Je Suis Charlie

I can’t put it better than this blog post from the Spectator. And these cartoons.

Probably the most important thing we can do is to keep satirising, and keep puncturing the pomposity of people and institutions. No exemptions, no special cases. These are challenging times, and if we bow our heads and hold our tongues in the name of safety, we shall lose everything. Some politicians, and Nigel Farage has predictably but shamefully done it already, will imply that the muslim populations in our countries are the enemy within. To be muslim is not synonymous with being a terrorist.


30 thoughts on “Je Suis Charlie

    • It was like an execution with the names of the people they really wanted to kill being called out. Chilling. And this won’t be the end.
      Thanks for the additional cartoons. I like the one with God saying “pas eux..”
      Wolinski was always my favourite Charlie hebdo cartoonist.

    • Let’s hope those shows of solidarity translate into a union with our Muslim neighbours. I imagine some will be quite fearful about being out and about today.

    • Did you go to the links in the linked piece? I am pleasantly surprised by the Spectator. In the days and weeks to come, I imagine we will see a deal of self-censorship.

  1. It was a chilling massacre and we must stand against it and stand for freedom of speech. You are right, Isobel. Thanks for the links to the Spectator blogs.

    • Already last night there were signs of a backlash against Muslim communities. Standing up for justice and free speech is likely to be a lot harder than it sounds.

  2. Isobel, thank you for bringing the Spectator piece to my attention. I appreciated its long-viewed perspective, the self-examination, the thoughtful modeling that this is a complex and intractable problem and simplistic solutions to justify retaliatory violence will solve nothing. I am desolated and grief-stricken. And also I’m troubled and disturbed at the synchronicity of the caption on the cartoon. My French isn’t colloquial enough to grasp the precise flavor of the “100 coups de fouet,” but the “if you’re not dead from laughing” is clear enough. And so bloody tragic. People are just dead. And not from laughing.

    • I woke up thinking about this. Ian Hislop has written a considered piece too, but I feel if any good is to come out of this we need to show solidarity not simply with the people murdered yesterday but with the suffering population of Syria. There, cartoonists have also been murdered, at least one has had his hands smshed, but we have not seen a large scale respnse in the west. Instead our politicians talk about quotas, and managing immigration. If I were Syrian I would want to get out now. Perhaps if we open our borders and our hearts, give them support and refuge now when they need it, together we stand a chance of building a new Syria they can return to. I think we should be saying not just ‘Je suis Charlie’, but ‘I am Syrian’.

  3. Hi Isobel,
    “100 coups de fouet” just means what it means: 100 strokes from the whip – 100 whiplashes. That’s a current punishment in some countries… The “point” is in the “mort de rire” of course (and note Charia Hebdo instead of Charlie Hebdo).

    What do average citizens bear in Syria??? We talk about Charlie Hebdo, which was a real slap in my face, as I have known and loved these cartoonist for so many years, but what about these ships wandering in the ocean, adrift, with hundred of people on board, people who paid 3000 to 7000 euros, which means months or years of wages, which means families and friends helped to raise that amount… How can you do this to your next of kin?

    Where are we going to? Am I old, or is this world really going nowhere? Young people, please stand up and show us money is not everything in this world.

    • I do understand what the French says, it’s my second language, or are you explaining for the benefit of Nadbugs?

      I agree with you about Syria and about the refugee ships, which is why I think we should perhaps be wearing badges that say I am Syrian, and trying to do something to wake our governments up.

      Politicians here talk about immigrants, quotas and economic refugees. If I were Syrian I should be trying to escape. But I imagine I should also hope to return one day to a new, happier Syria.

  4. It was for Nadbugs indeed… I agree with you: one would try to escape, but logically wish to go “home”. I am so pessimistic about all these things, Isobel! I am really afraid for the future.

  5. The problems currently in our world seem insurmountable, and there seems to be no simple answer. I have lived in France for ten years and have been appalled at the attack unleashed on the people of Charlie Hebdo, and the innocent hostages. A trail of death and destruction left by deluded fanatics. Sometimes I think it’s almost impossible to try and blend different cultures together. Reading the BBC news this morning I came upon this piece about a male blogger in Saudi Arabia being flogged for insulting Islam: Harmony with peoples who think like this is surely many, many moons away?
    PS. I found your blog through Pix & Karz – another cat lover!

    • Nice to meet you!
      I agree these are worrying times. The more so when you hear Marine Le Pen and Nigel Farage making political capital out of people’s fears.
      One would hope this would now spark serious debate and make people look at conditions in Syria and recognise the humanitarian crisis there which we in the west are doing very little to alleviate.
      AI published the info about the Saudi man, you can go to their site to offer support. They poiint out he committed no actual offence, but was trying to open a debate.

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