ON THE RIGHT TO SATIRISE, PROVOKE, AND BE DOWNRIGHT OFFENSIVE

“The right to ‘subject each others’ fundamental beliefs to criticism’ is the bedrock of an open, diverse society.”
The fact that so often fundamentalism is used to suppress others points of view through social pressure and murder shows just how far we have to go…the fact that this so often comes from the religious fundamentalists is one reason why I remain skeptical of religion being the bases for promoting morality or good. People are good and bad and religion can just provide an excuse or justification for those actions. Since those holy texts are full of actions and beliefs that acts like this would be justified or condemned, depending on the reader or perspective. Regardless, no person’s beliefs should be free of mockery and being critiqued.
R.I.P. – Those who were murdered today at the magazine Charlie Hedbo.
Thoughts are with France and their families.

Pandaemonium

The offices of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo were this morning firebombed, just as it was about to publish its latest edition, a spoof issue ‘guest edited by Muhammed’, in response to the Islamist Ennahda party’s victory in the Tunisian elections. Caustic and vulgar (think of a cross between Private Eye and Viz), Charlie Hebdo prides itself on being an equal opportunities offender, as happy to draw the ire of Christians and Jews (and, indeed communists) as of Muslims. The French press has, so far, been almost unanimously in support of the magazine. But already there have been rumblings elsewhere that Charlie Hebdo went too far, that this was the wrong time and the wrong issue upon whichto be so provocative.  I am republishing here my original response to the Danish cartoons controversy. This essay was first published in Prospect almost six years ago. It shows how little…

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