Friday, January 9, 2015

Je ne suis pas Charlie

Earlier today, I posted about Islam and the problem it has in convincing people that its non violent.  Indeed, it's an open question if the truly devoted in Islam can take that position without straying into heresy, or perhaps being regarded as heretical.  I think they can, but then I'm not Moslem, which is the added problem addressed in my earlier post, ie., if the voices we mostly hear saying Islam isn't violent, aren't Moslem, that sends some sort of different message.

This came about, as noted, in part because of the assassinations at Charlie Hedbo by Islamic terrorists.  But let's be clear, this taps into, a bit, my other message. And let's start off with a couple of basic propositions.

First of all, killing journalist isn't warfare.  Its murder.  Its murder in any religion, or if it isn't, it should be. And its murder for the non religions as well.

But, being the victim of murder, even if you are killed for your statements or beliefs, doesn't convert you into a hero.

And Charlie Hedbo's cartoons weren't heroic, they were vile.

They truly were insulting. They insulted Islam, and they insulted Christianity.  Christians, of course, can't murder those they disagree with, and indeed to be insulted for your faith is regarded in Christian tenants as a symbol of your praiseworthiness.  Christ promised his followers that they'd get exactly that sort of treatment.

But even if Christians are required to forgive their tormentors, and hopefully Moslems will somebody get around to that position, that doesn't mean that we shouldn't take note of the offense.  Hedbo's cartoons were vulgar and insulting, and fit into a long French leftist tradition in that regards. They were not artful, sophisticated satire.

And for that reason, in part, I'm not joining the "Je suis Charlie" campaign.  Indeed, Je ne suis pas Charlie. 

On this front, I'll stick with an earlier identification offered by this symbol:

The Arabic equivalent of the letter "N", standing for Nazarene, or Christian, which has come to symbolize those Middle Easter Christians under assault by ISIL. 

I'd offer that, like identifying with European Jews of the 1930s and 1940s, this serves a higher purpose, no matter what a person's belief, rather than associating cartoonists whose cartoons were insulting and vulgar, unless of course we make it clear that we're standing for Freedom of the Press everywhere. But aren't we really standing for more than that, and not only Freedom of Expression, but Freedom of Belief, for all? For everyone of every belief, including Moslems and to include the Moslem policeman killed by the Parisian terrorist?  If we aren't, I suggest that we should be.

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