The Charlie Hebdo bombing couldn’t happen here

A bit of mid-2000s nostalgia in France. Satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo made Mohammed guest editor for a special issue called Charia Hebdo and published a few satirical cartoons. The response from Muslim religious nutters was exactly as it was last time. Violence was the first resort and they firebombed Charlie Hebdo’s office.

This is the cover of the magazine that upset them so much.

Here are the other cartoons. Unfortunately, I don’t speak French so I’ve no idea what they are about. Whatever they say, though, they don’t justify bombing people.

Left-wing blogger Coatsey notes that high-profile figures on the French left have been quick to condemn the bombing and stand up for free speech. Would the same thing happen in this country? Probably not. If the British establishment’s reaction to the attacks on the Danish cartoons are anything to go by, we couldn’t even rely on wholehearted condemnation from the Conservative Party.

Not that it would ever happen here anyway. Satire directed against Islam has long been taboo in Britain. With the honourable exception of the Freethinker, while newspapers across Europe showed solidarity with Denmark, no British publication printed the Danish cartoons. With artists and comedians scared to even mention Islam, the likelihood of anybody in this country doing something offensive enough to warrant a molotov cocktail is very remote.

Update: This outbreak of fanaticism has woken MediaWatchWatch up. Good to see him back.

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11 responses to “The Charlie Hebdo bombing couldn’t happen here

  1. Good to see that fearless cartoonery hasn’t died out.

  2. Well at least not everywhere.

  3. With artists and comedians scared to even mention Islam, the likelihood of anybody in this country doing something offensive enough to warrant a molotov cocktail is very remote.

    Of course, if somebody’s irrational enough that they’ll bomb a building they’re probably irrational enough to take offence at something that was meant to be innocuous. (For example.)

  4. Joke 3

    “in France a man has been given 9 years in prison for having transmitted Aids to his partner…”

    “Sharia is less severe… a wife would have just been obliged to say thank you”

  5. Joke 6

    “Anyone who is unfaithful to her husband on Meetic ( a dating website) will have her Facebook profile stoned”

    To give you a flavour…

  6. The last but one is a “Sharia starter kit” with all sorts of bits…amputated hands and feet, stones for stoning adulterous women, knives for amputation, whip etc

  7. Pingback: In Praise Of Provocation… « Back Towards The Locus

  8. The traffic policeman points out that if the man had run an amber light instead of red, he would merely have let the tyre down (instead of bursting it).

    The last one refers to ‘Charia Molle’ – ‘Sharia Light’ [lit. Soft] – allowing homosexuality as long as gay men wear the veil.

    I suspect you may be right about free speech in the UK – after all, we don’t have their constitutional separation of religion and state and we are certainly unlikely to see, for example, a ban on the veil in state schools and public buildings.

    Make it impossible – or forbidden – to laugh at something and you give it an undeserved and unwarranted power. That’s why ‘Four Lions’ is such an important film – and why we need plenty more of the same.

  9. Since you wrote: “Violence was the first resort and they firebombed Charlie Hebdo’s office.” can you please give us the proof for this evidence? cause even in France the police seems clueless as to point out whodunit. It’s pretty clear your french is not that good since there was no “bombing” but arson involved. Don’t pretend to defend freedom of speech when you’re obviously defending blattant racism.

  10. @wtf
    as I said, not the shadow of a proof… can you even read French?

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