Yes those terrorist were cowards. To be brave would be to live in France and sue Charlie Hebdo for every last cartoon they have ever published on the basis that it inspires hatred and bias. Death threats only make people defiant...drawn out lawsuits make people see reason.
Let us not forget France did this to the places these people come from.
Freedom for Algeria, the largest country in Africa and the Arab world, called time on a savage period of history in which some 1.5 million Algerians died, most in aerial bombing raids and ratissages – jargon used to describe the way in which army units "combed through" cities and towns slaughtering those they came across. Hundreds of thousands more were tortured as an entire nation was made to pay for resisting the might of an overseas "master" to whom it had been subjugated for 132 years.
Yet one of them still was willing to lay down their life for French law order and freedom.
January 9, 2015 Click for larger image.
It is really easy for a heterosexual, non immigrant, white, male, living in the west who is never the target of these things* to be so certain that there is not a racial dimension to these things. Hatred of white people by the terrorist, cause in part by a life time of oppression by other white people, colored by Islamic radicalism. France, like Germany, still has an active and dangerous right wing of its politics.
There have been NUMEROUS GUN and GRENADE attacks on mosque all over France since this terrorist attack.
France has real problems which need to be faced head on for what they are. They are Xenophobic, just ask any American or British person who's been there. Americans deny being American when they go there. Imagine what life is like for a French Algerian, if you can. To me the segregation, and discrimination they live under would feel like living in the American South in the Late 60's or early 70's. Segregation, and entrenched defacto and dejure discrimination in a land where people like George Wallace, but French, can still get lots of votes.
I work at a city college of Chicago named from Malcolm X. Malik Al-Shabbaz Al-Hajj a man who was radicalized in prison, called whites blue eyed devils, and traveled to the Middle East, then came back less radical. Would that ever happen in France? Would a deradicalized Algerian ever have that? I don't think so.
The most infuriating thing about this is the death of 12 people has occurred to no effect other than to give cover to some of the worst elements of French society over a magazine that wasn't that great. Those people did not die for free speech, they died for a magazine that many journalist who are familiar with it say would be shut down for hate speech if it was in the USA. We discovered a long time ago that if you yell fire in a crowded theater the right of free speech does not protect you.
The best cartoon I've seen about this.
Here are some words from the cartoonist about this one.
Carlos Latuff, who has also received attention after his latest cartoon, described the effects of Charlie Hebdo attack on Islam. Latuff portrayed two gunmen aiming and firing at a Charlie Hebdo building, but behind that shooting at mosques. Latuff says that Islam is also the victim of the attack.
"A real tragedy. Nobody should be punished for ideas. I never agreed with the editorial line of Charlie Hebdo, but also won't support this kind of brutal reaction. No doubt, this is completely counterproductive and will backfire against Muslim communities all around Europe and abroad. "
We see it happening already but the big media will not tell anyone about it here.
*If you happen to be Jewish and have experienced antisemitism, or Mormon and experienced anit-Mormonism, first hand then I am in the wrong for saying that. In the USA to be "just white" you have to be protestant too really be in. Romney would be president but for his religion.
I SAY AGAIN LOUDLY NOTHING JUSTIFIES WHAT THOSE TERRORIST DID. JUST AS TERRORISM WOULD NOT JUSTIFY INJUSTICE AGAINST RANDOM FRENCH ALGERIANS. This issue is just way more complex than many would like for it to be.
By the by.... you know an office of the NAACP was bombed in Colorado Springs right.
UPDATE: I have to add some cartoons showing what I mean by Charlie Hebdo being in the eyes of a colored person a hateful and racist magazine in terms of who it targeted again and again for its satire. I will thank the very good bloggers who collected these greatest hits.
In the Wake of Charlie Hebdo, Free Speech Does Not Mean Freedom From Criticism
This one is not quite self explainatory. They are calling the young women and girls kidnapped and rapped by BokoHaram terrorist, islamic terrorist in Nigeria as future welfare queens. The accusation against non-white citizens of EU countries, or former EU colonies with rights of easy immigration is that they are all just sucking welfare off the hard working white man. Sounds like something we hear in the states. This is not just a fringe thing.....
Cameron, Merkel united on EU immigrant welfare abuse
Last but not least. While I am not a very religious Muslim I am a Muslim. Have been for years (Noice the arabic in my title graphic.) I understand the sensitivities around depicting the Prophet Muhammad Peace and blessince be upon him. However, the following images are not pictures of Mohammed. No, no one knows what Mohammed looked like other than that he was a Hejazi Arab. He could have looked like the Hashemite King of Jordan.
He could have looked like the current King of Saudi Arabia.
My point here is that any random image of an Arab male is more a "Image of you " than any of these cartoons is. So as you view these realize they were not just taking shots at a religious figure but at a whole group of people abroad....but undeniably mostly those who were present and living in their own country would be effected. I won't put up these cartoons but take a look INSIDE the famous Charia Hebdo issue and judge for yourself.
I feel compelled to mention one of the most eloquent Islamist ever. Malcolm-X a man who once called white men the devil. A man who traveled to the middle east and came back less radical. I now teach atone of Chicago's great institutions of higher learning named after him*.