Friday, January 9, 2015

Je (ne) suis (pas) Charlie

The phrase-of-the-day,  “Je suis Charlie”, expressing solidarity with the victims of the recent massacre, is just the latest of a series of such slogans, in the face of violent provocation;  we alluded to some of them here:

Yet somehow, despite my opposition to the terrorists (which is more than words; NFI),  when it comes to this latest  catch-phrase, I feel disinclined to chant along-with.

Partly this is because of the jejune and witlessly provocative nature of the original cartoons, whose eventual dreadful effect we predicted a couple of years ago here.   Nor is that Mad-Magazine-level material  by any means the worst.  (Weiteres zum Thema hier, wenn Sie sich dazu wagen.)   And partly because of the all-too-comfortable, all-too-familiar role of sympathy -- empathy -- endopathy with Victims, characteristic of the socialos and the associations, coupled with a refusal to acknowledge certain obvious public dysfunctions, or to take the necessary steps.  (The one French political party that has candidly discussed the problems, has been excluded from tomorrow's feel-good march.)

Salut depuis le califat -- et depuis vos banlieues !

Europe is worse than America in that respect;  but in our own way, we share the syndrome. This morning’s contrarian column by David Brooks  puts it trenchantly:

The journalists at Charlie Hebdo are now rightly being celebrated as martyrs on behalf of freedom of expression, but let’s face it: If they had tried to publish their satirical newspaper on any American university campus over the last two decades it wouldn’t have lasted 30 seconds. Student and faculty groups would have accused them of hate speech. The administration would have cut financing and shut them down.

Public reaction to the attack in Paris has revealed that there are a lot of people who are quick to lionize those who offend the views of Islamist terrorists in France but who are a lot less tolerant toward those who offend their own views at home.

Just look at all the people who have overreacted to campus micro-aggressions. The University of Illinois fired a professor who taught the Roman Catholic view on homosexuality. The University of Kansas suspended a professor for writing a harsh tweet against the N.R.A. Vanderbilt University derecognized a Christian group that insisted that it be led by Christians.

Pour préciser:   The provocateurs of Charlie Hebdo have been presented as the shining symbol of Western civilization;  that is far from the case.   The attack on the artists was an atrocity, but was not qualitatively worse than would be the similar murder of a dozen grocers, or plumbers, or what have you.


[Update Saturday, 10 January 2015]

Another bothersome point… Tomorrow’s march is being led by the panderer and ransom-payer-in-chief François Hollande, who is giving matters his own spin:

“Je vous appelle aussi à l’unité  … D’abord, être implacable à l’égard du racisme. …
Nous ne devons faire aucun amalgame.  Ces fanatiques n’ont rien à voir avec la religion musulmane.”

Mais … si.  Et en voici la preuve:

Saudi blogger Badawi 'flogged for Islam insult'
Raif Badawi, who was sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in jail, was flogged 50 times. The flogging will be carried out weekly.

Thus, coeval with the jihad against dâr al-Harb being enforced, so to speak, informally, freelance, in Paris, these actions were carried out formally, officially, publically, in KSA.

C’est *moi * Charlie !

As for the injunction not to “faire aucun amalgame” (‘no profiling’), a certain dissent is in order:

Terrorisme islamiste: cette guerre qui commence était hélas prévisible!
Pour le philosophe tunisien Mezri Haddad le rejet des amalgames ne doit pas empêcher la remise en cause de la dogmatique ambiante. L'intégration de l'islam dans les pays européens a échoué et a laissé place au développement de l'intégrisme.


Meanwhile, the reliably Care-Bears NPR  attempts to second the spin.   After repeating that the fanatics are a “tiny minority” (true enough for the actual trigger-men; but they grew in a petri-dish of anti-Western culture in the heart of France), the station did then manage to address the common-sense question:  “Can’t they take a joke?”  And the answer was:  Su-u-ure … they can, just like you & me!  And to prove their point, they trotted out the shining example of al-Jāi, a humorous belletrist of … the ninth century A.D.    You had to reach back that far to find a poster-boy?
Then they update to the inspiring case of Ali Ferzat, a cartoonist in Syria -- a cartoonist!  in Syria! -- who, however (um, er, never-mind) had his hands mangled by government goons in appreciation of his satire.

