Friday, 9 January 2015

Notes on Charlie Hebdo.


As my friend Chris Horner posted on Facebook:

1. The Hebdo murders were despicable, disgusting, awful. The people who did it must be caught and dealt with - preferably in a courtroom. It seems now very likely they've been killed: I've no sympathy for them.
2. The killings prove nothing about Islam, religion, immigration, France etc. Anything you know now, you knew 48 hours ago.
3. The nature of the magazine is irrelevant to the points above. Whether its cartoons were nasty and racist all, some or none of the time is a completely separate point. The writers didn't deserve this. No one does.
4. It's not disloyal to their memory, nor is it to condone the killings to raise issues about the kinds of things our governments have done, and still do, that helped to contribute to the situation in which those murders occurred. And the question of Islamophobia is an entirely legitimate one in that context.
5. A lot of nasty racists on the right as well as a distinct group of nasty, extremist 'Islamists' have the shared goal of promoting a 'war of civilisations'. An assortment of miscellaneous commentators and opportunists are also sounding off in the usual manner, in ways that don't help us to avoid this. Don't pass on their virus of fear and hate.
6. Try to think rationally. Remember it's possible to hold more than one thought at the same time. Don't conflate things that are distinct, but don't deny the way things are connected either.
7. Remember that the vast majority of people are decent, and that the killers and the fanatics of all stripes are an amplified minority, and a tiny one at that. Stand up, not for 'our side' but for the universal that struggles to be visible in all this: help make it visible.

3 comments:

Steve Oram said...

Great post. Pretty much my thoughts.

Steven J. Oram said...

Succinctly put. Pretty much my thoughts exactly.

JT White said...

Thanks, Steve. Glad to hear it. :)