looking at it from a liberal democratic P.O.V. But really, fucked up punishments were on the books until fairly recently. And many states still have the death penalty, which is just as bad in my opinion. Killing someone is still killing someone. Especially when there are a disproportionate number of black Americans on death row. But that's a whole different topic.

I don't know how accurate this is, but here are a few political cartoons from Arabic papers regarding the issue: http://mic.com/articles/108076/here-s-how-arab-papers-reacted-to-the-charlie-hebdo-massacre

It's really unfair to assume everyone in the Middle East is running around beheading or lashing people who disagree.

Jinsai
01-09-2015, 11:05 PM
But really, fucked up punishments were on the books until fairly recently. And many states still have the death penalty, which is just as bad in my opinion. Killing someone is still killing someone.

We can be opposed to the death penalty, but it's not equivalent. There may be some states that still have laws against sodomy, but these aren't enforced. We maybe got a bit carried away in the late 1600s and burned people alive for witchcraft. Nowadays though, the death penalty is reserved for only the most extreme crimes. I'm not saying I approve of the death penalty, but what it's enacted for definitely matters.

This man in Saudi Arabia, Raif Badwadi, was originally going to be put to death for apostasy. He's also being charged with "cyberterrorism" for running a website called Free Saudi Liberals. His truly scandalous quote was "that Muslims, Jews, Christians, and atheists are all equal."


It's really unfair to assume everyone in the Middle East is running around beheading or lashing people who disagree. Depending on the country, it is absolutely fair to say that it's a lot more common than many people would seem to insist. As of October, 59 people were beheaded in Saudi Arabia last year. The year before that it was 69. Leaving Islam is an automatic death sentence. This is the court of law.

You are stuck with the unfortunate situation where these sorts of comics could breed resentment and heat up anti-Muslim sentiments, but you cannot extend the jurisdiction of these laws to countries you do not govern. You cannot insist that people not draw the prophet in France. For a large part, many liberal principles and ideals are directly threatened by these laws. Acceptance and respect for homosexuality, equal rights for women, the freedom of speech no matter how offensive, the freedom to practice any faith you want. By comparison to the attacks in France, these cartoons themselves are a drop in the bucket with regards to potentially inflating anti-Islamic sentiments. Ultimately, the idea of censoring satire because it could be perceived as unkind to a minority group is a bad idea, and it would be especially bad now.

*Edit: The beheading total for last year in Saudi Arabia was 83.

icecream
01-09-2015, 11:55 PM
Then the lack of free speech in some Middle Eastern countries and the right to distribute hate speech in France are very different issues. Satire in the two situations become very different given the context. What you do think a good definition of satire is? Is it really satire in a country where Muslims are an oppressed minority, subjected to laws which single them out? I think at that point it is just bullying.

I remember looking at American political cartoons during and just after the Civil War for a history class. There were several, horrible cartoons depicting freed slaves in all sorts of negative stereotypes. Is that satire? That is more in line with what Charlie Hebdo has a history of publishing. They might poke fun of themselves once in a while but I think that's to cover for their bigotry, though you have said you disagree.

You can make a good argument Saudi Arabia is an authoritarian country. It is very different for someone to use satire to speak out against the government there. Satire is more effective when used in that instance.

WorzelG
01-10-2015, 01:30 AM
I was thinking about the concept of 'freedom of speech' and except that people seem to assume all of the 'western democracies' have it, do we actually have the right to free speech in the UK or other European countries? I can't think of any law relating to this except the hate speech one which is against free speech if anything, we don't have a constitution like the US. Is there a free speech element to the human rights act? Or any EU law about this?

Jinsai
01-10-2015, 01:42 AM
Then the lack of free speech in some Middle Eastern countries and the right to distribute hate speech in France are very different issues. Satire in the two situations become very different given the context. What you do think a good definition of satire is? Is it really satire in a country where Muslims are an oppressed minority, subjected to laws which single them out? I think at that point it is just bullying.

First off, while yes, muslims are still very obviously a minority in France, at over five million they have the largest Muslim population in western Europe. By comparison, the Jewish population in France is around half a million. While Catholicism is still considered the largest religious demographic in France, of the 45 million people who identify as Christian, less than 2 million consider themselves practicing believers. This is where it gets tricky. When it comes to the population with the largest number of religious believers adhering to a particular faith, it would actually seem that Islam could be considered the dominant religious belief.

The dominant majority in France is by and large secular non-belief. The original bans on the burqa were related to wearing it in schools. Alongside this ban was a restriction against wearing a cross or a yarmulke. The restrictions on wearing it in public are prohibited by the form which completely covers the face. The law would seemingly prohibit any form of complete facial covering. This is ridiculous, of course, because even if you believe that the nature of the burqa is in some ways oppressive to women as a concept, people should be allowed to dress however they please.


I remember looking at American political cartoons during and just after the Civil War for a history class. There were several, horrible cartoons depicting freed slaves in all sorts of negative stereotypes. Is that satire? That is more in line with what Charlie Hebdo has a history of publishing.
There is an obvious fundamental difference. The institution of slavery is essential to the discussion there. We've moved on quite a long way, and it took a lot of time, and racism is not dead in this country. One thing that is now commonly understood to be unacceptable are outrageous demonstrations of racism. The expression of it has largely moved into more subtle, subversive, and maybe even unwitting examples. We have come a long way, and we've done it without repealing the first amendment. We allow people to say awful things.


They might poke fun of themselves once in a while but I think that's to cover for their bigotry, though you have said you disagree.

I can't claim to be familiar enough with their content to necessarily disagree. A cursory google image search does show them lampooning pretty much everything.


You can make a good argument Saudi Arabia is an authoritarian country. It is very different for someone to use satire to speak out against the government there. Satire is more effective when used in that instance.

But you cannot satirize the Saudi Arabian government from within Saudi Arabia. That's pretty much what this man Raif is being publicly whipped for. When you look at the things he was saying, it was generally inclusive, tolerant stuff. You could not publish anything remotely close to Charlie Hebdo in Saudi Arabia. Now we're getting people insinuating that they shouldn't even publish this sort of stuff in France.


I was thinking about the concept of 'freedom of speech' and except that people seem to assume all of the 'western democracies' have it, do we actually have the right to free speech in the UK or other European countries? I can't think of any law relating to this except the hate speech one which is against free speech if anything, we don't have a constitution like the US. Is there a free speech element to the human rights act? Or any EU law about this?

It varies. In the UK, intolerant speech is illegal. In Germany, there's a touchy aspect regarding anything that has to do with Naziism... for obvious reasons. I'm sure there's a lot of people out there who believe these restrictions serve a valid purpose.

green
01-10-2015, 08:13 AM
Maybe Muslim extremists (not the entire Muslim community) but muslim extremists shouldn't live in countries that allow freedom of speech or freedom of expression.
Maybe the Muslim community should take to the media and condemn these (all those to come) actions. I don't mean isolated outrage, I'm mean a unified front. They won't do it though, and will suffer for it before Islam is tamed.

botley
01-10-2015, 09:07 AM
Maybe the Muslim community should take to the media and condemn these (all those to come) actions. I don't mean isolated outrage, I'm mean a unified front. They won't do it though, and will suffer for it before Islam is tamed.
You want over 1.5 billion Muslim people worldwide to put aside innumerable differences and be a "united front" or else, gee that's awesome, great insight.

Sutekh
01-10-2015, 09:35 AM
Vast overwhelming majority of Muslims in the west don't carry out terrorism or chop off people's hands for stealing... thousands in the middle east are fighting and dying to stop ISIS, millions are considered takfir (shia/sunni/ahmadiyya) by the al qaeda/ISIS/wahhabi sunni element... yet people need more proof most of them don't support fundamentalism

I understand people are afraid and want some reassurance that most Muslims aren't supportive of all that's going on, but really the evidence they reject fundamentalism and violence is right in front of us

green
01-10-2015, 10:02 AM
You want over 1.5 billion Muslim people worldwide to put aside innumerable differences and be a "united front" or else, gee that's awesome, great insight.
Pretty much.


I understand people are afraid and want some reassurance that most Muslims aren't supportive of all that's going on, but really the evidence they reject fundamentalism and violence is right in front of us

No, it's not.

Sutekh
01-10-2015, 10:09 AM
Yes, it is... right in front of you, the vast majority of Western Muslims are not carrying out terrorist attacks or harassing non Muslims or leaving to join foreign conflicts

Why doesn't that prove anything?

