Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Notes on the shooting in Paris

1) I used to be a cartoonist: as a child (I had my first school exhibit at age 10) and then as a boy but stopped once I discovered Marx and politics in my mid-teens.  I even considered becoming a cartoonist but my talent was not great.  So I feel strongly about the right to offend and to mock as an artist (and as a human being).  That right should be absolute.
2) Muslims do need to lighten up, and should feel secure enough to stomach mockery and satire against their religion. And they should not allow their enemies (even the bigots among them) to provoke them so easily.
3) No, the magazine in question did not "equally" mock Muslims and Jews and others. This is like the way Islam is mocked by Bill Maher and others in the US: they don't hold the same standards. They reserve a special bitter and vicious streak against Islam and Muslims, and remember that France is not a country of absolute freedom of speech.  You can go to jail in France and pay a fine if you offend Jewish people by mocking, say, the Holocaust.  I believe that either there should be laws to protect the feelings of all religions, or--I prefer--there should not be protection whatsoever.  IF there are idiots and bigots who want to offend Jews and Muslims they should be allowed to make fool of themselves.
4) It is idiotic for many reasons for Muslims to be easily provoked.
5) Excuse me: yes, one should vehemently condemn the crimes against the cartoonist and writers and journalists but should in the same vein condemn the on-going French and US bombing raids that are taking place from Mali to Afghanistan, passing through Yemen and Syria. And those bombs are real and they are killing real people.  Those are terrorist actions as much as the shooting in Paris was a terrorist action.
6) Western policies in Syria have produced, and will continue to produce, terrorist organizations the likes of which we have not seen since the creation of Al-Qa`idah. The enthusiastic policies of arming and sponsoring "rebel groups in Syria" are responsible for the proliferation of fanatical terrorist groups which will terrorize those countries that had sponsored them.
7) the source of all those terrorist groups is known: Gulf regimes and their Western sponsors. They have been indulging those regimes form the days of the Cold War.  I was on the side of the left and progressive forces during the Cold War, while you--in the West--were on the side of those speaking the language of Jihad and...oil.