Wednesday, 7 January 2015

The Charlie Hebdo attack is terrible. Let's respond like adults.

It shouldn't need to be said, but it does.

I believe that it is possible to be against hate speech while also believing that people do not deserve to be gunned down for saying things that I consider hate speech.

I believe in criticising fundamentalist religion without attacking the fundamentals of a religion.

I believe that one can object in the strongest terms to the attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, and yet find the idea that the way we protest this is to 'republish the images the killers want to suppress', as Johann Hari urges, morally troubling.

Do I have to explain why? Do I have to talk of shouting fire in a crowded theatre? Do I have to get tactical, and talk about the strategy of tension? Must I paint you a picture explaining how the best way to convince more angry, alienated young Muslim men that the West is full of juvenile, spiteful Islamophobes is by uncritically defending a magazine which ran a cartoon captioned with the phrase 'The Koran is shit', showing that book being literally shot full of holes?

Do I need to say two wrongs don't make a right?

And do I need to point out that this attack wasn't today's only act of terrorism?

Do we need to think about that?

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