Al Qaeda threatens Charlie Hebdo staff after republication of Mohammed cartooons, staff says

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OH boy… not again…

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I’m just always a little queasy about Hebdo. (Not that they in any way “deserved” a massacre - God no.) But that, what’s the point of parodying Islam, that just happens to be a demeaned minority religion in France?
            You already have an entire political party, the National Front, categorizing Muslim citizens as “the other”. You already have burkas, niqabs, and burkinis (!) prohibited by law in France.

(Sidenote: What’s the point of demeaning Judaism, in a country that collaborated with Nazi Germany to genocide 72,000 Jews during occupation?)

Why not think closer to home: take shots at the corruption of the Catholic Church and its timeless, systemic child abuse why don’t you?

All this Muhamed-bashing just seems like a lot of “punching down” rather than satire.

Of which I’m a fan. But you do get the point that it takes no balls to demonize an already demonized ethnicity/religion.


Satirists can, and should, punch up, down, left and right at any hypocrisy, evilness, venality, or silliness they see in society.


I would bet $100 they make fun of Catholics, for that exact reason.

Given how high up organized religion is in the power structure of the world, I think most attacks against it are indeed punching up.


That seems to rest on the unspoken, and frankly problematic, premise that attacks on a religion, its iconography, etc. are, automatically and without further demonstration, attacks on the adherents of that religion.

It wouldn’t surprise me if many people feel that way, both on the adherents side and among people who were specifically hoping to get to the adherents by doing it; but that position essentially requires that people be allowed to declare certain positions to be part of themselves, such that any attack on those positions; regardless of merit, gets treated as an attack on them.

That’s quite a blank check to write to anyone willing to get worked up about how much it hurts their feelings to have their assertions questioned.




The important background to the new terrorist threats, and the reason this is coming back into the news again, is that we’re now seeing the trials of attackers (mainly in absentia).

The survivors of these murders have had to re-live the horrors of the event in giving evidence.

So the front cover was a reaction to this. A mourning, exasperated cry of “All that violence, for nothing more than this” from the survivors and friends of the victims.


The should have the right to.

But the public also has the right to call out when said satirists make the choice to satirize, taunt, and belittle vulnerable populations, too.

Too many people conflate the right to do something with the right to do something without criticism.


But are Muslims high up in the power structure of France? That’s the awkward thing, attacking the religion without encouraging attacks on the locally relatively powerless practitioners.


Of course I’d never support attacking practitioners. And certainly one can cross the line from satire or social commentary into attacks. (Have they? I don’t know, as I haven’t followed closely.) And certainly you can have satire that is by all accounts bad taste. The example above with God getting nailed by Jesus getting nailed by the Holy Spirit is pretty crass.

But nearly 2 billion people practice it - nearly a quarter of the world’s population. I can’t see how it, as a religion, should be off the table for satire. Especially since, just like various Christian sects, it is responsible for some bad things in the world.


Totally. This whole nearly unquestioned society-wide notion that “belief” is A) a coherent concept and B) that it has special status and the ability to incorporate into person’s identities is fundamentally at the root of much of why humanity is failing the evolutionary intelligence test.

Religious ideas being one extreme form of this mind parasite, similar deal with political concept brands, national frames, cultural in-group out-group postures aka racism - all the forms of received identities that our species uses to organize resource conflict at the group level.

That said I see some of the above examples as poor examples of any form of satire or critique, they seem to be primarily deliberate attempts at upsetting people who happen to have a distinct disadvantage in terms of relative cultural power in the given context (at least in the case of Islam in France) - violent retaliation is obviously wrong and despicable, but - given the laws of large numbers - seems like a fairly predictable eventuality. I wonder how this fits into Popper’s Paradox.

So f**king delicate! It threatens their gig. Exploiters don’t like being exposed.

Oh puhleeze, Al Qaeda is so ten years ago. All the cool terrorists under thirty just make fun of them these days.


I think if the satire of Islam, and a great many other Charlie Hebdo pieces, were published here in the US, by Americans, they would be seen very differently. Charlie Hebdo has always reminded me of the Larry Flint school of humor. It may have a genuine meaning behind it, but if it is so disgusting people turn away, the message is often lost.

They certainly have the right to publish what they want. I don’t, however, have to support anyone utilizing racist or other stereotypes against oppressed minorities. These are people who in some cases are already dealing with senseless, horrific hatred, who are being murdered and oppressed by the governments of the nations they live in. These are people who have to fear men with machine guns storming into their places of worship and killing them wholesale.

If you are publishing something that right-wing, racist extremists would hang up on their wall, and share approvingly with each other on social media, maybe you should consider a more balanced, thoughtful presentation.


Slightly off topic but if you look at the negative space between the S, I and T of the Site Intel logo doesn’t it read as Shite?

This seems like an…inopportune context…to try to make that argument. If your office has already been firebombed once (2011) and placed under significant police protection on at least one other occasion it’s not really an “eh, those subaltern types are clearly too oppressed to be of concern” occasion; even before a couple of gunmen show up and shoot 23 people.

There are certainly some contexts where choosing targets nobody respectable really cares too much about is a completely sensible risk-minimization strategy; but “become highly visible symbolic target” really isn’t one of them.


I’m sure there are good people on both sides.

Your religion, the only true faith of the only true deity, is so strong that those disparaging it must be killed? Groovy. /s


How fucking weak and pathetic are your gods and prophets that they rely on small men to carry out violence on their behalf.

Or conversely how perversely hubristic and faithless are these killers to feel like they have to act on behalf of the almighty and his favored?

What a bunch of demonstrable unbelievers.