Lake Atitlan, Guatemala
Religion, Politics 

Charlie Hebdo

It's been a year since world-wide media failed miserably to stand up for free speech.

Lets never forget what was at stake the day after the massacre of 12 people at the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. Lets not forget how easy it would have been to publish the satirical content and drawings of Muhammad, in solidarity with the victims, and to show that free speech will never be intimidated by religion.

Instead political correctness prevailed. Politicians and the public put up signs saying "Je suis Charlie" (I am Charlie /  I stand with Charlie), and patted each other's backs for being such proponents of free speech. At the same time virtually no one dared to re-publish the controversial drawings of Muhammad from Charlie Hebdo and Danish Jyllands-posten. No one dared to follow the example they so vocally supported, not even to let the public have a look at what the big fuss was about. It is a disgrace, and I hope it will be remembered for a long time. 

After the November 20 Paris attacks, the public again tried to ease their conscience by doing pointless actions such as using the French flag colors on their Twitter avatars. "Look at me, I support the victims, but I wouldn't ever wanna get out of my comfort zone to do something that has any real effect".

Looking at the Danish cartoons again, it is hard to understand how they could enrage hundreds of millions of people. Muhammad must be the weakest leader of a religion ever, if he can't stand being mocked like this. This perverse enraged response actually legitimizes the cartoons even more. If a critique of something has valid points, then people will generally feel very offended for pointing this out, but if it is invalid, then no one cares to refute it. This makes me think of the saying "Islam is a religion of peace, and we will behead anyone who dares to say otherwise".

The Charlie Hebdo drawings might be tasteless, however tasteless on a whole different scale are the 27% of British muslims who say they have sympathy for the terrorists who killed the Charlie Hebdo staff.

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