Normally on a Wednesday I get home from a crap day at work, see what new comics are out and waste an evening reading these new comics and writing some reviews that I hope people enjoy. Comics, cartoons and the sequential art has been a part of my life all of my life and indeed, some of the fist images I have in my head are of Asterix, TinTin, Jack Kirby’s Fantastic Four and Carmine Infantino’s The Flash. After today’s murders by Islamist terrorists at the Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris there’s a wee something I need to get off my chest.
A dozen people were murdered because a twisted strain of an otherwise peaceful religion sees what Charlie Hebdo does as ‘threatening’ their religion, and indeed the icons of that religion.
In fact they’re satirists taking the piss out of all religions, people and anything that falls into their eyesight, and they never seemed to pick one stance, and indeed, were hard upon the likes of the Front National’s Martine LePen.
In fact they did what any good satirists do and go for anyone that deserved it, and that includes Islam and Mohammed. All religion deserves criticism and satire, so even though terrorists had threatened the paper several time and had burned down the offices, Charlie Hebdo continued to mock and especially mock the strain of violent, insane Islam that created Al Queda and the Islamic State.
As a socialist, a democrat and a Scot that believes in the European principles of free speech I cannot tolerate the way some on the left make excuses for the thugs who’ve killed 12 people, nor do I stomach those on the right who see this only as an excuse to attack those different to them. All people deserve to be treated the same be that either with respect or contempt based upon their actions and what they do, not because of what faith, colour or race they happen to be, and the right to take the piss out of people is a major part of free speech and democracy.
Looking back at some of the Charlie Hebdo cartoons some are actually bordering upon racist, and indeed, some offend my lefty socialist mindset but they’re here for all to see as to paraphrase Voltaire, I don’t agree with some of these cartoons but I’m going to defend the right for them to be published over and over again.
And here’s the terrible thing in all this for many of us. We’re sharing these cartoons in blogs like this or on social media in an attempt to show solidarity with Charlie Hebdo and the principle of free speech but why has it taken the murder of a dozen people for us to do it? I see these cartoons everywhere now tonight but why didn’t we do this say, three years ago when the Charlie Hebdo offices were first attacked? The reason many didn’t is of course we were scared, and it’s the reason the BBC and other media organisations still only show these images I’ve stuck in this blog all blurred out which now simply looks like an act of cowardice as it means the fuckers have won.
Simply put we can’t tolerate free speech being held to ransom anymore at the barrel of a gun. This isn’t to say that the likes of LePen in France, or Nigel Farage here in the UK can go to town stigmatising and demonising Muslims who’re as disgusted by these murders and the actions of I.S, etc as everyone else, but it should be a time where all of together stand against this terror, and watching the people of Paris doing just that tonight is a sight that should show that we’re not going to roll over and we will ensure free speech is kept as strong as it should be.