And when you say "no, it's not", do you mean that scenario is not right in front of you? So the majority of Muslims around you are carrying out terrorist attacks and enforcing strict sharia, and all that stuff I said about Millions of Muslims being deemed apostate enemes by fundamentalist Sunnis is not true?

orestes
01-10-2015, 10:27 AM
Charlie Hedbo from a French perspective. (http://67-tardis-street.tumblr.com/post/107589955860/dear-us-followers)

Jinsai
01-10-2015, 12:29 PM
Yes, it is... right in front of you, the vast majority of Western Muslims are not carrying out terrorist attacks or harassing non Muslims or leaving to join foreign conflicts

It's not that the majority needs to be actively involved, or even in support. The Pew research poll from 2013 had little to say about the variance of beliefs of western Muslims, but when even 5% of surveyed US Muslims are willing to admit in a poll that they believe suicide bombings in defense of Islam are sometimes acceptable... Overall, the results from the survey were interesting.

http://www.pewforum.org/2013/04/30/the-worlds-muslims-religion-politics-society-beliefs-about-sharia/


Charlie Hedbo from a French perspective. (http://67-tardis-street.tumblr.com/post/107589955860/dear-us-followers)

Part of what definitely sparked a knee-jerk reaction regarding the content of the paper (at least for me) was actually due to images being passed around that were made to look like Charlie Hebdo covers, when in fact they were mockeries of the covers backed by some really extreme and intolerant views.

Hazekiah
01-10-2015, 12:54 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SBfutCdO_sg

Hazekiah
01-10-2015, 12:55 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GvgdPAEu8vA

Sutekh
01-10-2015, 03:00 PM
It's not that the majority needs to be actively involved, or even in support. The Pew research poll from 2013 had little to say about the variance of beliefs of western Muslims, but when even 5% of surveyed US Muslims are willing to admit in a poll that they believe suicide bombings in defense of Islam are sometimes acceptable... Overall, the results from the survey were interesting.

http://www.pewforum.org/2013/04/30/the-worlds-muslims-religion-politics-society-beliefs-about-sharia/



They're OK but the context of daily life and the levels of illiteracy in the regions surveyed are so different to that of the west that it can't really tell us a great deal about the probable beliefs of Western ones.

If the question just how many Western Muslims do support militancy/fundamentalism/terrorism, again the answer is a minority, simply because most Western Muslims are observably getting on with their lives and not committing terrorist acts or living fundamentalist lifestyles

Another indicator is that groups like al muhajiroon/islam4uk, hizb ut tahrir etc enjoy very small, fringey followings packed with weirdos - they never have large followings, or support from communities.

On the whole the UK is attacked by dissident Irish republicans far more often than Islamists, but you don't see people demanding reassurance from Catholics. I just fear people getting carried away with the hype and ultimately doing exactly what extremist groups want them to do

Jinsai
01-10-2015, 03:01 PM
I'm just not sure I see the solution Maher is suggesting here. There is a distinct possibility that he'll be riling up segments of liberal Westerners to stand up against aspects of the Muslim faith which are incompatible with progressive values. The problem is, people frequently aren't that smart about the way they rally together around these sorts of concepts, and this outpouring of liberal outrage could just end up turning into incoherent fox-news style rabble bullshit. At that point, it would seem likely that Muslims living in Western liberal societies would feel less inclined to consider the philosophical values of liberalism, and instead just feel more offput.

80+% of the muslim world lives in theocratic Islamic societies. These are also the areas of the world which will enforce Sharia law, and also are the primary recruitment grounds for extremists. Western Muslims are already naturally more liberally inclined than people living in places where voicing certain liberal beliefs alone could get you in serious trouble.

I just don't know how helpful it is to point the finger at the religion and say that it's especially violent, and that people need to conform their religious beliefs to comply with Western values. That doesn't seem like a very likely way to win people over to your argument.


They're OK but the context of daily life and the levels of illiteracy in the regions surveyed are so different to that of the west that it can't really tell us a great deal about the probable beliefs of Western ones.

A pew research poll of Muslims living in the United States in 2006 found that a minority opinion (that was still alarmingly high) was supportive of suicide bombings in defense of Islam. It also found that this opinion was more prevalent among younger Muslims.

I know, research polls can be deceiving, and are never a truly perfect accurate portrayal, but still, this is not coming from an obviously biased source.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islam_in_the_United_States#mediaviewer/File:US_Muslim_opinions_on_suicide_bombing.png

green
01-10-2015, 03:27 PM
Yes, it is... right in front of you, the vast majority of Western Muslims are not carrying out terrorist attacks or harassing non Muslims or leaving to join foreign conflicts

Why doesn't that prove anything?


And when you say "no, it's not", do you mean that scenario is not right in front of you? So the majority of Muslims around you are carrying out terrorist attacks and enforcing strict sharia, and all that stuff I said about Millions of Muslims being deemed apostate enemes by fundamentalist Sunnis is not true?
The argument is for Muslims world wide to condemn these acts publicly, which they haven't. So what are you even talking about?

Sutekh
01-10-2015, 04:15 PM
How could a billion people possibly condemn something as one voice (as someone pointed out, especially when they are split so many ways and are ultimately not in any practical way a monolithic entity), - who would speak for them? And do you expect literally every single one to participate? Do you think there is any realistic possibility of that happening

I'm just wondering what the scenario you would require would actually look like. Like if white people had to apologise for all the empires, slavery, genocide etc... how exactly would we go about doing that? get everyone in each country to sign something, then get the leaders of every country to then present their country's apology to some kind of arbiter. The notion is a little bit absurd. And in any case what worth would it have - how would you know they weren't lying? Terrorists and their sympathisers tend to keep things on the down low

As for what I'm talking about, I'm saying the fact most of them don't participate in this stuff can be taken as a sign they reject it

Various Muslim community groups issue condemnations of terrorism... various Muslim communities are in fact targets of terrorism by fundamentalists, so you can assume they are against it.

Again if statements by community leaders and individuals aren't good enough, what would be good enough?

Jinsai
01-10-2015, 07:19 PM
Looking to the perceived attitudes or beliefs of Western Muslims is a distraction when Saudi Arabia, our supposed ally in the Middle East, is enacting what we would rightly identify as extremism as common law. The Saudi government can issue a statement condemning the murders in Paris, but it of course cannot defend the content of the offending publication, or insist that they respect their right to mock topics which they hold sacred. The hypocrisy would be too blatant. The truth is that if Charlie Hebdo was a publication actually operating in Saudi Arabia, the government would have probably had them executed.

It's hard to take any sort of conciliatory gesture from Saudi Arabia seriously when, in the wake of these attacks in Paris, they continue with the scheduled lashing of Raif Badawi. His crime was blogging for universal religious acceptance and liberalism.

Magtig
01-10-2015, 08:17 PM
Re: Muslim condemnation of extremism
For what it's worth I ran across this today: Here's How Arab Newspapers Reacted to the #ChalieHebdo Massacre - Anonymous (http://anonhq.com/heres-arab-newspapers-reacted-charliehebdo-massacre/)

icecream
01-10-2015, 09:56 PM
First off, while yes, muslims are still very obviously a minority in France, at over five million they have the largest Muslim population in western Europe. By comparison, the Jewish population in France is around half a million. While Catholicism is still considered the largest religious demographic in France, of the 45 million people who identify as Christian, less than 2 million consider themselves practicing believers. This is where it gets tricky. When it comes to the population with the largest number of religious believers adhering to a particular faith, it would actually seem that Islam could be considered the dominant religious belief.

The dominant majority in France is by and large secular non-belief. The original bans on the burqa were related to wearing it in schools. Alongside this ban was a restriction against wearing a cross or a yarmulke. The restrictions on wearing it in public are prohibited by the form which completely covers the face. The law would seemingly prohibit any form of complete facial covering. This is ridiculous, of course, because even if you believe that the nature of the burqa is in some ways oppressive to women as a concept, people should be allowed to dress however they please.


There is an obvious fundamental difference. The institution of slavery is essential to the discussion there. We've moved on quite a long way, and it took a lot of time, and racism is not dead in this country. One thing that is now commonly understood to be unacceptable are outrageous demonstrations of racism. The expression of it has largely moved into more subtle, subversive, and maybe even unwitting examples. We have come a long way, and we've done it without repealing the first amendment. We allow people to say awful things.



I can't claim to be familiar enough with their content to necessarily disagree. A cursory google image search does show them lampooning pretty much everything.



But you cannot satirize the Saudi Arabian government from within Saudi Arabia. That's pretty much what this man Raif is being publicly whipped for. When you look at the things he was saying, it was generally inclusive, tolerant stuff. You could not publish anything remotely close to Charlie Hebdo in Saudi Arabia. Now we're getting people insinuating that they shouldn't even publish this sort of stuff in France.



