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In the name of “respect” of religions

Jan 8th, 2015 5:33 pm | By

Maryam also rejects the claim that the people at Charlie Hebdo brought the massacre on themselves or even perhaps deserved it.

A quick look at the English-speaking media shows that whilst many condemn the violence itself, they also assert that Charlie Hebdo courted (and maybe deserved?) a strong response from “Muslims”. Charlie’s regular cartoonists did not spare Islam, any other religion, nor fanatics and bigots.

This trend in the media requires our attention. Apparently secularists, agnostics and atheists must keep silent and do not deserve the kind of respect that believers are entitled to; nor can they enjoy free speech to the same degree.

Religion and religious figures deserve respect; people with no religion and thus no religious figures – … Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



Charlie Hebdo is not racist

Jan 8th, 2015 4:52 pm | By

Salty Current has a post explaining the nature of Charlie Hebdo’s satire.

In 2011, I recommended a documentary about the paper and their struggles surrounding the publication of anti-Islamist cartoons. What struck me in the film, surprising given the paper’s (often self-promoted) image as not just irreverent but irresponsible, was how thoughtfully the people at Charlie Hebdo approached humor in this case.

Guess what, they didn’t approach it the way, say, Ricky Gervais does, basically saying that (as Salty puts it) “humor should offend.”

The attitude of the editors at Charlie Hebdo, as shown in the film, was quite different.

They recognized the potential for harm to innocent people and went to great lengths to avoid, as

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Nous sommes

Jan 8th, 2015 2:16 pm | By

Photos via Stephanie Beauge of AFP on Twitter:

New York Times World @nytimesworld · 4 hours ago
A crowd gathered in Toulouse for the national moment of silence for the #CharlieHebdo victims http://nyti.ms/1tR6TG7

This one made me choke up:

Grégoire Lemarchand @greglemarchand · 5 hours ago
#JeSuisCharlie #AFP

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Bodies lay strewn on the streets

Jan 8th, 2015 1:50 pm | By

Meanwhile things continue to get more horrendous every day in northern Nigeria.

Bodies lay strewn on the streets of a key north-eastern Nigerian town following an assault by militant Islamists, officials have told the BBC.

The Boko Haram group attacked Baga town on Wednesday, after over-running a military base there on Saturday, they said.

Almost the entire town had been torched and the militants were now raiding nearby areas, they added.

Musa Alhaji Bukar, a senior government official in the area, said that fleeing residents told him that Baga, which had a population of about 10,000, was now “virtually non-existent”.

“It has been burnt down,” he told the BBC Hausa service.

Ten thousand people either killed or driven … Read the rest

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Free expression without the right to criticise religion is meaningless

Jan 8th, 2015 1:01 pm | By

Maryam wrote a letter to Charlie Hebdo’s editor-in-chief, Gerard Biard.

Dear Gerard

I spoke on a panel with you in November last year at the International Feminist and Secular Network in Paris.

I am writing to express my outrage at the cold-blooded murder of freethinkers at Charlie Hebdo today and to give my unequivocal support.

Freedom of expression and the criticism of religion and Islam are basic rights. Clearly, free expression without the right to criticise religion is meaningless. Throughout history, criticism of religion (that which is deemed sacred or taboo) has been intrinsic to human progress.

And that, of course, is exactly why the murderous theocrats hate it and kill it wherever they can. They don’t want human … Read the rest

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Raif Badawi will get his first installment of lashes tomorrow

Jan 8th, 2015 11:47 am | By

A press release from CFI – more horror in the world – this time not from people we can safely label terrorists but from our motherfucking allies. This isn’t black-clad murderers storming an office in Paris, it’s Saudi Arabia in all its respectable state glory, meting out ONE THOUSAND LASHES to Raif Badawi for the crime of uttering humanist values in public.

Raif Badawi, the Saudi Arabian human rights activist serving a decade in prison for “insulting Islam” and running a liberal website, will begin to suffer the first 50 of his 1000 lashes tomorrow morning, the Center for Inquiry has learned. CFI demands that the Saudi Arabian government end this persecution, forego this brutal punishment, and free Raif

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They’re filling the streets in Amsterdam

Jan 8th, 2015 11:25 am | By

Via Twitter

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We all are

Jan 8th, 2015 11:22 am | By

Last night one of the items in the BBC World Service’s coverage of the Charlie Hebdo massacre was sound from the Paris protest: people chanting “je m’appelle Charlie” over and over. It made me lachrymose all over again – somehow the “je m’appelle” was an extra tug.

This is agonizing to look at too.

