Friday, January 08, 2016

Condeming Hatred

The anniversary edition of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo at a printing house near Paris.
This week marks the first anniversary of the senseless and cowardly murders of several workers for the magazine Charlie Hebdo, along with a police officer who responded to the attacks. It was awful, violent religious extremism, and sadly not the last such outrage. Yesterday French police killed another attacking extremist. We should condemn hatred of any kind perpetrated in God's name. Come to think of it, we should condemn hatred in all its forms.

That's why I couldn't get on the "je suis Charlie" bandwagon last year, and why I don't have much use for the satirical magazine now. The anniversary cover depicts a caricature of an angry God with an assault rifle. The magazine seems to revel in attacking religion indiscriminately and with venom. I am dismayed that so many uphold this as freedom of speech and that as such it supersedes basic decency. To me it is just hateful and offensive. The Vatican isn't impressed either:

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican’s newspaper has criticized French weekly Charlie Hebdo for manipulating faith in the magazine’s latest front page, which depicts a blood-soaked God armed with a Kalashnikov. The controversial cover commemorates a year since the terrorist attack against Charlie Hebdo’s Paris headquarters, which left 12 people dead and led to a global debate on religious extremism and freedom of speech.“One year later, the assassin is still on the run,” reads the black-and-white front page, with a cartoon depicting a violent God.

1 comment:

roger said...

What a contentious issue. Yes, it's important to have free speech, but going out of your way to attack religion is just hateful and disrespectful.

Of course, no matter what Charlie Hebdo depicts about religion, nobody deserved to be killed for it. That goes without saying.

With the number of fanatical, radicalized-to-violence and on-the-fringe number of people out there who are literally ticking time bombs, you are asking for trouble by bringing attention to yourself by attacking religion. Yes, there's freedom of speech, but let's use some common sense and act less hatefully.