It varies. In the UK, intolerant speech is illegal. In Germany, there's a touchy aspect regarding anything that has to do with Naziism... for obvious reasons. I'm sure there's a lot of people out there who believe these restrictions serve a valid purpose.On my phone so I can't split the quote

1.) I'm not saying repeal the first amendment or eliminate free speech. Just there is a boundary between satire and hate speech. Free speech should have its limits, I.e the harm principle. Minor point, we haven't come a long way. The steriotyoes in the comics are still used to describe African Americans today. It's no different to make horrible cartoons about Muslims using negative stereotypes.

2.) From what I have read online the content inside the magazine is tailored to a far right audience. In the most recent issue there was an interview with a author who wrote a book about Muslims taking over France.

3.) Exactly, that's why it's effectice to use satire to criticize the Saudi government. It's dangerous and he is brave in doing so. Now reverse that for a moment. Imagine a more powerful segment of society attacking a minority group with satire. A group of people already mistrusted in society. That isn't satire but xenophobia, in my opinion.

Jinsai
01-10-2015, 10:51 PM
1.) I'm not saying repeal the first amendment or eliminate free speech. Just there is a boundary between satire and hate speech. Free speech should have its limits, I.e the harm principle. Minor point, we haven't come a long way. The steriotyoes in the comics are still used to describe African Americans today. It's no different to make horrible cartoons about Muslims using negative stereotypes.

The US has come a VERY long way with regards to what is generally acceptable in comic portrayals of minorities (not just african americans) since the civil war, and to imply otherwise is simply absurd. Racism still exists, but we don't have blackface minstrel theater anymore for starters. Racist declarations in humor aren't taken lightly anymore either. Ask Michael Richards (remember Kramer) how that worked out for him...

Regarding your second point, simply drawing a cartoon impression of the prophet of the Muslim faith is not a celebration of Muslim stereotypes.


2.) From what I have read online the content inside the magazine is tailored to a far right audience. In the most recent issue there was an interview with a author who wrote a book about Muslims taking over France.

The more I look into it, the more I'm convinced that there's been a really shoddy initial representation of the content of the magazine. Contrary to earlier assertions that the magazine especially focused on mocking Muslims (and used sparse portrayals of other groups as a fallback alibi), that seems very much to not be the case. The majority of the covers mock political figures, and they seem to take turns making fun of various religions. To insist that one single religion be exempt from mockery is not asking for respect, but special treatment with the insinuation that your ideas are more precious than others.

Regarding the book by Michel Hauellebecq, the AUTHOR is being ridiculed on the cover of the latest issue (the one that came out right before the attacks). The cartoon on the cover portrays him as a seemingly drunk wizard making silly comical predictions. It wasn't an interview, and even if it was, it's presumptuous to assume that an interview is a blanket endorsement.

http://cloudfront-media.reason.com/mc/_external/2015_01/-14.jpg?h=300&w=236

Either way, it's hard to see that image as particularly flattering.

I've seen some people run to some really wild conclusions about the content and nature of Charlie Hebdo. I've taken the stance from the start that the nature of their media is, in the larger discussion, relatively unimportant. Still, maybe it's time to actually counter these claims I'm running into, where I've seen the magazine compared to the Westboro Baptists or storm front. France's laws against hate speech would not allow either of those groups to exist in France.


3.) Exactly, that's why it's effectice to use satire to criticize the Saudi government. It's dangerous and he is brave in doing so. Now reverse that for a moment. Imagine a more powerful segment of society attacking a minority group with satire. A group of people already mistrusted in society. That isn't satire but xenophobia, in my opinion.

We do make fun of religious minorities. I didn't see anyone trying to shut down The Book of Mormon, and the only people trying to suppress criticism or mockery of Scientologists are the Scientologists.

What Raif was blogging about (which almost got him the death penalty) was not even really satire, but the endorsement of basic human rights and religious tolerance. He's brave, but the punishment is outrageous. If someone published openly mocking cartoons akin to the controversial Hebdo ones IN Saudi Arabia, that would be brave but it would also be suicide.

Cat Mom
01-10-2015, 11:42 PM
But Saudi Arabia is Mecca and their rules are very strict and all Muslims know this. That's not necessarily the case in all other Muslim countries, but in Saudi Arabia, yeah, it's Mecca, very religious. Not Taliban extremist, but religious.

I know Westerners who lived in Saudi Arabia for business and they stayed indoors every Friday because that was public punishment day. That's just the way it is. And not just religious violations, we're talking hand-removal of robbers, etc. And the crime is a lot lower, there.

But continuously bringing up Saudi Arabia in relation to these Charlie Hebdo terrorists makes zero sense to me.

No, Saudi Arabia is not a center of human rights. No, they do not believe in liberal speech that goes against Islam or the Saudi leaders and doing so is severely punished and everybody there knows this. A Twitter comment against the government or Islam can land you in prison. Everybody there knows this, the laws and punishments are written.

Freedom House rates Saudi Arabia a 7 on a scale of 1 to 7, 7 being the least "free." https://freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-world/2013/saudi-arabia#.VLIR3HrnbqB

But, Saudi Arabia has never been a proponent of terrorism. And what happened in France is terrorism.

And when I said "poke the bear," I didn't mean the bear is the average Muslim or Islam; the bear is the extremist terrorist martyr like these guys who killed the people at Charlie Hebdo.

The editor of Charlie Hebdo had received threats, he said he would prefer to die than live like a rat.

http://abcnews.go.com/International/charlie-hebdo-editor-2012-id-prefer-die-silenced/story?id=28057120

Jinsai
01-11-2015, 01:41 AM
But continuously bringing up Saudi Arabia in relation to these Charlie Hebdo terrorists makes zero sense to me.

No, Saudi Arabia is not a center of human rights. No, they do not believe in liberal speech that goes against Islam or the Saudi leaders and doing so is severely punished and everybody there knows this. A Twitter comment against the government or Islam can land you in prison. Everybody there knows this, the laws and punishments are written.

Saudi Arabia has never been a proponent of terrorism. And what happened in France is terrorism.


Everyone THERE knows this, I don't think a lot of liberals I speak to are actually aware of the way our "allies" in the middle east tend to punish people for blasphemy, or for saying things like "all religions are equal." Constantly I hear things like "it's just a few extremist radicals." A theocratic Islamic state that enforces strict sharia law may not openly endorse forms of terrorism to be a generally supportive environment for recruitment into radicalized groups. Bin Laden was from a wealthy Saudi family. If we're not going to address or acknowledge the treatment of people in countries that are our allies, how do we even begin.

Sutekh
01-11-2015, 03:14 AM
Saudi Arabia is terrible and our policy towards them remains a joke - their abominable treatment of their people aside, they basically kickstarted the Wahhabist movement, which along with a thinker called Sayyed Qutb is basically responsible for the wave of militant fundamentalism that has arrived in tandem with the Islamic revival. KSA funds the promotion of Wahhabism by setting up and managing Madrassas throughout the world that basically brainwash kids into fundamentalism.

The ironic thing is that under such an extreme interpretation of Islam, the KSA monarchy/government end up being deemed Takfir by many of the fundamentalists they create - as KSA allows American military bases in the Arabia - for a fundie, the whole peninsula is just as sacred as Mecca/Medina and this is a serious insult

Cat Mom
01-11-2015, 11:11 AM
Everyone THERE knows this, I don't think a lot of liberals I speak to are actually aware of the way our "allies" in the middle east tend to punish people for blasphemy, or for saying things like "all religions are equal."
Constantly I hear things like "it's just a few extremist radicals." A theocratic Islamic state that enforces strict sharia law may not openly endorse forms of terrorism to be a generally supportive environment for recruitment into radicalized groups. Bin Laden was from a wealthy Saudi family. If we're not going to address or acknowledge the treatment of people in countries that are our allies, how do we even begin.

15 of the 19 Sept 11th terrorists were Saudi citizens. I've discussed this New Yorker article in another thread (http://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/twenty-eight-pages). I fucking hate Saudi Arabia. But do we have any direct ties to the Saudi government related to the France attack? Sure, I guess you could assume that all roads lead to Mecca, but not really. Hamas operates on its own with its own agenda. Hezbollah has its own agenda. Al-Qaeda has links to the people IN Saudi Arabia and money FROM Saudi Arabia, but that's it. Al-Qaeda is reportedly pissed at ISIL for stealing the spotlight and is reported to have used this France incident to get the spotlight back. Al-Qaeda reportedly ordered the Charlie Hebdo attack, and Al-Qaeda has always been linked to Saudi money but there is no proof that it is linked to the Saudi government. There are a LOT of very rich religious people in Saudi Arabia. And the US Gov't in in bed with the Saudi Gov't, in order to keep some of our Risk pieces there.

