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“I am Charlie Hebdo”

Two gunmen in balaclavas and bullet-proof vests, armed with a pump-action shotgun and an automatic rifle, stormed into the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo at about 11.30am as about 15 journalists had gathered for the weekly editorial conference. They called for the editor by name and then murdered him before spraying the room with gunfire, killing nine more and wounding others. Laurent Léger, a Charlie Hebdo writer, managed to sound the alarm, calling a friend and telling him: “Call the police. It’s carnage, a bloodbath. Everyone is dead.”

As they made their getaway, the gunmen shot dead two policemen, including one who they shot in the head at close range as he lay injured on the pavement.

The two attackers then jumped into a small black Citroën that they had apparently arrived in and drove off. Police said there was a third man involved in the attack, who had driven the car to the magazine offices, on rue Nicolas Appert in the 11th arrondissement in eastern Paris, and it is not clear whether he fled the scene during the attack.

The gunmen abandoned the Citroën in the 19th arrondissement, in the north-east of the capital before hijacking another car. Police said the attackers had then had gone to ground, leaving a nation in shock.

The attack was the bloody culmination of a long-simmering struggle between France’s libertarian traditions of free speech and an increasingly extreme strand of Islamism. Witnesses described hearing the attackers shout “Allahu Akbar” as well as “We have avenged the Prophet.” Two eyewitnesses said they claimed to be from al-Qaida. One of them specified al-Qaida in Yemen, a group also known as al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula.

Source

The French are often despised by the English for being “cheese eating surrender monkeys” as a consequence of their capitulation to the invading Nazis during the second world war so It is heartening to see that they are on this occasion not being at all meek in their response to this outrage. To be frank there is no reason to make excuses for Islam after this assault upon every writer’s freedom of speech. Yet I am certain that there will be elements of the left who will do just that. Without the right to treat the totalitarian religion of our age with the utter contempt that it so clearly deserves we are all slaves to its propagators and as someone observed on twitter “It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees” (who said that before?) maybe its time for all of the fourth estate to stop pussy footing around with the followers of Islam, to tell them that they are not going to win and that theirs is a religion that is totally unacceptable in a modern world. maybe its time for all of us who have a presence in the public media discourse to stand up and say “I am Charlie Hebdo” just as the slaves in revolt against Rome all stood up and said “I am Spartacus”*

Angry again Comrades

Charliehebdo

*well according to the film anyway

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8 Comments

  1. Craig Warton says:

    I am always amazed by the number of left leaning friends I have who will post endless items (on Facebook) ridiculing Christianity yet fall over themselves to defend Islam and abuse – yes abuse – anyone who makes a joke about it. I am not religious and have no problem with people taking the mickey out of Christians, but all other religions – including Islam should be open for the same treatment. Yet the media out here won’t publish a cartoon for fear it offends? talk about putting a religion up on a pedestal that it simply does not deserve. It is about time the Muslims are made to realise that they are free to have their religion, like anyone else. But if they don’t like what someone else says about their belief system then they can just harden up and deal with it like anybody else. We are going mad.

  2. Sam Loy says:

    Iain, a couple of points. One, you’re absolutely right that some on the left appear to be justifying the attack with recourse to reductive arguments like “something, something imperialism” and “something, something institutionalised oppression”. Give me a fucking break.
    But I do need to question your generalist statement that Islam is unacceptable in a modern world. I personally think that no religion has a place in a modern world that should be dominated by reason and science. (How pathetically mystifying that I have cause to write that a couple of centuries after the Enlightenment.) Yet I don’t see why all “propagators” need to be punished.
    Indeed in the article you quoted, it qualifies matters by stating that this was the result of “an increasingly extreme strand of Islamism”.
    I find it exhausting that everyday-Muslims see the need to immediately take a defensive stance and assume the role of victim. They should shut-up and mourn with us, because they us.
    But I find it equally exhausting that others view those everyday-Muslims as proxies for the blame and the rage which needs must be directed elsewhere.
    We do need to make a stand. We must stand against any who would use fear, violence, and intimidation to force their worldview onto others. And when we’re through mourning this awful crime, we should recognise that this modus operandi is not only used by extremist Muslims.

  3. Sam Loy says:

    The above should read: “We do NEED to make a stand.”

  4. Iain Hall says:

    Fixed your typo Sam

  5. Iain Hall says:

    Sam

    firstly welcome to the Sandpit

    Iain, a couple of points. One, you’re absolutely right that some on the left appear to be justifying the attack with recourse to reductive arguments like “something, something imperialism” and “something, something institutionalised oppression”. Give me a fucking break.

    Agreed, the left are incredibly silly when it comes to the excesses done in the name of Allah, I think that they are so wedded to the idea that the west and its capitalism is “evil” that they feel as if they have been painted into a corner and that they can not make the logical step towards believing that for all of its faults the West and its capitalist economy, is a far lesser evil than the sort of theocratic totalitarianism that the Islamists dream of imposing on our world

    But I do need to question your generalist statement that Islam is unacceptable in a modern world. I personally think that no religion has a place in a modern world that should be dominated by reason and science. (How pathetically mystifying that I have cause to write that a couple of centuries after the Enlightenment.) Yet I don’t see why all “propagators” need to be punished.
    Indeed in the article you quoted, it qualifies matters by stating that this was the result of “an increasingly extreme strand of Islamism”.

    The reason that Christianity is no longer burning heretics and willing to accept both dissent and even open mockery is because it had the reformation and the protestant notion that each of us has right to perceive the deity as we please or not at all. There is no compulsion in Christianity to “defend” its God or to punish those who mock him either frankly I think that Islam is a religion that treats all of its followers as stupid children who have to have every aspect of their lives prescribed.

    I find it exhausting that everyday-Muslims see the need to immediately take a defensive stance and assume the role of victim. They should shut-up and mourn with us, because they us.

    Yes I know how you feel on that point

    But I find it equally exhausting that others view those everyday-Muslims as proxies for the blame and the rage which needs must be directed elsewhere.
    We do need to make a stand. We must stand against any who would use fear, violence, and intimidation to force their worldview onto others.

    I have written about the pernicious aspects of Islam a great deal at this blog over the last decade but I have always made the appropriate distinctions between the ideology and its followers

    And when we’re through mourning this awful crime, we should recognise that this modus operandi is not only used by extremist Muslims.

    Yes of course

  6. richard ryan says:

    Free speech with respect——the pen is mightier than the sword, so they say, but it ran out off ink for those lot of wordsmiths I shed no tears for these media abusers.

  7. Richard Ryan says:

    No more Aussie-Aussie–oi oi in Bali I see, the riff raff of Australia are behaving I see.

  8. Richard Ryan says:

    Australia powers to be set up the Bali nine—-now some of them are going to get the slug.

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