Last week terrorist attacked the offices of French satire magazine and murdered 12 people. Most of the Western World showed solidarity with France and thousands of millions declared “Je Suis Charlie.”
And then the inevitable backlash came. Naïve elements of the left joined with conservative dinosaurs like Pat Buchanan to say Charlie Hebdo was a racist magazine that should never have existed.
The implication was clear: Charlie Hebdo had it coming. In fact, an Al Jezeera reporter said, “I guess if you insult 1.5 billion people chances are one or two of them will kill you.”
Too many, the issue becomes one not of freedom of speech and press, but freedom from ever hearing an offensive world or utterance.
A piece in a major millennial blog said that we should be careful with satire because in our new global age, everyone can see what we write and may be offended. Although the author directly says that satirist should not become PC, she turns around and says satirists should be ethically conscience, have a responsibility towards subjects, and words hurt.
So in other words, do not be PC *wink*, but really, be PC.
All of this is false equivalency.
Charlie Hebdo makes fun of everyone. It offended Christians and Jews as well as Muslims. The difference is 2.2 billion Christians and 14 million Jews either took the satire in stride or ignored it. Not one Christian or Jew murdered 12 people because of a cartoon.
There will always be something that offends someone, especially on the internet. You have two choices in how you can respond: ignore or get upset. If you get upset, then you must decide if you are going to do something about it–i.e. write a letter, tweet, blog, or start a movement. The option that never should get sympathy is to go out and kill 12 people. Misunderstanding satire does not excuse violent extremism.
And then there are those that say make another false equivalency that Christians have murdered in the name of religion.
To that I reply, “So what? And when was the last time people murdered 2000 innocent people in the name of Jesus Christ? Boko Haram did exactly that in the name of the Prophet Mohamed last week in Nigeria.
The last major Christian atrocity people can point to the Spanish Inquisition, and that ended over 200 years ago. In six centuries, the Inquisition turned over about the same number of people for execution (2000) as Boko Haram killed in a weekend.
The fact is, here and now, Jihadists are the number 1 cause of violent extremism in the world. There is a problem.
It is not insensitive to point this out. It is insensitive to make excuses for these dregs of humanity.
Rather than saying, “Not all Muslims are like that,” the apologists should be talking about how other religions have faced down such issues and what needs to be done to fight those violent extremists from within the Islamic community itself.
We know that the West itself can never defeat such terror completely. The victory over extremism must come from within. It is time for the stable and peaceful Muslim countries and peoples of the world to come together and rip out this cancer themselves.