Moi aussi, je suis Charlie !

And then they served up the case of a stand-up comedian who, however, is Indian not Arab, and who performs in the safety of the United States.
Nice try.
("Support for NPR comes from...")

[Update 11 January 2015]  And now this, highlighting the hypocrisy of the socialos placing themselves at the head of a march defending free speech:

The biggest threat to French free speech isn’t terrorism. It’s the government.
The murders at Charlie Hebdo, while tragic, aren’t the problem.

Et moi, je ne serais pas Charlie ?

The moreso, as the associalos have been quite selective about whom they protect:  Witness the impunity with which the Femen gang has vilely desecrated Christian churches;  Hollande went so far as to reward them by placing a portrait of their ringleader on a postage stamp.


Americans tend to view French difficulties with its Muslim population  from behind a complacent scotoma of mauvaise foi, failing to see that the pot is as swart as the kettle.   French cities are girdled by a violent and criminal subpopulation, which the authorities are terrified of provoking.  (Asked by an interviewer whether the Kouachi brothers, in view of the relative professionalism of their attack, must have received weapons training abroad, the former head of the DGSE scoffed that such training is freely available in the banlieues, and is often implemented in perfectly executed non-political crimes.)  Chez nous  de même, though with a change of dramatis personae.  Just so did the bien-pensants of Europe view us, back in the days of An American Dilemma.

This stateside hemeralopia reached a comic nadir this morning in a headline in the New York Times  Review section (a reliable source of such tags) which asked, disingenuously,

     Could a cartoon alarm anyone in the U.S.?

Umm…. Definitely.   There is just one Tintin book that you cannot buy in the United States, Tintin au Congo;  and the books of Mary Poppins or Doctor Dolittle are no longer available with their original artwork.  Here, no-one would dare publish cartoons like those of Charlie Hebdo, were they to target, not Arabs, but [redacted], or [redacted], let alone [don't even think about it].

[Update 12 January 2015] Further party-pooping opinions:

“Glad so many world leaders could take time off jailing and torturing journalists and dissidents to march for free expression in France.”

Willem persiste et signe : "nous vomissons sur tous ces gens qui, subitement, disent être nos amis".,1977925.php

At the march itself, critique of Hollande, from a pigeon:

Minor sidenote:  At the same hour that Angela Merkel was marching in Paris, the authorities in Leipzig were forbidding the organizers  of the Lepida march Monday, from displaying any drawings of Mohammad.    Which is fine -- the organizers themselves have called for no symbols other than the German and the Saxon flags, they don’t want a riot;  but no, Nous ne sommes pas tous Charlie.

[Update 13 January 2015]   The surviving staff of Charlie Hebdo  have come up with a remarkably thoughtful and solid response to the events, discussed here.

We must concur with the Charlie staffer’s comment:  “Notre Mahomet à nous, il est vachement plus sympa.”

[Update 14 January 2015]

French Muslim community argues: We are not Charlie
Many of France's 5 million Muslims are revolted by the idea that they should defend Charlie Hebdo.
GENNEVILLIERS, France — Rather than fall quiet as requested during a national minute of silence last week, three boys in Hamid Abdelaali’s high school class in this heavily Muslim suburb of Paris staged an informal protest, speaking loudly through all 60 seconds.

Across France, they were not alone. In one school in Normandy, some Muslim students yelled “God is great!” in Arabic during that same moment. In a Paris middle school, another group of young Muslims politely asked not to respect the minute, arguing to their teacher, “You reap what you sow.”

[Update 18 January 2015]

Muss die Losung „Je suis Charlie“ nun von „Wir sind Pegida“ abgelöst werden?

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