Satire, free speech, “ands” and “buts”

I’ve not read CH, and I don’t think many outside of France will have either, but the way to deal with them if you are offended is not to buy their magazine, write them a strongly worded email or letter, ignore them. CH should be able to write whatever they want without fear of violent attack. The worst thing that should happen to anyone of the people at the magazine is they get a nasty letter written to them, or lose their job after a lawsuit. Being offended, does not give you the right to attack someone with a gun, with a bomb, with anything, there are no excuses. Do I think they should have published things they knew we’re likely to offend, maybe, should they have published images of Mohammed knowing that it would offend some Muslims, maybe not, do they deserve to die for publishing images of Mohammed? Absolutely not. The gunmen who carried out these attacks follow a twisted form of Islam that is highly rejected by most in the Muslim world, and we need to let them know that we support them (the non extreme Muslims that carry out these kinds of attacks).
Je Suis Charlie

Sarah Ditum

It’s not a “but”. It should never be a “but”, it’s an “and”. “But” is a hinge that folds back on itself and disavows what came before. “I believe in free speech, but Charlie Hebdo published racist cartoons,” “terrorism is abhorrent, but Charlie Hebdo published racist cartoons”: the “but” establishes a relationship between the two clauses, and suggests that the latter statement cancels out the former. The speaker claims a principle, then gives it up in the next breath. “”I believe in free speech, and Charlie Hebdo published racist cartoons,” “terrorism is abhorrent, and Charlie Hebdo published racist cartoons”: that’s better. Now we have to take responsibility for the relationship between the propositions. Now we can talk.

I wasn’t going to write anything about Charlie Hebdo, and yet here I am. We have enough opinions, and I am going to write one more. It strikes me that I’ve made three…

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