I don't know how any so-called "liberal" person can be so unaware of Saudi Arabia's human rights violations. They must be "liberal light" and not keeping up with any Amnesty International news. Although, shit, "60 Minutes" has done pieces on Westerners moving to Islamic countries and being thrown into jail because they aren't aware of strict Islamic laws.

Like Dubai, Westerners are moving there in droves because rap stars think it's cool, except ... http://m.ibtimes.com/dubai-safe-female-travelers-norwegian-woman-jailed-over-rape-report-warns-others-1354317

Sutekh
01-11-2015, 12:01 PM
Video released by Kosher supermarket hostage taker in which he pledges allegiance to abu bakr and ISIS, and says he was working in tandem with the Charlie Hebdo shooters

orestes
01-11-2015, 12:05 PM
Read this (http://www.newyorker.com/culture/cultural-comment/unmournable-bodies) New Yorker piece yesterday, which is only illuminated by participants (https://storify.com/tometty/staunch-defenders-of-free-press-attend-solidarity) in today's rally in Paris.

Cat Mom
01-11-2015, 12:06 PM
Hassan Nasrallah, leader of the Shiite militant group Hezbollah, speaks out:

http://rt.com/news/221343-hezbollah-nasrallah-charlie-offends/

Cat Mom
01-11-2015, 12:14 PM
Read this (http://www.newyorker.com/culture/cultural-comment/unmournable-bodies) New Yorker piece yesterday
Wow, great article!!


The U.S., the U.K., and France approach statecraft in different ways, but they are allies in a certain vision of the world, and one important thing they share is an expectation of proper respect for Western secular religion. Heresies against state power are monitored and punished. People have been arrested for making anti-military or anti-police comments on social media in the U.K. Mass surveillance has had a chilling effect on journalism and on the practice of the law in the U.S. Meanwhile, the armed forces and intelligence agencies in these countries demand, and generally receive, unwavering support from their citizens. When they commit torture or war crimes, no matter how illegal or depraved, there is little expectation of a full accounting or of the prosecution of the parties responsible.

botley
01-11-2015, 12:23 PM
I think linking these extremist groups to one particular government is a mistake. Yes, the Saudi government is horrible in many ways, and Western imperialism is certainly a motivating factor in agitating violent reactions, but when you stir religion and social identity into the pot, it's not just a case of "follow the money" and pin the blame there.

I thought that this response (http://www.cfr.org/france/media-conference-call-farah-pandith-violent-extremism/p35944) was really interesting, in that it tries to get at the real root problem behind what turns young troubled people towards recruitment to extremist factions. This is clearly the part of the fight that we in the West have failed to make significant inroads to understanding and combating, and it is far more nuanced than mere retaliation.

orestes
01-11-2015, 12:25 PM
People who call for retaliation aren't familiar with blowback.

Jinsai
01-11-2015, 02:03 PM
I think linking these extremist groups to one particular government is a mistake.

I'm just linking the different ways that ideologies are being implemented to manipulate. The people who go on these suicide martyr missions are pawns. They are probably true believers, but they're being indoctrinated into a version of the religion twisted to elicit the "appropriate" response. When I bring up strict sharia theocracies like Saudi Arabia, it's obvious that the religious laws are being strictly enforced to prohibit the exchange of ideas which don't really benefit the interests of ruling oil sheiks. Liberalism and concepts like equality generally don't. It may be just a distraction, but it seems like it sets the backdrop for extremist recruitment, and in many ways it's a blueprint for control and manipulation.


You read the life stories of the people manipulated into being the martyrs in these recent attacks, and they sound like they were lost people in really desperate circumstances. It's the exact kind of person that can be malleably turned into a "true believer." The attacker involved in the assault on the market was already a violent criminal, and he was recruited by extremists in prison. The other two were under the instruction of that Alwari extremist imam in Yemen. I guess the biggest mystery to me is what his motivation was. What do the people programming these pawns want or hope to achieve?

I'm not saying one particular religion is to blame. Any religious ideology or belief system can be twisted to achieve horrifying ends (http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/buddha-wearing-headphones-image-triggers-controversy-myanmar-n278386). I do think ignoring the religious factor is a mistake though, even if I think the way that people like Bill Maher are addressing it is overly simplistic and potentially damaging. It's easy to say "bah, I'm an atheist, and all these religious nut jobs are insane, and the culprit here is clearly religion."

Cat Mom
01-11-2015, 03:30 PM
I thought that this response (http://www.cfr.org/france/media-conference-call-farah-pandith-violent-extremism/p35944) was really interesting, in that it tries to get at the real root problem behind what turns young troubled people towards recruitment to extremist factions. This is clearly the part of the fight that we in the West have failed to make significant inroads to understanding and combating, and it is far more nuanced than mere retaliation.
That IS really interesting and, you're right, everybody focuses on the wrong thing but completely overlooks this and, in doing so, are totally failing.


We know that there are -- one-fourth of our planet is Muslim, 1.6 billion people. Sixty-two percent of that number is under the age of 30. And that is a really important number for us because those are the Millennials.

Those are the young people who have grown up in a post-9/11 world. These are young people who have grown up with the word Islam or Muslim on the front page of the papers online and offline since Sept. 12, 2001. And this has significantly impacted the way in which they think about themselves.

And so when I talk about the generations of Muslims in different parts of Europe, whether you're a fourth generation Brit who happens to be Muslim, whether you are a second-generation you know Belgian, it doesn't -- these experiences for this generation -- these generations of millennials is very different from their parents and their grandparents before them.

And I say this because when we as government, for example, were having conversations about Muslims around the world after 9/11 you will remember that we were looking primarily at places that are Muslim majority countries.

We were looking at Afghanistan. We were looking at Pakistan. We're obviously looking at the Middle East, all unbelievably important. But what we all tend to do, and should not do, is to dismiss areas of the world in which people just sort of simply forget that there are Muslims that live there.

And the point is that a Muslim living in Paris is as Muslim as a Muslim living in Kuala Lumpur. And the conversations and the ideology that is present in the world that comes from the extremists preys upon these generations of young people no matter where in the world they are.

Because Europe is a place, obviously, with free borders that absolutely celebrates, as they should, the importance of diversity of expressions, and the freedoms that we hold dear to us. It actually also is an opportunity for those to be able to move around intellectually and physically in a space that allows those that are moving toward extremist thought to be able to do that comfortably.

So when we think about what happened here this week, this tragic event that happened in Paris, it has not happened in a vacuum. I mean the first -- I mean the first time that we began to really think about how a conversation in a place like the U.K., for example, in 1989 with Salman Rushdie, could impact the way we think about foreign policy in the world, obviously the fatwa against him.

But let's also be clear. The things that we are learning from this kind of event, whether it was the fatwa in 1989 all the way through the Danish cartoon crisis, the Teddy-Bear-Gate (ph) that happened with the British teacher in Somalia who named her teddy bear -- the teddy bear in the class of children was named Mohamed. And you will remember that became a very tragic and very complicated situation during the Bush administration.

The video -- film that was made by the Californian, you know the film that the Obama administration says was responsible for the rioting and eventually the devastation in Benghazi and the killing of Ambassador Stevens.

You see all of these kinds of events in which extremists are using and pushing forward this idea that there is one way to be Muslim. It's their way. And anything that moves away from that is not allowed.

And so when you see that diversity of thought that is pushed forward in art forms, and in this case unfortunately you know the use of a pen in a cartoon or whether it's a film or whether it's a song or whether it's a comic book series. You will see the same kind of repercussions.

So when you ask the question, Jon, how do we think about this, there are a couple things that have to be said. First, we have to absolutely understand that Europe matters, that what's happening with Muslims in Europe matters.

How they think about themselves. How they view themselves as Muslim, as they navigate through a crisis of identity, which is something that I saw firsthand right in the context of the Danish cartoon crisis.

Right after you know that crisis the United States government, you know we did -- we were not prepared in 2006 when the Danish cartoon crisis happened to say that something that happened in Copenhagen was going to have an effect on a life in Kabul.

And clearly, sadly, it's 2015. We obviously know that everything matters everywhere, right. But at that point our government didn't know.

And I will tell you what happened. Indeed we decided to get to know Muslims in Europe better. And the State Department created the position as the senior adviser to the assistant secretary, which I was honored to be able to serve as.

But what it allowed me to do was to travel on behalf of the United States government to meet Muslims all over Europe and talk to them about what it meant to be Muslim in Europe. And the conversations were very clear and distinctive that this crisis of identity was pulling them in directions where they were asking themselves things that their parents couldn't answer.

And so where did they go to get answers? They went to Sheikh Google. They went to places at that time they thought could help them understand who they were.

