Charlie Hebdo and the freedom to offend -David Suissa
Once again, Islamic terrorists responded violently to a routine ritual of the free world—we like to make fun of things. We make fun of kings, presidents, popes, saints, even prophets. We make fun of Jesus, Moses, Buddha, Obama, Queen Elizabeth, North Korean dictators, and, yes, even Mohammed. Sometimes, that kind of mockery helps us get to a deeper truth. But even when it doesn’t, we’re free to take on whomever and whatever we like. It’s called freedom of speech.
When we accept this dynamic and single out Islam for special sensitivity, we don’t do Islam any favors. Remember how much of the U.S. media refused to publish the Danish cartoons of Mohammed that sparked riots over a decade ago? The free speech junkies who caved into Islamic bullying were also those who blasted Sony recently for caving into the North Korean threats against the film, “The Interview.”
Apparently, when the bullies are not Islamic, and the target is not Islam, our media is fearless. Now, with this blatant and cowardly attack against free speech in Paris, I wonder: Will the Western media call for a doubling down of Charlie Hebdo-style satire as the appropriate response to those who want to shut us up, just as they boldly called for an in-your-face response to the North Korean threats against Sony?
Or will they resort to form and put on their special kid gloves so as not to "offend" Islam? We often hear that Islam is “a religion of peace” and that, although more than 24,000 terrorist acts have been done in its name since 9/11, these acts don’t represent the “true Islam.” Rather, they represent a violent and distorted interpretation of Islam. In this view, Islam cannot be held accountable.
It’s too easy to look at the murderous acts done in the name of Islam and just say, “This is not Islam.” Tragically, for too many Muslims, it is Islam.
Moderate Muslims must stop using “wrong interpretation” as the excuse to let their religion off the hook. It's not enough to condemn terrorism and call Islam a religion of peace. Moderates must fight for that interpretation to win the day.
For starters, instead of going after critics of Islam with accusations of Islamophobia, they ought to go after those who are really damaging Islam-- the murderers acting in the name of their religion.
What we need is not a Battle of Civilizations, but a Battle of Interpretations. The champions of moderate Islam have no choice but to win that battle, which is an internal battle best fought by Muslims themselves.
We know the moderates will be winning when Muslims feel free to publish a magazine that pokes fun at the world's sacred cows… including their own.
They should dedicate that magazine to the free speech heroes who perished in Paris.
French Muslims Segregated Growing Mini-States - Rowan Scarborough
A backdrop to the massacre in Paris by self-professed al-Qaeda terrorists is that city officials have increasingly ceded control of heavily Muslim neighborhoods to Islamists.
France has Europe's largest population of Muslims, some of whom talk openly of ruling the country one day and casting aside Western legal systems for harsh, Islam-based Shariah law.
City leaders have allowed virtual Islamic mini-states to thrive as Muslims gain power to govern in their own way.
We Must Stop Blaming Ourselves for Islamist Terror - Padraig Reidy
If the rise of ISIS has taught the world one thing, it is that provocation is beside the point. Jihadists kill because that is what they do.
It does not matter if you are a French cartoonist or a Yezidi child, or an aid worker or journalist: if you are not one of the chosen few, you are fair game.
Provocation is merely an excuse used by bullies to justify their actions, while ensuring the world bows to their will.
Islamist Terror in Paris - Editorial
There will be many more such attempts at mass murder. Men willing to execute cartoonists in Paris and 132 children at point-blank range in Peshawar in the name of religion won't shrink from using more destructive means to impose mass casualties.
The attack also demonstrates again that violent Islam isn't a reaction to poverty or Western policies in the Middle East. It is an ideological challenge to Western civilization and principles, including a free press and religious pluralism. The murder of Charlie Hebdo cartoonists is merely the latest evil expression of a modern arc of Islamist violence against Western free speech.
Charlie Hebdo Editor Stephane Charbonnier, who was murdered, understood the ideals he represented. Responding to threats and pressure over the newspaper's decisions to publish provocative cartoons, he once said: "I prefer to die standing than live on my knees." It is now the epitaph of a principled and courageous man.
(Wall Street Journal)