What terrible events have occurred over the past few days all over the world as well as in Paris. Massacre upon massacre. What end to this killing? If we are all God’s children then the people doing the killing were killing God.
That is blaspheme.
The Paris shootings have featured a lot in the media. I think these Paris shootings need some unpicking.
Firstly the Charlie Hebdo Shootings.
I do not condone the shootings. I can’t stand the loss of all those people. I thought the final shoot out with the brothers was inevitable and that it was more like a film script, or one of those dumb-ass dvd games, than real life. But real people died and real people had been killed. I think the brothers and many like them have been groomed in a way similar to the way that paedophile rings work. So, amazingly and perhaps because I am an adult, a grown up, I felt sorry for them. Their lives sound like a car crash. That made them vulnerable to dodgy men with fascistic ideas. BUT, and the is a large BUT, the Charlie Hebdo cartoons were insulting and racist.
I do not think the French are renowned for their sense of humour.. They may use satire, which is only a little up the humour scale from sarcasm, which is itself next to bitchiness.
I am pleased that countries such as Egypt have developed satirical magazines even though I personally loathe most satire. I find it not only offensive and in the UK lavatorial, but childish. But if Egypt or France or Algeria have them and poke fun at their politicians that is fine. That is their right. It shows a mature, grown up politic that can stand being the butt of a joke.
If an Irish person tells an Irish joke that is ok. If a Nigerian tells a Nigerian joke that is ok. If a Muslim tells a Muslim joke that is ok. But if a French person tells a Muslim joke that is not ok. That crosses a line. So you can tell jokes against your own culture or race, but not against others. You can poke fun at nations, other nations then your own, but you need to be careful not to poke fun at ethnicities and cultures. The world has changed. It is not centred at Eton or Harrow. White Western Christian Males do not get to say what is and is not ok anymore. Time to grow up and get a perspective.
As to the butt of this particular joke, I think that there is oversensitivity here, but I understand it. However, I think that Muslims need to realise that a prophet is a man, not a God. There is only one God and that is not Mohammed. As Mohammed is not God, he cannot be blasphemed. I think that needs to be realised.
But it is insulting to make derogatory remarks about him by people of another culture. I think that the insult is felt even more keenly because the joke may not have been targeted only at the prophet, but also at his followers, what used to be called the Mohammedans and is now called Islam. If a Muslim made a rude cartoon about Christ I imagine there would be a huge outcry. I hope Christians would not be stupid enough to kill people over it, but some might and I think many people would feel insulted. The ‘Life of Brian’ film made by the Pythons was made by while Western Christian men. They got a lot of stick for it. Imagine if it had been made by Muslims.
I agree with Freedom of Speech, but what comes out of your mouths has an effect on people. You cannot shirk all responsibility for what you say. Of course we all need to temper the effect things have on us, how we feel about what people say. But we also need to edit what we say. Some things are insulting, hurtful or rude. All of these things you should try to avoid doing. Sometimes we are clumsy in what we say, But this was intentionally insulting people and Charlie Hebdo has to take some responsibility for being crass, insulting and rude.
I should add that recently we have had people making vile random remarks online at people- cyber bullying trolls. They have been prosecuted.
So while I completely condemn the Hebdo shootings I think the cartoonists should not make insulting cartoons about other people’s cultures.
Secondly The Kosher/Cacher Supermarket shootings.
I vividly remember after 9/11 many Muslim people saying that we should not blame all Muslims for the Twin Towers. So what was the Kosher supermarket? Are all Jews to blame? Not again this stupid. Surely it is somebody else’s turn? How about Fiji? I don’t know why Fiji, a random choice, but then racism is random and stupid. I apologise to any Fijians out there who I hope have a sense of humour and get the point, but surely it is someone else’s turn?
The shootings at the supermarket were racist. Deeply, deeply racist. No excuse. Just racist. Stupid and racist. Got it? They were racist. The gunman was racist. Racism is stupid so the gunman was stupid. Fascist and stupid. Racist. Please do not dress it up as anything else. Please do not hide it in French rights or Palestinian rights or Fijian rights. It is Fascist, Racist Crap. End of.
And for any Muslim out there reading this:
If God chose the Israelites ( the same God, by the way, as the God that Mohammad proclaims) who are you to say He chose wrong? That is blaspheme.