And it absolutely relates to what we are seeing on our screens over the course of the last couple of days. These young kids that were -- well they're not young now. So they're in their early 30s. But as they -- in their 20s as they began to be a part of this demographic that I'm talking about, were saturated with narratives that were saying that you don't belong.

And I will say this is not distinctive. It is not surprising to see that kind of identity crisis move in a direction where they find the appeal of a narrative by extremists to be something that they wanted to take to the next level.


PANDITH: Right. Yes. So I mean, Jon, look, everybody, no matter who you are, whether you're male or female, you know what faith you are or a background I mean every teenager goes through a who am I and what's my purpose in the world kind of thing. It's not unique to a particular faith. That's not what I'm saying.

But when you think about what happens to a young person who is seeing images, seeing words, Islam, Muslim, all day, every day, online and offline. This generation is experiencing something that is truly profound. And it is very complicated for them to navigate through.

And so when you ask about an age, you know when we were looking at this right after the Danish cartoon crisis and I was doing the work in Europe, I was seeing this as young you known as 15, 16, 17 onward.

Where people were asking questions -- I remember a conversation I had with a young woman in Denmark who was a teenager. And she -- I was talking to you know 50 or so young kids who were Muslim. And we were sitting in a room chatting about the experience.

They'd all been brought up in Denmark. They all obviously spoke Danish and they saw themselves as Danish.

And this one girl said you know my imam tells me that I'm not a Muslim. And I said what do you mean? And she said look at me. And so all the kids in the room and I, we looked at her. And I couldn't understand what she meant.
And she said -- you know I said I'm sorry, I don't understand what you mean. She said look at me. I'm looking at her again. I still don't get what she's talking about.

And then she says look at me. And she points to her T-shirt and her jeans. And she says my imam tells me that if I dress like this I'm not a real Muslim.

And I said, well who's your imam? And it was an imam that came from outside. It was a foreign imam who didn't speak Danish, of Moroccan descent, who came from a village in Morocco and didn't have any context about what these kids were going through growing up.

That's an extreme example. But it's an important one. It's this kind of identity conflict that they have that they don't have the ready answers.

And if you fast-forward, that was around 2007, 2008, 2009. You fast-forward to now and all these kids you know with the push of their finger are getting answers from the loudest voices online to tell them what they -- how they must dress, what they must do, what they must eat, how they must look to be a real Muslim.

And it is you know, I think for many policymakers and others you can dismiss that. I think that you know wow, this is some sociological thing that's taking place and it has no bearing on foreign policy.

But guess what? It is these generations that are growing up in the post 9/11 world that are most important to us.

As I said, 62 percent of 1.6 billion people are under the age of 30. They're digital natives. They're connected, and the narratives that the extremists are pushing out matter to them.

Sutekh
01-12-2015, 08:26 AM
Good bit of writing by Zizek as usual
http://www.newstatesman.com/world-affairs/2015/01/slavoj-i-ek-charlie-hebdo-massacre-are-worst-really-full-passionate-intensity

Khrz
01-12-2015, 09:54 AM
Sorry, bit of drift there, but I feel like I owe an apology to allegro and Sutekh...

This week has been a mess. It still is, more than ever, as everyone in France and beyond is trying to understand, interpret, analyze and in many case appropriate those events.

Guys I'm sorry I lashed out that way.
While you were commenting in a dispassionate way, the issue was very emotional for me. I should have recognized that while I was still able to be part of an intelligent debate. That didn't give me any right to twist your words and intentions in such a manner, and the way I quit the debate was unwarranted and disgraceful.
Neither of you had been insulting or aggressive, you both calmly tried to actually understand the context and climate in which those attacks took place, and as I said to Sutekh in PM, I wish I had been able to argue with you in a similar manner.

Cat Mom
01-12-2015, 10:00 AM
Hey, no apology necessary, Khrz! You live there, I understand what it must be like since we Americans went through the same thing back on Sept 11th. It is very emotional, indeed.

Deepvoid
01-12-2015, 10:01 AM
Yes, it is... right in front of you, the vast majority of Western Muslims are not carrying out terrorist attacks or harassing non Muslims or leaving to join foreign conflicts


I would add that Indonesia which has the largest Muslim population condemned the attacked and his not a hot bed for terrorists like Yemen, Syria and Iraq.
On the other hand, you have a smaller country like Morocco who snubbed the march in Paris due to the cartoons of the prophet.

When the Vatican was hit by the pedophilia scandal, did you have every single clergy speaking out against the Vatican? No.

Khrz
01-12-2015, 10:14 AM
^ I don't see every western politician apologizing every time a drone inadvertently bombs the shit out of civilians either. #notallwest.



On the other hand, you have a smaller country like Morocco who snubbed the march in Paris due to the cartoons of the prophet.

And honestly I don't blame them. They actually came even though they didn't attend, probably because showing your union with so many international official always looks good politically, but also maybe because they thought it was a sort of rally against violence, in defense of tolerance ?
Which it was, yeah, but it was also a whole lot of other things. People were marching against terrorism, for the freedom of the press, in defense of secularism, for the republic, for the dead (who would laugh their ass off or facepalm hard, hard to know now)... And more, and less honorable. It was a gathering of the people most of all, everyone coming from his own perspective. The technical term is "clusterfuck" I think.
So yeah, I can't blame them for refusing to associate themselves with people who don't respect their values, I find it fair and understandable. I doubt they were aware that such displays would happen.

Deepvoid
01-12-2015, 02:56 PM
I fucking had to read right wing publication in Canada such as Sun News and make the mistake of commenting against people who pretty much advocate bombing all Muslims into oblivion. Never again.
My center-left political views are apparently the reason why the world has terrorist attacks.

It think it's sad that through events that affect all of us, we come together to find solutions that make sense.
The reality is that you cannot eradicate Muslims from the face of the earth. You cannot make Islam disappear. You need to fight fundamentalists and radicalization. I am all for that.
But calm the fuck down about blaming all Muslims.

aggroculture
01-12-2015, 10:17 PM
Some levity: http://newsthump.com/2015/01/12/all-australians-to-be-held-responsible-for-rupert-murdoch/

green
01-12-2015, 11:35 PM
People who call for retaliation aren't familiar with blowback.
People who don't understand annihilation seem to fall back on blowback?

Jinsai
01-13-2015, 12:04 AM
People who don't understand annihilation seem to fall back on blowback?

I have no idea what you're saying... Please clarify?

If the ultimate goal of these attacks on the west might be to exacerbate tense relations with Islamic residents in the west, and to give radical groups clout to espouse their hateful segregationist bullshit... If their endgame goal was to ignite a backlash against the west, wouldn't they want to drive westerners into acting fearful of Muslims, irrationally angry at them, pissed off at their beliefs which they repeatedly reveal they know very little about... If they want pissed off hot-headed youths to feel alienated and surrounded by disdain...

Then the people who are demanding that "every Muslim should apologize" are playing right into their hands.

icecream
01-13-2015, 01:46 AM
The US has come a VERY long way with regards to what is generally acceptable in comic portrayals of minorities (not just african americans) since the civil war, and to imply otherwise is simply absurd. Racism still exists, but we don't have blackface minstrel theater anymore for starters. Racist declarations in humor aren't taken lightly anymore either. Ask Michael Richards (remember Kramer) how that worked out for him...

Regarding your second point, simply drawing a cartoon impression of the prophet of the Muslim faith is not a celebration of Muslim stereotypes.



The more I look into it, the more I'm convinced that there's been a really shoddy initial representation of the content of the magazine. Contrary to earlier assertions that the magazine especially focused on mocking Muslims (and used sparse portrayals of other groups as a fallback alibi), that seems very much to not be the case. The majority of the covers mock political figures, and they seem to take turns making fun of various religions. To insist that one single religion be exempt from mockery is not asking for respect, but special treatment with the insinuation that your ideas are more precious than others.

Regarding the book by Michel Hauellebecq, the AUTHOR is being ridiculed on the cover of the latest issue (the one that came out right before the attacks). The cartoon on the cover portrays him as a seemingly drunk wizard making silly comical predictions. It wasn't an interview, and even if it was, it's presumptuous to assume that an interview is a blanket endorsement.

http://cloudfront-media.reason.com/mc/_external/2015_01/-14.jpg?h=300&w=236

Either way, it's hard to see that image as particularly flattering.

I've seen some people run to some really wild conclusions about the content and nature of Charlie Hebdo. I've taken the stance from the start that the nature of their media is, in the larger discussion, relatively unimportant. Still, maybe it's time to actually counter these claims I'm running into, where I've seen the magazine compared to the Westboro Baptists or storm front. France's laws against hate speech would not allow either of those groups to exist in France.



