12 Jan, 2015 @ 14:37
2 mins read

The Charlie Hebdo journalists did not deserve to die


IF, a week ago you had mentioned Charlie Hebdo to someone you knew they probably wouldn’t have known what you were talking about… maybe an American clothing company or some such…?

Tragically, following the events in Paris last Thursday that is no longer the case and the name ‘Charlie Hebdo’ rings around the world as a chilling reminder of what we, infidels, living in our western cocoon now face and sadly it will not be the last such attack.

They say that all publicity is good publicity but I fear that in this case that surely belies the truth… Charlie Hebdo is a small, weekly satirical magazine which bases most of its humour on cartoons…

It is well known for making a target of the ‘humourless’ side of the Muslim world and had been targeted before on a number of occasions. Most notably, its offices were firebombed following their reproduction of the famous Danish cartoon mocking the prophet Mohammed some years ago and indeed its place of work in central Paris was under police guard at the time of this monstrous attack… little good did it do them or those guarding them who were also shot down.

To say that this attack was an attack on us all and all the various freedoms we enjoy in the modern world is, of course, a cliché, but unfortunately it’s one that is true.

The fact is, all press and media is ‘provocative’. The Olive Press, on which you are reading these uncensored words is a popular and lively ‘campaigning’ newspaper for the expat population of Spain with a wide and disparate readership ranging from the Times, Telegraph and Guardian readers of Sotogrande and Gaucin to the tabloid reading populations of Benalmadena and Torremolinos (apologies for the generalisation…I have no wish to ‘offend’) and has to cater to all tastes but it still ‘offends’.

But I doubt that even in their darkest moments, those offended imagined picking up a Kalashnikov and wiping out the entire staff. You may think I am being flippant but actually I’m trying to make a point, not very well perhaps, but you probably get it; whether you are just a reader or you work in the media, be it in print or on radio, be it the Olive Press or the Sunday Times this week has seen an attack on YOU and your values. We need to stand against this kind of psychic and physical bullying… with bombs and bullets?… clearly not, but merely with a continuation of the type of mockery and satire that led to this outrage in the first place.

Because if we allow this to go unpunished and unacknowledged and fail to stand up to these people in the only way we can, we will all suffer whatever our political and moral beliefs.

I will leave you on a note with regard to press reaction to this event…in Britain, as one might expect, the reaction was guarded – none of the papers reprinted any of the offending cartoons or allowed tributes despite the efforts of several of the country’s leading cartoonists so to do (blocked by the editors!).

To quote Ian Hislop, editor of the daddy of all satirical magazines, ‘Private Eye’ and well known TV pundit (Mock the Week, Have I got News for you): “We don’t do satire on Islamic Fundamentalism…’cause we’re sh*t scared…”

Nice one, Ian. That just about says it all. As for the Spanish Press, a much braver body of work, almost every paper including ABC, El Pais, El Mundo etc. either reproduced the offending cartoons or produced versions of their own in tribute to the dead journalists, some including images of the Prophet (Mohammed), so viva España in this case…at least they showed some ‘cojones’.

God bless you all (should he exist…?) and long live Charlie and its like.

Imogen Calderwood

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  1. I agree with Imogen and would add that unlike Spain, the UK has completely surrendered to political correctness and it has come back to haunt them. That is also why the UK press are running scared and Ian Hislop said what he did but why have we let this happen? Why should these bullying terrorists be allowed to hold the world to ransom in this way? Why have we sat back and allowed them to think that their beliefs and values are superior to ours?

    As I have said on here before, you cannot negotiate with islamic extremists, it is their way or no way. That said, I sense the worm is turning and things will have to change.

  2. The. UK threw in the towel years ago. Many Sharia Laws are operating by the back door, all supermarket meat is Halal, and now it seems we have a media imposed blasphemy law. Cartoons of God, Jesus are considered fair game but not the prophet.

  3. Jane,
    sadly you are guilty of hypocracy. Christians have done far worse than this and I’m not talking ancient history am I?

    The British and via their Empire always thought they were superior and always treated the ‘natives’ and their beliefs at the very least with contempt.

    Islam was centuries ahead in Al-Andaluz, centuries ahead with it’s universities and who was it that wilfully and jealousy destroyed these seats of advanced learning – you know the answer of course.

    We all know the brutality meeted out to the Palestinians and the continued theft of their lands which has been going on for decades and how the west wanted Bosnia to be destroyed, then came Iraq and Afghanistan where boys and wedding parties were murdered by remote control by CIA sitting in air conditioned offices in Nevada but you make no mention of these factual reasons – why not?

    The incredible flower of Islam was crushed by Christians and what was left is flourishing in Saudi Arabia – the Wahabi fanatics faithfully and unflinchingly bolstered by the USA – what hypocracy.

    Of course this extremism must now be wiped out but also take a look at insane apocolyptic racist American Christianity, that must be wiped out as well. Eliminating all these fanatics will leave a much safer and sane world, don’t just single out Islam.

    In the aftermath of the Charlie Hebro slaughter the way that millions and millions of ordinary French people across the political and social spectrum mobilised themselves to express their passionate belief in liberty,equality and fraternity was something to behold. I had thought that most of the values that so many ordinary French people gave their lives for in the Revolution were long dead but I was wrong – young and old, rich and poor, white and black and brown – incredible, just incredible and what was undoubtedly frightening for the French elite – they did’nt organize or control these huge demonstrations it was spontaneous. Hearts and minds in unity – now that is what I call democracy – by these actions the extremists were slaughtered and exposed for what they were and are – losers.

  4. Stuart, you may think I am hypocritical and of course that is your right but the jihadists are hypocritical because Islam is supposed to be a religion of peace and no part of what they are doing is peaceful.

    This whole conflict has gone way beyond history either actual or re-written. I doubt that many of the extremists give a damn about the history, they are mainly brainwashed, disaffected youths whose views are based on ideology feed to them by preachers. If you removed the history, they would still come up with a reason for carrying out acts of terrorism.

    I am peddling freedom of speech, democracy, equality and the right to live and let live. These individuals do not believe in any of those things but you are right about one thing, they are losers.

  5. Quiddy: Perish the thought, hasn’t Canny Cameron just stood shoulder to shoulder with all those other World Leaders in Paris, staunchly defending Free Speech?

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