Who is Charlie ?


Last month, Europe and the Western world in general were ‘shocked’ by the terrorist attacks on journalists from the comic magazine Charlie Hebdo and the kosher supermarket. As usual following such events, we were graced by numerous ‘peaceful’ demonstrations and such like ‘democratic’ paraphernalia to mark the contrast between the civilized West and the barbarian Muslim world. Not to mention the huge mediatisation of the events. Many Western leaders gathered in Paris and participated in the demonstration. The slogan of the demonstration was ‘Je suis Charlie’ (I am Charlie). In the aftermath, millions of copies of the comic magazine got sold. This was the people’s way of showing solidarity with the magazine and, more importantly, proclaim their undying support for ‘freedom of expression’. In the midst of all this indignation, the solemn voice of the Pope, perhaps the most emblematic figure in the Christian religion, upon which the Western heritage is built, rose to say that it is not right to provoke people and that if somebody insulted his Mother, they could damn well expect a violent reaction. This was the Pope’s way of saying a very basic thing that should be known and understood by everybody: that provoking people is not right and may lead to deplorable reactions, even in the best of people. Strangely, nobody got this, and some accused the Pope of validating the attacks!
Why can’t the Pope say whatever the hell he likes and in whatever way amuses him. Isn’t this the freedom of expression everyone keeps banging on about? Oh wait a second, perhaps freedom of expression is just for secular things, religious stuff doesn’t have quite the same importance. Even the Pope gets bashed, because this is freedom of expression.

In fact, freedom of expression means you bash people and ideas and things. Especially holy or sacred stuff. The more holy and sacred, the more you should bash it just to hammer that freedom of expression thang right in for those idiots who don’t get it. Hello! This is freedom of expression you moron! Your Mum is a whore, you bastard! Can’t you see that it is freedom of expression? Are you thick or what? Oh you’re just religious. Hang on a second, it is the same thing. All religious people are thick. Furthermore, Muslims are not just thick, because they are not Charlie, but they are also terrorists! What a vile bunch. Down with immigration, chase them all out. Clash of civilizations!

And on it goes, on and on and on. But nobody paused to actually ask: ‘Who the hell is Charlie?’. They all just joined the chorus. I kept asking myself, what does ‘Je suis Charlie’ actually mean? Who is Charlie? Nobody answered. They just went out and bought Charlie. If you want to be Charlie, that’s fine. But for goodness sake, don’t be upset when others who are not Charlie punch you in the face when you piss them off. If you’re not careful, one day, some crazy not Charlie will come along and blow your head off. They shouldn’t do, but such is the way of the world, it is full of crazy people and we must all live together.

If people are genuine about finding efficient ways to live together in harmony, they really need to think seriously about who is Charlie. This needs to be part of the debate, not just how to eradicate terrorism, which is an entirely valid part of the debate also. The cartoons published were just vile. There is nothing brave or smart in using phallic symbols to degrade and ridicule other people’s sacred beliefs. It is childish and stupid. It is not freedom of expression.

This entry was posted in Islam by algerianna. Bookmark the permalink.

About algerianna

I enjoy writing, well communicating to be more precise as writing is somewhat a solitary activity. I tend to think that life is beautiful and interesting but people tend to over-complicate it. I like thinking about people and societies (netfelssaf like we say in Algerian). Apart from that, am relatively begnin.

5 thoughts on “Who is Charlie ?

  1. Thx for the article algerianna🙂

    I do agree with what you wrote, but I want to see things differently ! Indeed, in the beginning I was enraged ! It was pure hypocrisy !

    But now I see this as an identity / ideology war. Of course! If we are too corrupt solve our real economic, social and political problems, let’s use … the others ! And let’s face it, with our ignorance and so on … Muslims are a great target!

    The weapons are indeed different ! they don’t use armies, they use media … they don’t use tactics (topo and so on), they use freedom of expression .. they don’t want to grab land, but to grab minds ! And yeah, the goal is the same !

    We are weak, ignorant and dispatched ! To counter this we need to do as the founding father of the Algerian modern state did : (information / disillusion) guerilla🙂

    Don’t take it wrong, but, I read this blog because I believe that you (and l’mnarvi) are in this guerilla army, against disillusion !

    • Hi Random,

      Thanks for reading the blog!
      I don’t see it like an identity war or us against them at all like George Bush and co. I am of the view that the world is an inherently diverse place and new technologies are making it a huge challenge to manage this diversity and increasing individualism. As for the rest (immigration, social and economic issues, geo-political conflicts), they are as old as Man and the only new thing is the new means we have to manage them.
      I don’t pretend to fight anything! Simply because I believe that some things will never change as they are an inherent property of the world. I merely point out the ridiculous when I spot it.

      • Ah God! Yeah you are right, I did express my self badly🙂 I look like a eccentric teenager now u_u

        I’m leaving abroad now and I agree with what you said in your comment, but I see it differently!

        For instance I would use “use” instead of “manage” in : “As for the rest (immigration, social and economic issues, geo-political conflicts), they are as old as Man and the only new thing is the new means we have to manage [use] them [to serve the interest of the few]”

        And I agree with you when you said “Simply because I believe that some things will never change as they are an inherent property of the world”, It’s not about changing thing, but the way we interpret them.

        I must stop reading books about corruption in the world, they make me sound ridiculous ! I guess you already spotted it😉

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