We do make fun of religious minorities. I didn't see anyone trying to shut down The Book of Mormon, and the only people trying to suppress criticism or mockery of Scientologists are the Scientologists.

What Raif was blogging about (which almost got him the death penalty) was not even really satire, but the endorsement of basic human rights and religious tolerance. He's brave, but the punishment is outrageous. If someone published openly mocking cartoons akin to the controversial Hebdo ones IN Saudi Arabia, that would be brave but it would also be suicide.

I think what we can't agree with is if the publication is really a free speech mag or if it is a far right rag. From what I have read, it seems to fall in the latter but you have posts that show it attacks the right, which is correct. They seem to support Marie Le Pen but at the same time run a comic of her making out with her dad. I haven't read the magazine, I can't even speak French. I'm just going off of what I have read.

From the context of what we have been talking about, I figured Raif wrote satire. But if he didn't, I dont understand why he is relavent to the discussion.

Jinsai
01-13-2015, 01:56 AM
honestly, if there should be one floating message, it's that all beliefs are equally worthy of respect, and nobody's ideas are better, more powerful, or worse

Alexandros
01-13-2015, 02:57 AM
honestly, if there should be one floating message, it's that all beliefs are equally worthy of respect, and nobody's ideas are better, more powerful, or worse

Not sure if you're joking here but I do not agree with this. Yes one should accept the right of others to believe what they want, but there is definitely room for discrimination of ideas based on worth. Which idea is better is of course a matter of argument, but the argument is and should be there.

Sutekh
01-13-2015, 04:43 AM
honestly, if there should be one floating message, it's that all beliefs are equally worthy of respect, and nobody's ideas are better, more powerful, or worse

angsty teens and industrial rock singers love to quote nietzsche, but I rarely see anyone quote this -

all ideas are subject to interpretation and the prevalence of any given idea is a function of power and not truth



That said, I'm live and let live but if a person's beliefs start to encroach on my liberty then I'll start to encroach on theirs

Khrz
01-13-2015, 06:16 AM
honestly, if there should be one floating message, it's that all beliefs are equally worthy of respect, and nobody's ideas are better, more powerful, or worse

Or equally worthy of disrespect, it swings both ways, especially considering how concepts, symbols and beliefs can be easily twisted and interpreted to fit one's agenda. I become extremely wary when someone starts to quote an ancient scripture, wave a flag, basically every time one's argument and discourse's only foundation is a symbol or abstraction.
"I can see that you're wearing a good guy badge, you're shoving it in everyone's face, but those are real cheap and everyone has one or a dozen". Symbols are pretty but don't mean shit. A thousand people wearing a cross, brandishing a peace sign or holding a flag would never agree on what that symbol really means and which values it holds.


Edited because it could appear as if the line (now in quotes) was a direct reply to Jinsai, while it certainly wasn't.

Jinsai
01-13-2015, 06:27 AM
Or equally worthy of disrespect

This is the point I'm doing a poor job of representing. Yes, by "respect" I mean that they deserve to be regarded without bias and evaluated on their own merits. I'm not saying that an idea like "kill the gays" is respectable.

To be fair though, I edited my post after "Ice Cream" face palmed it... but really, I would just like him/her to acknowledge that the point about the content of the paper is at least (in some part) exonerated by the fact that the author of the book was being ridiculed. I don't know why we've reached a point where NOBODY is willing to admit that they are just fucking wrong.

Sir Ice Cream, you implied that the editors of Charlie Hebdo were endorsing the opinions of a far right author who was writing fiction where Islam was going to take over the country. I pointed out that the magazine was actually mocking this notion, and making a cover story of mocking this person. You failed to acknowledge this. Please, just admit you were wrong on this one small point, and we can then move on, and then we've cleared the air and made a point, and now it's not so insane to further discuss the topic. Otherwise, we're dealing with a shitty situation where people are apparently unwilling to relent even the smallest aspect of their argument.

Khrz
01-13-2015, 06:56 AM
I think what we can't agree with is if the publication is really a free speech mag or if it is a far right rag. From what I have read, it seems to fall in the latter but you have posts that show it attacks the right, which is correct. They seem to support Marie Le Pen but at the same time run a comic of her making out with her dad. I haven't read the magazine, I can't even speak French. I'm just going off of what I have read.

Well, given how worldwide this debate has become, and knowing how google works, everything you'll find online will only blur the line further. They certainly never, ever, supported Marine LePen, or her dad, or any other far right official. The problem is, they never supported anyone, that's the point.
That magazine has never defended any ideology, any political or social ground.
It is the exact opposite of that. It has always been a satire weekly mag, making fun of the people in charge, of the sheep mentality, of every group who would tell the people what to think. It is insulting, profane, lowbrow and crass. As opposed to another satire magazine, Le Canard Enchainé, which has actual journalists analyzing the actuality and investigating facts, CH has always been there to stir shit up. That "no limits" attitude has certainly been problematic in the past, there have been numerous clashes in the past because of collaborators who thought some people and groups were bashed too often, with little comedic purpose. The debate among the staff was constant, there was no real editorial line beside "fuck 'em".

Khrz
01-13-2015, 08:15 AM
Also, hey, that might be handy to some of you, a bunch of covers along with a translation, description, and context on the actuality surrounding it. (http://www.understandingcharliehebdo.com/)

Jinsai
01-13-2015, 01:47 PM
Not sure if you're joking here but I do not agree with this. Yes one should accept the right of others to believe what they want, but there is definitely room for discrimination of ideas based on worth. Which idea is better is of course a matter of argument, but the argument is and should be there.

Yes, I was being sarcastic.

icecream
01-13-2015, 09:49 PM
This is the point I'm doing a poor job of representing. Yes, by "respect" I mean that they deserve to be regarded without bias and evaluated on their own merits. I'm not saying that an idea like "kill the gays" is respectable.

To be fair though, I edited my post after "Ice Cream" face palmed it... but really, I would just like him/her to acknowledge that the point about the content of the paper is at least (in some part) exonerated by the fact that the author of the book was being ridiculed. I don't know why we've reached a point where NOBODY is willing to admit that they are just fucking wrong.

Sir Ice Cream, you implied that the editors of Charlie Hebdo were endorsing the opinions of a far right author who was writing fiction where Islam was going to take over the country. I pointed out that the magazine was actually mocking this notion, and making a cover story of mocking this person. You failed to acknowledge this. Please, just admit you were wrong on this one small point, and we can then move on, and then we've cleared the air and made a point, and now it's not so insane to further discuss the topic. Otherwise, we're dealing with a shitty situation where people are apparently unwilling to relent even the smallest aspect of their argument.

Yeah, I was wrong. As Khrz said so much shit is out there. Hard to wade through it all.

Deepvoid
01-14-2015, 12:00 PM
France arrested 54 people in relation to hate speech or defending terrorism. (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/14/france-terror-crackdown_n_6469726.html)

"The Justice Ministry laid out the legal basis for rounding up those who defend the Paris terror attacks as well as those responsible for racist or anti-Semitic words or acts"

"Among those detained was Dieudonne, a popular and controversial comic who has repeated convictions for racism and anti-Semitism"

"The Justice Ministry said the 54 people included four minors and several had already been convicted under special measures for immediate sentencing."
"[...]but none of the 54 people mentioned Wednesday have been linked to the attacks."

"The government is writing broader new laws on phone-tapping and other intelligence to fight terrorism[...]"

Are they going to be arresting everyone who supports the killing of all Muslims?

Khrz
01-14-2015, 12:14 PM
Nine guys have been arrested for cheering at the news of the massacre in the Charlie Hebdo office. Up to 7 years for being a stupid asshole on Twitter. It's just a smackdown on hate speech and encouraging violence. They're trying to appear proactive, and given the current situation are trying to extinguish as many fires as they can. There probably also has been a rise in provocative/aggressive rhetoric lately, since everyone's so passionate currently.

As you can see, it's not only about violence against Muslims. Dieudonné has regularly been fined for his shows because of his jokes and parallels between zionism and nazism (the guy used to be part of a duo with Elie Semoun, a jewish comedian, amazingly...). People have been arrested and prosecuted for defending terrorism, and indeed other have been arrested for hate speech or violence against Muslims or Muslim institutions.

It's damage control, I'm not surprised given the situation. It does sound paradoxical after such a huge uprising in defense of freedom of speech, but the laws haven't changed here.

icklekitty
01-14-2015, 12:42 PM
Quoting Jinsai because I think he's detailed the most accurate representation of CH here. I've largely been having this conversation elsewhere.


