On Respecting Disrespectful Charlie

Je ne suis pas Charlie
Read time: 8 minutes

Following the events this past week in Paris, where 17 people died as a result of Muslim extremists attacking the leftist satirical newspaper Chalie Hebdo, I have been thinking quite a bit about how to react to it. I have watched people in the West react with shock and unbelief, I have seen the defiant reaction of cartoonists and journalists worldwide (although apparently not universally), the far right has gained momentum, radical Muslims have praised the actions of the attackers, I have seen moderate Muslims claim they denounce the attack, but lament that they themselves are in fact the real victims, and I have seen stories relating to bombings and massacres in Africa and the Middle East be largely ignored. While most of the West rushed to social media to pledge their support with #JeSuisCharlie ("I am Charlie"; including past and present Archbishops of Canterbury), I have been deeply uncomfortable with this. Read more …