It’s been a tragic week in Paris. The attacks, as graphic as they are, shocked adults all over the world, but I wonder what affect it has had on younger generations? I don’t know if that’s what the media is saying or what, but the attacks seem to be becoming more frequent. There has certainly been a lot of right-wing noise in the media, especially from one Australian tycoon, not the most popular person on earth, who made unsavory comments about all Muslims having to take responsibility for what happened. There was also quotes from the US satirist, Bill Maher, who calls himself liberal, saying similar things, about Muslims thinking alike. For someone who thinks himself as intelligent, I expected a little more from him. A Fox News “Terrorist Expert” has been trying to spin the story about there being too many Muslims im Europe, saying that my home city Birmingham cannot be entered by non-Muslims, which is hilarious (and Jasper Carrott is an Imam!). The reporter has since retracted his statements, saying they are erroneous (like most Fox News reports), and is donating money to Birmingham Children’s Hospital as an apology. The latest consensus in Birmingham reported that there were 1.1 million people living in Brum, of which 800,000 were non-Muslims.
The Muslim population is about a billion, I read somewhere. Don’t know if that’s true. I worked at the Refugee Council in Birmingham which had a large percentage of Muslim workers, many of whom are still good mates. I cannot see them for the life of me justifying the attacks in anyway. I think it showed in the marches in Paris over the weekend the anger that many Muslims feel about what’s happened. All Muslims should not be held responsible. Those who preach violence or racism should be, just as any terrorist or fanatic of any faith or race should be. It’s so sad to see the state of chaos it has caused.
This evening, on Facebook, I have seen a group passing around called “Yo No Soy Charlie”, which is a kind of counter group to “Je suis Charlie”, in the aftermath of the attacks; a way of remembering those who died and to stand up to terror. This Yo No Soy Charlie is in no way justifying the deaths, but it is organised by people who have seen various cartoons by Charlie Hebdo, and questions their taste and whether it really is humour. I have found some of drawings quite provocative and eyebrow raising, and I am all for freedom of expression and thought provoking art. Is this really thought provoking, or just offensive?
Standing up to radicals and politicians is fine by me; especially satirically. The closest we may have in the UK to Charlie, I guess, is Viz, but that’s more smutty humour than satirics. The above picture is obviously caused to ruffle feathers of the Catholic church, maybe to provoke equal rights to gays or have a cheeky laugh, but you can see how the above picture would upset radical christians, just like something similar with Allah or Mohammed might upset radicals in Islam, which has left many people, especially in Honduras, thinking something like this was bound to happen. I guess the world awaits to see how Charlie Hebdo responds, and you only wish the families of the deceased that they rest in peace.
After these tragic events and every other terrorist attack or Holy War in God’s name, I wonder if God looks down, head in his hand, and thinks, “How on earth did my words get so damn twisted?!”