The more I look into it, the more I'm convinced that there's been a really shoddy initial representation of the content of the magazine. Contrary to earlier assertions that the magazine especially focused on mocking Muslims (and used sparse portrayals of other groups as a fallback alibi), that seems very much to not be the case. The majority of the covers mock political figures, and they seem to take turns making fun of various religions. To insist that one single religion be exempt from mockery is not asking for respect, but special treatment with the insinuation that your ideas are more precious than others.

Regarding the book by Michel Hauellebecq, the AUTHOR is being ridiculed on the cover of the latest issue (the one that came out right before the attacks). The cartoon on the cover portrays him as a seemingly drunk wizard making silly comical predictions. It wasn't an interview, and even if it was, it's presumptuous to assume that an interview is a blanket endorsement.

http://cloudfront-media.reason.com/mc/_external/2015_01/-14.jpg?h=300&w=236

Either way, it's hard to see that image as particularly flattering.

I've seen some people run to some really wild conclusions about the content and nature of Charlie Hebdo. I've taken the stance from the start that the nature of their media is, in the larger discussion, relatively unimportant. Still, maybe it's time to actually counter these claims I'm running into, where I've seen the magazine compared to the Westboro Baptists or storm front. France's laws against hate speech would not allow either of those groups to exist in France.

This is correct. A bit like SNL, Charlie Hebdo criticises everyone for everything. Satire - particularly on this end of the spectrum (I don't know any US examples but Private Eye and Have I Got News for You are UK examples) is reactionary, provocative, sparked by outrage. Absolutely anyone featured in CH is a point of comment. In a similar way that Warhol showed up commercialism using soup and Marilyn Monroe. The pen/brush is the weapon.

France's ideology is French above all else. The march on Sunday was exemplary of that. Christians are treated the same if they want to be Catholic before French. Furthermore, very many global news stories recently has had a narrative of good vs evil. This topic has been very interesting to read because almost every comment is binary, people trying to fit this subject into the black/white arena. CH probably deserved a few complaint letters because they were more than a little controversial, but not death (I mean, compare this to Marilyn Manson; CH arguably made something more worthwhile but all those 90s religious people did was show up with placards). Hence the cartoonists reactions of pen vs gun in the days that followed. CH weren't innocent angels, but they didn't ask for it either. Also the notion of "evil empire from out there" doesn't exist in this situation. You can't blame criteria of X and Y because X and Y exist on the other side (there is at least an octagon-level of sides here).

One thing this situation has highlighted to me is that most people commenting on it are not fully equiped with the vocabulary to comment on pop culture. I mean, they've been doing it for various news stories over the past few years, but the volume of absolute misinformed rubbish people are willing to call an opinion is really apparent these days.


*edit* Oh, I suppose a lot of the stuff the South Park creators did can be called the same form of satire.

Khrz
01-14-2015, 12:56 PM
That is true of every person commenting on an event which doesn't take place in their own country, though.
I didn't comment on Ferguson even if I had some opinions on the subject, because not only am I only superficially knowledgeable on the US culture, but I know nothing of the state it took place in politically, and nothing about Ferguson's history and social situation.
The whole world, as @allegro (http://www.echoingthesound.org/community/member.php?u=76) pointed out, has commented on 9/11. The whole world has commented on Columbine and Virginia tech. Everyone makes that mistake.

There are too many variables to really have a hold on the subject, even when it happens in your own country, yet it is very easy to relate to the general situation. The internet has become more about communication than information, so we communicate our opinions, even if we don't understand the issues at hand as much as we think we do.

It's hard to find a balance, and in passionate/tragic events like these, the information that is available to us changes according to what the rest of the world is looking for. People go to Google to find out if Charlie Hebdo is a racist rag, so of course when you do your search this is what you'll find. When the topic was irrelevant, what would come up was probably be very different. Now Google will return a thousand misinformed Tumblr opinion pieces on the overwhelming racist, misogynistic and homophobic content of the magazine...

It happens every time, very little part of the internet, or the media now for that matters, is constituted of actual journalists. We're building opinion pieces on top of other opinion pieces, we have neither the time nor the means for proper investigation. It's a great tool, but like every tool we'd better learn to use it carefully.

Deepvoid
01-14-2015, 01:20 PM
That is true of every person commenting on an event which doesn't take place in their own country, though.
I didn't comment on Ferguson even if I had some opinions on the subject, because not only am I only superficially knowledgeable on the US culture, but I know nothing of the state it took place in politically, and nothing about Ferguson's history and social situation.
The whole world, as @allegro (http://www.echoingthesound.org/community/member.php?u=76) pointed out, has commented on 9/11. The whole world has commented on Columbine and Virginia tech. Everyone makes that mistake.

There are too many variables to really have a hold on the subject, even when it happens in your own country, yet it is very easy to relate to the general situation. The internet has become more about communication than information, so we communicate our opinions, even if we don't understand the issues at hand as much as we think we do.


So only a certain class of people should be able to express their opinions? You may or may not comment on foreign events depending on the knowledge you have of the country or the "variables" related to said event?
How is that a mistake to express your opinion on worldwide events? I may not know all the facts but by expressing my opinion, it will lead to a discussion with other people that are more knowledgeable. From this knowledge you can either solidify your original opinion or amend as you gain the knowledge.

I've learn a great deal from this board. As some may attest, I may not agree with everyone's opinion I still learn a great deal from the people who don't share my views.
It's not a mistake to comment on an event that is not happening in your country. Come on ..

aggroculture
01-14-2015, 01:57 PM
Jinsai is really owning this thread

+

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/01/11/1356945/-On-not-understanding-Charlie-Why-many-smart-people-are-getting-it-wrong
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/01/11/1357057/-The-Charlie-Hebdo-cartoons-no-one-is-showing-you
http://gocomics.typepad.com/tomthedancingbugblog/2015/01/in-non-satirical-defense-of-charlie-hebdo.html

Khrz
01-14-2015, 01:58 PM
No, you misread me, or rather, I badly expressed my point.

It is just extremely difficult to really embrace an issue, even if you're part of the culture in which this event took place, event if you're aware of the social and historical context. So it's only understandable if people misinterpret that event because all the information they are able to gather is stripped of this context.

That doesn't mean topics should be restricted to the only people concerned by it, obviously not. I was just trying to say that given how widely this information spreads, it is only human if the people wondering about it aren't aware of every facet of the issue.

icklekitty
01-14-2015, 03:30 PM
That is true of every person commenting on an event which doesn't take place in their own country, though.
I didn't comment on Ferguson even if I had some opinions on the subject, because not only am I only superficially knowledgeable on the US culture, but I know nothing of the state it took place in politically, and nothing about Ferguson's history and social situation.
The whole world, as @allegro (http://www.echoingthesound.org/community/member.php?u=76) pointed out, has commented on 9/11. The whole world has commented on Columbine and Virginia tech. Everyone makes that mistake.

I would argue that making a deduction about the sociopolitical standpoint of a creative text is different to making one about a world event. If it wasn't clear, I was speaking specifically about the publication than the shootings.

My comment about pop culture was separate to this as it's a growing attitude people have to news stories in general; reactions are increasingly hyperbolic, misinformed, and binary oppositions to things.

botley
01-17-2015, 07:03 PM
Angered by Charlie Hebdo's defiant depiction of Mohammed on the cover of their latest issue, Wahhabists in the African republic of Niger (whose population is more than 94% practicing Muslims) have taken to burning down Christian churches in protest, killing eleven people so far (http://www.aljazeera.com/news/africa/2015/01/anti-charlie-hebdo-protests-continue-niger-201511713419402348.html), and began looting "after authorities banned a meeting called by Islamic leaders". Niger is a former French colony.

Khrz
01-17-2015, 07:09 PM
For fuck's sake...

Jinsai
01-17-2015, 09:44 PM
Angered by Charlie Hebdo's defiant depiction of Mohammed on the cover of their latest issue, Wahhabists in the African republic of Niger (whose population is more than 94% practicing Muslims) have taken to burning down Christian churches in protest, killing eleven people so far (http://www.aljazeera.com/news/africa/2015/01/anti-charlie-hebdo-protests-continue-niger-201511713419402348.html), and began looting "after authorities banned a meeting called by Islamic leaders". Niger is a former French colony.

The part where this really gets out of hand is tied to the point where the flames of this outrage were fanned. Charlie Hebdo isn't a Christian magazine. This is a weird misconception I've seen tossed about a lot as well. I've seen people defiantly claim that the magazine would never dare mock the pope (I originally thought this was a strangely sociopathic form of trolling at first) or Christianity. Somebody is eagerly spreading this spin.

The idea that this is a Christian magazine published by malicious Westerners who hate Islam (and by extension the Middle East) is a twisted version of the story being fed to people with the hope that it will incite this sort of response.