Via BipartisanReportRead the rest

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Putting out the light

Jan 8th, 2015 11:14 am | By

Via NBC Nightly News on Twitter:

NBC Nightly News ‏@NBCNightlyNews 8 minutes ago
PHOTOS: Eiffel Tower goes dark in honor of those killed in yesterday’s terror attack pic.twitter.com/186xbDsvuz

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Silence won’t help

Jan 8th, 2015 11:08 am | By

Shaheen Hashmat addresses the problem of what to do when a religion is hijacked by violent fanatics.

I am not religious myself, but I do come from a Muslim background. I know how widely beliefs and values can differ within the same family. And I have first-hand experience of how difficult it can be to express criticism, or opposing viewpoints, to those who are conservative in their outlook. Especially when they are close relatives.

It’s this feeling that, many agree, has led to the identity crisis currently occurring within Islam. There is much disagreement among Muslims themselves about which is the true interpretation to follow.

Of course the actions of radical sects are unacceptable by any moral code

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That fatal word “but”

Jan 8th, 2015 10:43 am | By

Via Gnu Atheism on Facebook:

 … Read the rest

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Tehmina Kazi counts some ways not to respond

Jan 8th, 2015 10:14 am | By

Tehmina tackles nine false assumptions about the Charlie Hebdo massacre.

False Assumption One

‘Charlie Hebdo magazine was needlessly provocative’

Manufacturers of outrage and assorted agitators do not need any kind of ‘provocation’ for their actions. When Jyllands-Posten published the Danish cartoons in September 2005, protests in Muslim-majority countries did not start until four months later.

The outrage and the resulting protests (and riots and killings) were worked up. They were worked up by some reactionary clerics, one of whom has since publicly regretted what he did.

False Assumption Four

‘Not in Our Name campaigns are helpful’

As well-intentioned as these undoubtedly are, the ‘Not in my name’ campaigns spearheaded by Muslims send out a problematic subliminal message to

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Religious ideas are not immune from scrutiny, criticism or ridicule

Jan 8th, 2015 9:58 am | By

A cringe-free statement from  Charlie Klendjian, Secretary of the Lawyers’ Secular Society:

The Lawyers’ Secular Society condemns unequivocally the attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo which has left at least twelve people dead.

But that is the easy part. Equally unequivocally, we affirm the right to free speech even – indeed especially – where this mocks, offends and ridicules religious sensibilities.

The first word we should hear after the statement “free speech is important” is“therefore”. It is not “but”.

Precisely. I’ve been hearing way too many “buts” about Charlie Hebdo. Way too many “but it’s not ok to mock anyone’s sacred figures.” Nonsense. If it’s not ok to mock the sacred, then we’re all … Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



Mo and Jesus sont Charlie Hebdo

Jan 8th, 2015 9:34 am | By

The latest Jesus and Mo:

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Cartoonists across the world are uniting against bloodshed and violence

Jan 7th, 2015 4:28 pm | By

Via Anonymous:

Anonymous  ‏@AnonRRD 10m10 minutes ago
#CharlieHebdo: Cartoonists across the world are uniting against bloodshed and violence. pic.twitter.com/hjWhzvGChF

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Paris tonight

Jan 7th, 2015 4:20 pm | By

Via Jenan Moussa:

Paris tonight. What a pic. @akhbar #CharlieHebdo

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Which purport to strike a blow for freedom

Jan 7th, 2015 4:16 pm | By

Nick Cohen in the Spectator quotes the (paywalled) Financial Times on Charlie Hebdo:

Charlie Hebdo is a bastion of the French tradition of hard-hitting satire. It has a long record of mocking, baiting and needling Muslims.

Two years ago the magazine published a 65-page strip cartoon book portraying the Prophet’s life. And this week it gave special coverage to Soumission (“Submission”), a new novel by Michel Houellebecq, the idiosyncratic author, which depicts France in the grip of an Islamic regime led by a Muslim president.

This is not in the slightest to condone the murderers, who must be caught and punished, or to suggest that freedom of expression should not extend to satirical portrayals of religion. It is merely

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Still drawing

Jan 7th, 2015 3:59 pm | By

The Australian shares some cartoons in response to the murders at Charlie Hebdo.

David Pope’s is sharp.

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Red card

Jan 7th, 2015 3:30 pm | By

Taslima has a connection to Charlie Hebdo.

 · 7h7 hours ago

Charlie Hebdo has been supporting my freedom of expression.

Check it out – she’s on the cover of issue 120.

 … Read the rest

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You can’t put a price on freedom of the press

Jan 7th, 2015 3:24 pm | By

More photos, via a reply to a tweet of Taslima’s.

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