Paris saw the greatest rally in its history – between 1.5 and 3 million people were attending the Charlie Hebdo march. Barack Obama wasn't among them. Neither was Joe Biden. Or any other top U.S. official. The only visible public representative was the U.S. ambassador to France. Is that a coincidence?
In September 2012, Barack Obama spoke to the United Nations and articulated a chilling sentence "The future does not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam." One could have asked: What was he going to do to make sure that the people who slander the prophet of Islam had no future? Was he going to encourage his Algerian French friends to act?
He quotes Gandhi who said that intolerance is a form of violence. Perhaps, it is a form. But it is a totally legitimate, ethical, moral, and legal form of violence and our social system is proud about protecting our freedom to be intolerant. The miracle of the European civilization in the recent 5 centuries – which includes the U.S. – was about similar principles.
In practice, what Europe needed a few centuries ago was not just the freedom but some active defense against Islam, too.
Obama's quote above may have been chilling but it was far less explicit than the post-attack statement by the Catholic League, an NGO that defends the influence and pride of the Catholic officials in the most predetermined, animalistically instinctive way you may imagine.
In the Latest News section, one day after the NGO's boss Bill Donohue boasted that there are no atheists in the U.S. Congress now (which is about as sick as having no anticommunists in the North Korean parliament), the NGO posted an incredible text titled
[Killing must be condemned.] But neither should we tolerate the kind of intolerance that provoked this violent reaction.Sorry but in a decent, Western society, all public officials are obliged to tolerate publicly expressed negative attitudes towards Islam – or any other ideology. That's what the term "freedom" means. Donohue's call not to tolerate the freedom of expression is an assault against the basic principles of the Western society and as far as I am concerned, it would be better to deport this mammal. (His headquarters are at Manhattan.)
Donohue repeated his anti-freedom tirade in several additional ways before it gets even more shocking:
Stephane Charbonnier [the editor-in-chief] ... [was] asked why he insults Muslims, he said, “Muhammad isn’t sacred to me.” Had he not been so narcissistic, he may still be alive.Mr Donohue is not only spitting at the memory of the French artist; he is downright blackmailing others, too. The reason why Mohammed wasn't sacred to the cartoonists or why he isn't sacred to myself or any other intelligent native European isn't that we were or we are "narcissistic". It's because we are not idiots and we understand what values are important for the civilized character of our part of the world and what values are unimportant or even harmful.
Muhammad isn’t sacred to me, either, but it would never occur to me to deliberately insult Muslims by trashing him.Right, Mr Donohue, but you have nothing to boast about. It would never occur to you because 1) you are a coward, 2) just like the Muslim officials, you are literally making your living out of the human stupidity and gullibility and this painful setup is being protected by the anger of mobs of these stupid people.
One must listen to Mr Donohue to be reminded that in principle, there are aspects of Catholicism that are equally fascist as those in Islam.
“Liberty may be endangered by the abuses of liberty as well as the abuses of power.”What Charlie Hebdo was drawing wasn't an abuse of liberty – and, as expected, it doesn't endanger liberty, either.
One day later, Donohue dishonestly claimed that his words were misrepresented in another text,
Although it may be hard to understand for bigots such as Mr Donohue, irreligion – and disrespect towards the old-fashioned kinds of religion – is a modern form of a religion as well and it has at least the same (and I think that greater) "right" to control the European societies as the old-fashioned religions. So it is Mr Donohue who is posting despicable blasphemies.
Freedom of speech is not an end—it is a means to an end.Freedom of speech is a much grander goal or end than anything else that Donohue sells as "his end".
No fair-minded reading of the Preamble suggests that it was written to facilitate the right to intentionally and persistently insult people of faith with scatological commentary.Sorry, this right indeed was the very purpose of the Preamble. If the Preamble would be written to endorse just the kind of speech that doesn't insult anyone, it would be unnecessary and redundant. The nontrivial point of freedom of speech is that one has it even if others, e.g. aßholes such as Mr Donohue, find the truth inconvenient.
...everyone has a legal right to insult my religion (or the religion of others), but no one has a moral right to do so.Everyone has the moral right to say what he thinks about religion, whether it's positive or negative. The constitutional principles were indeed incorporated to codify these moral rights. Claims that "one has the legal right but not the moral right" are nothing else than tricky attempts to kill the freedom of speech again.
Can we please have this conversation, along with what to do about Muslim barbarians who kill because they are offended?We can have a conversation but we surely cannot change the society in the way that would be welcome by Al-Qaeda or Mr Donohue.
One more Donohue's rant was published another day later:
In an ideal world, Muslims who interpret the Koran to justify violence would convert to Catholicism, and artists who think they have an absolute right to insult people of faith would follow suit. If both did, we would have peace and civility.Funny – if it were meant as a joke at all.
Last night, I watched The Invasion (2007) in which peace and civility was spreading in an almost identical way as the way promoted by Mr Donohue. Thankfully, a courageous Nicole Kidman didn't give up and she exterminated a horde of these personality-free individuals infected by the virus of peace and civility – including her ex-husband. (Well, it wasn't really a virus, it was a fungus of a sort – something in between Catholicism and Candida Albicans and it was brought here extraterrestrially.) And after the scientists managed to exploit the immunity of some people against the virus, they defeated the pandemics.
If I were facing an isomorphic situation as Nicole Kidman, I would behave in the same way. Kill, kill, kill. What Mr Donohue presents as his plan for the ideal society is absolutely unacceptable.
Let me emphasize that nothing I wrote above is an insult. Instead, the claims – expressed in various ways – that Al-Qeada and Mr Donohue are piles of immoral medieval šit were the most accurate and objective appraisals of the reality I could have found.