Intentional misinformation is a powerful tool, and I think the spillover from the way this content is being represented is landing all over my Facebook wall and media feeds. You generally don't see people coming together to attack the insensitive nature and character of people who were recently murdered by terrorists. I see friends (who have South Park in their "likes" list) spewing invective hatred at the "racist shitbags" at Charlie Hebdo. It's like they never saw the movie Team America. It's like they don't even care that playing with hot-button topics that get us easily riled up is a tactic in modern humor. I've seen too many people being unreasonable about it.

So it makes sense that people are burning churches and attacking Christians over the content of an atheist publication like Charlie Hebdo, if only because I'm seeing people with unrestricted access to a better representation of the truth rushing to equally hyperbolic, hypersensitive, and very poorly timed tirades against them which ultimately reveal that they didn't just look into it a bit before getting magnificently pissed off.

Khrz
01-17-2015, 09:51 PM
Don't tell me those guys were waiting on the edge of their seat for the latest news on Charlie Hebdo either. Saying their latest cover is the cause for this massacre is a spin itself.
Local issues and tensions were a pre-existing condition, and some people fed a version of the truth to the angry masses to rile them up.
There is a difference between the comfortable ignorance of your armchair SJW, and the spreading of useful disinformation in order to start violence.

Seriously, Wahhabists are hardcore, they're at war with anyone who's not them, basically. They don't even need an incentive to riot against other religions, or even other forms of islamism.

Deepvoid
01-19-2015, 10:10 AM
About 1 million people gathered for anti-Charlie protest in Chechen, peacefully I should add. (http://rt.com/news/224051-russia-chechen-rally-1mln/)

Jinsai
01-19-2015, 02:52 PM
About 1 million people gathered for anti-Charlie protest in Chechen, peacefully I should add. (http://rt.com/news/224051-russia-chechen-rally-1mln/)

Peacefully is the sensible and proper way you exchange ideas and let people know that you are upset or offended by something as innocuous as a drawing.

The only issue here is the massive throng of people who aren't exactly expressing peaceful ideas or suggestions, (https://news.vice.com/article/thousands-of-chechens-rally-against-charlie-hebdo-cartoons-as-firebrand-leader-attacks-the-west?utm_source=vicenewsfb) and the rampant endorsements of violence.

Khrz
01-19-2015, 03:06 PM
The comments are equally delicious...

Exocet
01-20-2015, 02:12 AM
Ramzan Kadyrov leader of Chechnya and organiser of that protest has long been connected to the murders of journalists and dissidents himself.

Jinsai
01-28-2015, 10:46 AM
where should we put the news about Michelle Obama saying "fuck it I won't wear a veil?" in Saudi Arabia? It's not like it deserves its own thread.

I guess considering my previous rants in this thread about Saudi Arabia, and the fact that I think it's connected (and wonderful that she's doing this) it goes here, and why not http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2015/01/27/michelle-obama-forgoes-a-headscarf-and-sparks-a-backlash-in-saudi-arabia/

Cat Mom
01-31-2015, 12:58 PM
where should we put the news about Michelle Obama saying "fuck it I won't wear a veil?" in Saudi Arabia? It's not like it deserves its own thread.

I guess considering my previous rants in this thread about Saudi Arabia, and the fact that I think it's connected (and wonderful that she's doing this) it goes here, and why not http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2015/01/27/michelle-obama-forgoes-a-headscarf-and-sparks-a-backlash-in-saudi-arabia/

"Sparks a backlash" is typical bullshit headline hype. But, good for her.

r_k_f
02-01-2015, 03:01 PM
When's that international hand holding parade for the Nigerian villages that Boko Haram slaughtered again? 12 Parisians are apparently more important.

Khrz
02-01-2015, 03:20 PM
Nevermind...

Jinsai
02-01-2015, 04:52 PM
When's that international hand holding parade for the Nigerian villages that Boko Haram slaughtered again? 12 Parisians are apparently more important.

I would consider the march in Paris to be an inclusive gesture. You are probably right though, it should be spelled out more clearly. Still, you can't repeatedly expect all the leaders of the world to show up in public spaces and make targets of themselves.

aggroculture
05-05-2015, 10:36 AM
What's going on at PEN America is shameful:
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/05/05/america-s-literary-elite-takes-a-bold-stand-against-dead-journalists.html

Khrz
05-05-2015, 12:07 PM
That topic is such a terrifying issue for intellectuals. They look like a bunch of movie cops around a timebomb, and each time someone picks a wire, no matter the color, everyone sweats profusely and screams.
It's really funny though, watching how everyone reacts to the freedom of speech for/against people who don't believe in freedom of speech...
While Voltaire's "I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it." has been inspirational for centuries, it's suddenly become a paradox.

Dra508
05-05-2015, 01:02 PM
Two shot outside Muhammad Cartoon Event (http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local/Shots-Fired-at-Prophet-Muhammad-Art-Event-302362751.html)

To your point Khrz, events like this will and should be defended for their right to free speech even it is hateful and provocative.

For me, this guy said it very well.
http://www.pri.org/stories/2015-05-04/Texas-Imam-says-Muslims-are-ignoring-anti-Islamic-hate-groups

Khrz
05-05-2015, 01:52 PM
I'm not arguing against freedom of expression (which isn't "free speech", "free speech" is an american law, freedom of expression is the concept behind it), never.
There are a lot of laws here against freedom of expression, making it illegal to contest the existence of the holocaust for instance, or to make racist statements. They are generally used to shut down a certain class of people easily, making it a fundamentally anti-democratic tool. I find it extremely unhealthy. I'd rather have the person who opposes my views be able to express theirs. And if our only argument against such views is to squarely shut them down, it is itself a rather sad statement about our society.

Nonetheless, I find the paradox of trying to shut down people who make use of their freedom of expression to argue against people who would rather have that expression hindered somewhat amusing.

Dra508
05-07-2015, 05:29 PM
I'm not arguing against freedom of expression (which isn't "free speech", "free speech" is an american law, freedom of expression is the concept behind it), never.
There are a lot of laws here against freedom of expression, making it illegal to contest the existence of the holocaust for instance, or to make racist statements. They are generally used to shut down a certain class of people easily, making it a fundamentally anti-democratic tool. I find it extremely unhealthy. I'd rather have the person who opposes my views be able to express theirs. And if our only argument against such views is to squarely shut them down, it is itself a rather sad statement about our society.

Nonetheless, I find the paradox of trying to shut down people who make use of their freedom of expression to argue against people who would rather have that expression hindered somewhat amusing.This story was about a group trying to demonstrate freedom of speech/expression by an act that apparently many muslims find offensive, blasphemous, and punishable. The two dudes that pulled up in front of this meeting clearly were provoked. Apparently, the local average muslims had put the group on active ignore, which is what most people do any time we hear about the Westboro Baptist Church. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westboro_Baptist_Church). They offend and hate many and hide behind free speech. Well, this is ok here as long as you don't defame. I don't disagree. I want this avenue open for the folks that have an thought or idea that might not belong to the majority, but could be a great thought - for me.

telee.kom
05-08-2015, 04:17 AM
There are a lot of laws here against freedom of expression, making it illegal to contest the existence of the holocaust for instance, or to make racist statements. They are generally used to shut down a certain class of people easily, making it a fundamentally anti-democratic tool.

These laws do have their place. Can you imagine Germany wouldn't outlaw Nazi ideology? We have this as well and I'm perfectly okay with it. European countries have a history with Nazism, people who went through concentration camps are still alive in here. For me personally it is more important that this scum won't have a chance to rise to power again. This law is basically saying that you can't promote hateful ideologies preaching harming of other people. Nothing wrong with that in my opinion.

Khrz
05-08-2015, 09:52 AM
I would agree, except that societies and governments change way faster than laws do. We still have remains of Napoleonian laws, for instance.
Eventually, these laws can serve to censor and shut down any dissenting voice according to the current ideology and eventually the very persons you tried to silence may one day use them to forbid your right to disagree publicly.
In the wake of the Charlie Hebdo shootings, these laws have been used to silence those who disagreed publicly about the martyrdom of those cartoonists and journalists. This is not their prime purpose, but laws are very adaptable.
Laws tend to be unmovable points with a very fuzzy range of action. "Hate speech" could be about anyone, depending on the current government and zeitgeist. Censorship may be one of the fuzziest.
And just because you tell someone to shut up doesn't mean they stopped to exist or communicate, especially nowadays. You're merely hiding the issue to yourself, until suddenly you end up with a fascist government because you allowed no one to talk about race openly, creating an underground loop of discussion on the subject among citizens. Allowing an open discourse is allowing the expression of counter-arguments. When you censor a subject, there are no counter-arguments, because there is no discussion.