I really don’t know what they found more offensive; a cartoon of their prophet, or people standing around, dancing and singing and loving and having fun?
So, there’s your dilemma. If Charlie Hebdo brought it on themselves by unnecessarily ‘causing offence,’ then you will have to condemn the innocent people going out and enjoying freedom of expression, freedom of love, and freedom of fun.
Are you prepared to entertain the words of a Muslim who doesn’t fit into your rigid coffin-boxes of morose dullness and sober piety? Well, the liberal Muslim Irshad Manji, in The Trouble With Islam Today, asks poignantly why people should claim that Allah hates fun.
Of course, as you will no doubt tell me, ‘Islam is not monolithic.’ You’re not wrong there! Religion is certainly subject to interpretation; and many Muslims are sincerely appalled by the obscurantism of the murderers in Paris.
And yet, Irshad Manji’s progressive and emancipatory cause is not helped by the enlightened pedagogues who are never done saying-without-saying-it that Charlie Hebdo had it coming, that they brought it on themselves.
So do you support…
Freedom of speech and freedom of human flourishing, thus condemning both waves of terrorist atrocities in Paris?
Or do you think…
Both groups of innocent people massacred ‘had it coming?’
You can’t pick and choose. If you draw attention to how the Charlie Hebdo cartoons were supposedly evil and demonic, you’ll also have to accept the following bigoted, obscurantist notion:
The voice of the devil is in the sound of the flute.
Still, if you, as a noble liberal, blamed Charlie Hebdo for causing offence, then you’ll have to think clearly about who gets to police the boundaries of ‘offence.’ Sadly, the ISIS terrorists have already begun to police the boundaries, in order to save you the trouble. And they are rather more effective than you are at banning joy, amusement and love; despite your most pofacedly strenuous efforts!
So, every single time you whinge about how ‘freedom of speech demands accountability,’ just remember what the jihadists in Paris have done. They’ve fulfilled that commandment to the very letter.
Does freedom of speech demand accountability?
ISIS certainly think so.
So, this is what your noble principle looks like, carried to its logical extreme.
I really hope you’re proud of yourselves.
Because like it or not, a lot of people in Paris aren’t proud of you at all.
But then, why should you care?
The blessed, dusty nobility of the mausoleum.