The offices of a satirical French magazine, Charlie Hebdo, were firebombed today, just one week after they printed an issue making fun of Islam. Everyone suspects that Islamic extremists are responsible for the bombing.
So the bureau chief of Time magazine, Bruce Crumley, decided to blame the editors of Charlie Hebdo and say that they got what they deserved.
OK, so can we finally stop with the idiotic, divisive, and destructive efforts by “majority sections” of Western nations to bait Muslim members with petulant, futile demonstrations that “they” aren’t going to tell “us” what can and can’t be done in free societies? Because not only are such Islamophobic antics futile and childish, but they also openly beg for the very violent responses from extremists their authors claim to proudly defy in the name of common good. What common good is served by creating more division and anger, and by tempting belligerent reaction?
The difficulty in answering that question is also what’s making it hard to have much sympathy for the French satirical newspaper firebombed this morning, after it published another stupid and totally unnecessary edition mocking Islam.
I mean. Get a load of this:
We, by contrast, have another reaction to the firebombing: Sorry for your loss, Charlie, and there’s no justification of such an illegitimate response to your current edition. But do you still think the price you paid for printing an offensive, shameful, and singularly humour-deficient parody on the logic of “because we can” was so worthwhile? If so, good luck with those charcoal drawings your pages will now be featuring.
Read the whole sordid thing, if you like.
Of course Crumley’s comments are disgusting, they are also a blunder and an incitement.
By siding against the free criticism of religion, Crumley encourages radical Muslims to continually lower the bar for what constitutes an outrageous offence against their faith. Can’t draw cartoons about Muhammad today? Well, tomorrow you can’t do critical scholarship of the Koran either.
That anyone standing in the same nation that birthed Voltaire and Baudelaire could say this just makes us sad.
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