You don’t have to support Charlie Hebdo’s cartoons to support free expression

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A Charlie Hebdo building with cartoons on the doors. Photo courtesy of Brigitte Djajasasmita via Flickr.

A Charlie Hebdo building with cartoons on the doors. Photo courtesy of Brigitte Djajasasmita via Flickr.

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Anyone implying that you cannot truly support free expression unless you enthusiastically support Charlie Hebdo’s cartoons sets up a false dichotomy. Taking issue with these cartoons doesn’t make you an apologist for extremism—and suggesting otherwise isn’t just wrong, it’s harmful.

  • There’s no doubt that yesterday’s terrorist attack was motivated by Islamic religious dogma, and we shouldn’t have to tiptoe around this issue. This attack proves once again how dangerous religious dogma is to humanity.

    Having said all that, though, I do worry that this attack will fuel more discrimination and violence against Muslims, Arabs, and anyone else people read as Muslim. People tend to have trouble separating ideology from identity. Remember the Japanese internment camps of WW2?

    So I say we should speak openly against religious dogma . . . but not throw an entire group of people under the bus.

  • Pingback: So what if Charlie Hebdo *is* racist? I'm still Charlie - On Freedom()

  • Bill

    Let’s not pull the moral equivalence card. Mormons, for instance, have had to deal with the biting satire of the Book of Mormon play but I haven’t heard of one instance of violence perpetrated by a Mormon in response to that. Same with Catholics, Born Again Christians, and any other group that is now ok to criticize mercilessly. Islamic dogma seems to be singularly intolerant and violent as among all major religions.

  • vincent

    I read Charlie Hebo since 20 years, and you should have done the same before writing charlie’s contend was “Islamophobic, homophobic, misogynistic, and racist”. That’s absolutely false, it’s just the opposite. We enjoy making fun about everything. religion, politics, racists, integrism, capitalism, sexism, death, etc… and I defy you to find an ounce of hate. Charlie is laic and against radicalism , absolutely not islamophobic, and we can’t stand reading it as sometimes racist. Charlie’s first victim has always been french far right party of the le pen family.

  • Lamont Cranston

    “I support free speech , but…”

    I condemn the but brigade.