Friday, January 15, 2016

Charlie Hebdo and free speech, part two

Last week, the world marked the one-year anniversary of the Islamic terrorist attack on the offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. Formerly a magazine with a small readership who only those in the know had heard of, the politically charged monthly tome of cartoons was catapulted to worldwide fame after the attack—and the rally on its behalf in favor of freedom of speech and expression.
Pundits everywhere said that while Charlie Hebdo perhaps should not have made a cartoon image of Mohammed, promising 1,000 lashings if the readership did not laugh, it had every right to do so and did not deserve the carnage unleashed by the offended party.
Now the magazine has made the news again, as it has published a striking cartoon that gets straight to the point:

The cartoon has been condemned for postulating that the three-year-old boy who drowned off the coast of Turkey last summer, Aylan Kurdi, would have grown into a man not unlike the sub-human filth that rampaged across the wide plaza of Cologne's Hauptbahnhof station, raping and tormenting women just after New Year's. As we have since found out, this hasn't happened just in Cologne, but has gone on in cities all across Germany. Stockholm, Sweden's main city, is the rape capital of Europe, if not the world, due to the Nordic nation's own sheltering of vulnerable elements from the unstable Middle East.
Granted, the French, when translated, states: "What would have become of the little Aylan had he grown up." But I think the cartoon is about more than that. If not for the text, it could be seen as a commentary on the effect that the image of the drowned Aylan had on the sensitivities of Western European countries. Suddenly, Europe couldn't take in enough pitiable Muslim migrants, as if to make up for the horror of the deceased Aylan on that beach in Turkey.
Except for the fact that Aylan's father, Abdullah, did not want to be in Europe. He opined, soon after the tragedy, that the Canadians dragging their feet on his asylum application was to blame and that the Gulf Arab states needed to step up.
Angela Merkel has been shown up for the pretend conservative that she is. Not only does she worship at the altar of the European Union, but for a national leader who once opined that multiculturalism had "failed," it certainly appears that she cannot change the ethnic composition of Germany fast enough. She is an embarrassment to her country, and to her party, the Christian Democratic Union, in which a deep schism is starting to form, all thanks to her. Support for the CDU has fallen while that for the Alternative for Germany party has risen.

 "Was war das? Nein, mein Gesicht sieht nicht wie eine Kartoffel!" (What was that? No, I am not a potato-face!)

I can be persuaded that Charlie Hebdo went too far in picking on little Aylan. No-one has the right to say whether, as a young man, he would have fit in with European society or remained aloof and prone to Islamic extremism. I do not blame his family for the subsequent outrage they have understandably expressed. However, as I've noted, take away the text and the cartoon takes on a different meaning.
Besides, once Aylan had grown up, there might be no white women left in Europe anyway, as they will have migrated themselves or been long since subjugated by the jihadis that nobody in power had the courage to do anything about—as the media refused to report on the problem, the head of the police ignored the assaults and filed no reports, the mayors thought the native women were to blame in not being culturally sensitive to the newcomers, and the heads of state believed it was simply a matter of educating the migrants on the cultural values of Europe.
It is worth remembering that Charlie Hebdo criticizes all religions, including Catholicism, in what is—still—a majority Catholic country. Did any world leader or anyone in the media intelligentsia squawk when the magazine chose the following as one of its covers?

"Pedophile bishops! Made from the cinema, like Polanski!"

Did they, hell!
Dear reader, it is time to stand by Charlie Hebdo once more. In what they see as an affrontery to their liberal impressionabilities, people are condemning free speech. This is "hate speech". We require "safe space" legislation against this kind of thing. Blah-de-blah.
What they conveniently forget is that the magazine is solidly left-wing and takes a predictably "nothing is sacred" attitude.
Charlie Hebdo was a tad intemperate in its references to Aylan Kurdi. Nonetheless, let us not, in the space of only one year, go from rallying in their defense to condemning them. This is schizophrenia; and this is what ought to alarm us more than any cartoon.

No comments: