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Thursday, 8 January 2015

Who is the zealot and fanatic?

Is it

(a) he who insists on his right to continue being gratuitously offensive after provoking devastating violence?

or

(b) he who responds with violence after a deliberate campaign spanning years to gratuitously offend him?


http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2015/01/07/after-charlie-hebdo-attack-u-s-catholic-group-says-cartoonists-provoked-slaughter/

What lessons can be learnt from the gunning down of Charlie Hebdo?


  • The Racial & Religious Hatred Act 2006 is a good thing after all.
  • Free speech is not absolute.
  • Causing gratuitous offence deliberately can cause death to self and others
  • It is the demonstration of how hubris operates.
  • No good will come out of being deliberately and gratuitously offensive for no good reason.
  • Terrorism wins because it is unlikely that Charlie Hebdo will publish more offensive cartoons of Muhammad.
  • Even if there are no more gratuitously offensive cartoons of Muhammad this does not mean criticism of Islam and Muslims will cease, so no big deal really, you can all turn over and go back to sleep again, after acknowledging that liberal hegemony is indeed being challenged and will continue to be challenged. 


  1. Can liberals be zealots?
  2. Can liberals be said to "worship" free speech when they make a point of causing gratuitous offence to those with religious beliefs?
  3. Do some atheist liberals zealously make a point of causing gratuitous offence to those with religious beliefs because they think they are stupid, backward and deserve to be offended?
  4. Should the British be grateful that their government did something right for once by passing the Race & Religious Hatred Act 2006?
  5. If the French had the equivalent of the Race & Religious Hatred Act 2006, would the gunning down of Charlie Hebdo have taken place?
  6. Were Charlie Hebdo abusing their right to free speech?
  7. Was it necessary for Charlie Hebdo to publish gratuitously offensive cartoons of the prophet Muhammad?
  8. Why did Charlie Hebdo find it necessary to publish gratuitously offensive cartoons of the prophet Muhammad?
  9. Was the publication of gratuitously offensive cartoons about religion an expression of atheist hegemony in France?
  10. Was it necessary for the French government to allow Charlie Hebdo to be deliberately and gratuitously offensive?
  11. What was the point Charlie Hebdo making that could not have been made in less inflammatory terms?
  12. Was the point that Charlie Hebdo was making through gratuitously offensive cartoons only that secularists are in charge and could therefore use their position to cause gratuitous offence to Jews, Christians and Muslims as and when they felt the desire to do so?
  13. Should the French government now pass the equivalent of the Race & Religious Hatred Act 2006 to protect both non-Muslim and Muslim French citizens?
  14. How many Muslims converts will there be from Jews and Christians who will be understandably impressed at how much more effective Muslims are at showing that their religion is not to be insulted with impunity?
  15. What is hubris in French?

3 comments:

snork maiden said...

I'll agree that the cartoon you show is disgusting, and I do disagree with publishing offensive cartoons just for the sake of it.

But gunning people down over such a thing is indefensible.

The 12 people murdered yesterday will now become martyrs to free speech, and I suspect we will see even more offensive cartoons being distributed, though possibly anonymously.

Claire Khaw said...

If the cartoonists are too afraid to give their names and no longer published by Charlie Hebdo then the terrorists will have made their point.

Smart Alec said...

Was this a case of the inexpiable killing the indefensible?