Today, in Paris, journalists, editors, writers, and artists of the satirical magazine Chrarlie Hebdo were gunned down in a cold-blooded, murderous, senseless attack. At the time of this posting, 12 have died, 4 more are critically injured.
The people who did this shouted religious phrases. The claimed responsibility railing that it was in retribution for the printing of materials they believed denigrated their religion. They have made many claims, offered justifications, spouted rhetoric.
There is no justification.
They have killed innocent civilians outside of a war, outside of legal sanction, outside of all the requirements that every major world religion – including the one who’s phrases the attackers shouted as they gunned down their victims – strictly places on the taking of a human life.
Murder is murder, regardless of if you are a Muslim, Christian, or Jew.
Qur’an 6:151 says, “and do not kill a soul that God has made sacrosanct”
Let us be crystal clear as to who the victims were. They were not the government. They were not the enemy of these gunman any more than they were the enemies of anyone and everyone they have lampooned over the many years their magazine had been in publication. They’ve been called bigots, assholes, morons, and many other things – but they were not criminals, or killers, or soldiers at war. Their job was to say the things you don’t like, to speak words you may not wish to hear, to make fun of those who hold themselves above reproach. These same people made light of both the politicians who wanted to ban scarves and those who protested the law.
These attackers have committed cold blooded murder, and there is no justification.
I have been a journalist. I have pissed off people in my career, sometimes in print. I have lampooned many things in many ways. Neither I, nor anyone, should ever fear their lives for the words they write in satire, for the things they say in jest. Sometimes we are wrong, politically incorrect, bigoted, biased, or a thousand other transgressions – but never is there justification for murder because of these words. Sue us, call us to task, lampoon us right back as hard as we dished it out to you; anything but taking our lives!
The second worst part of this travesty – second only to the fact that 12 people lie dead – is nearly equally chilling and wrong. Some say that this will cause journalists to be more cautious in their prose and drawing. That we must respect the beliefs of other cultures and hold them above satire, humor, debate. That there are topics that are out of bounds, topics and people so high above us that they can never be brought down.
To those I say, there is no justification.
JE SUIS CHARLIE!