I am re-posting from my tumblr here. If you find this written twice, have no fear, I have not stolen, I just do not want to reveal my tumblr to the WordPress world.
I’ve had a long think about Charlie Hebdo and, tbh, I think a lot of tumblr isn’t quite getting the point. But then, some folk are being utterly unconditional in the way they are approaching the magazine that is just so revisionist as to appear insincere in their support for the victims
This article is so on point:
“defense of the right does not in the slightest bit entail defense of the practice.”
Je suis Charlie because I have the right to dislike the cartoon.
I think there is sufficient evidence to suggest Charlie Hebdo has published racist cartoons.
Someone that defends this as a ‘critique of all religions and all people’ are disingenuous insofar as they do not recognise the context. Europe is a breeding ground for hatred, xenophobia and islamophobia. My family are Turkish Muslims. If they were living in Vienna right now, for instance, they’d be faced with a climate where they are singularly rejected by that society. Far-right parties are growing because of what the cartoon represents. Free speech for minorities often means being ostracized and living in danger. The magazine exists on a continent where anti-Islam cartoons resonate more and have far greater implications than an anti-Christian cartoon. To reject that context is to make your argument unsound.
If you have a nudging doubt about what the cartoon and magazine’s content represents, but still unconditionally support the magazine as a sole entity without being uncritical and you are seeking to evangelize its history, that support is insincere.
You can offer support without being a revisionist.
You can point out that satire isn’t satire if it attacks the vulnerable (in this case, European Muslims), you can point out that this cartoon isn’t a ‘genius critique’, but exists to incite islamophobia.
In my eyes, this is true.
And yet, I am allowed to dislike the implications of this cartoon, and call it out, because of the very free speech that birthed its existence.
Supporting Charlie Hebdo’s peaceful existence, its very right to the free reign of its pen, does not endorse its use of that pen.
Je suis Charlie because supporting the right of free expression does not endorse its content.
Je suis Charlie because I have the right to be offended by that cartoon, and to write this sentence where I resolutely oppose what the cartoon represents.
Je suis Charlie because I believe they have used the right of free speech in a bad way, but I have the free speech to say so.
Supporting Charlie Hebdo’s free speech in no way necessitates endorsing free speech to incite islamophobia.
You can say je suis Charlie and not LIKE the cartoon.
I should support the over-arching message of the rally today because I am allowed to dislike that cartoon and dislike Charlie Hebdo.
I am not saying I am the cartoonist behind that cartoon, I am saying I am the principle upon which that cartoon was drawn, the same principle that allows me to be openly offended by it without fear of being shot.
I am Charlie’s free speech, and yet not Charlie’s use of that free speech. and this is MY use of free speech.
I support the right but not its practise. And that’s ok.