This contemptible murder was deja vu for me. My moment of political awakening and when I decided to get into atheism and skepticism in a big way. So, I felt the same sickening disgust at this murder and and the cringing cowardice of so many. But unlike last time, I do see some signs of hope.
This time around, more and more people seem to be getting it. I often agree with Mark Steyn, so let me violently disagree with his “Screw your hashtag solidarity” column, in which he also attacks all the candlelit vigils and demonstrations. Of course he is right when he says:
If we’d all just published [the Danish Cartoons] on the front page and said “If you want to kill us, you go to hell, you can’t just kill a couple of obscure Danes, you’re going to have to kill us all”, we wouldn’t have this problem. But because nobody did that, these Parisian guys are dead.
Yes, let’s agree, it would be ideal, and arguably only really solidarity, if everyone there had brought their own Mohammed cartoons, but it is a hell of a lot better than what happened last time. People are waking up and pushing back.
Here’s the front page of the Berliner Kurier:
Translates as “No, you cannot murder our freedom!” and shows Mohammed bathing in blood reading Charlie Hebdo.
I’ve been seeing real solidarity from across the planet. As far away as South Africa, the veteran cartoonist and anti-Apartheid activist Zapiro has joined in. We see some good solidarity from India, too.
So, people are waking up and pushing back. Even from quarters I am not usually accustomed to seeing any spine – Ophelia Benson has been very good in denouncing this evil for what it is, and is also utterly shocked that the same set that throws temper tantrums at the latest Dawkins tweet, is hell bent on equivocating and making excuses and dodging the issue. Ophelia, that is why some of us split from your skeptic scene.
But, the bottom line is this: all over the planet, people are waking up, and throughout Europe especially, people are rallying against this mindless Islamic evil.
J.J. McCullough argues that there is a basic difference between America and Europe, in that European satire lets rip at everything in sight whereas in the land of the first amendment, ‘satirists’ confine themselves to a tiny area of politically acceptable comments:
We see this ideal most ably embodied by satirists like Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, and John Oliver, whose television shows have become far more about delivering a liberal political agenda through the vehicle of satire than utilizing the medium as a source of irreverent whimsy for its own sake.
True ‘dat. The Frankfurter Algemeiner’s headline says it all, “The Land of Free Expression Censors Itself”