quinta-feira, janeiro 15, 2015

Charlie Hebdo: They're Not Racist Just Because You're Offended

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Texto retirado daqui: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/lliana-bird/charlie-hebdo_b_6461030.html

Charlie Hedbo were leftists, some may even anarchists and punks. They printed numerous cartoons which were anti racism/xenophobia; that mocked and satirised the far right as bigots and racists. As long time reader and Frenchman, Olivier Tonneau pointed out in his excellent article, The National Front and the Le Pen family were in fact their primary targets above all others. Next came bosses, politicians and the corrupt. Finally they opposed organised religion. ALL organised religion. They didn't hate or abuse or target any one group or religion. They did however mock ALL systems and organisations and individuals of power - from political to religious to everything in between. They were satirists, and all people, systems and organisations should be open to criticism and mockery (so long as it sticks within the laws of the land). They were democratic in their ridicule and satirisation. No one was exempt. To do otherwise would have been the hypocritical. Equal rights also means equal treatment.
Accusations of Islamophobia alone seem to ignore the fact that the Pope, Jesus, Orthodox Jews (amongst many others) were targeted in equal measure. As the publication's lawyer Richard Malka said this week "In each edition for the past 22 years there has not been one where there have not been caricatures of the pope, jesus, priests, rabbis, immans or Mohammed." Although of course... perhaps you still believe they were Islamophobic, Christian-phobic, and anti-Semitic... but it seems it was not the every day believer they were intentionally targeting.
"We want to laugh at extremists - every extremist," surviving staff member Laurent Leger stated. "They can be Muslim, Jewish, Catholic. Everyone can be religious, but extremist thoughts and acts we cannot accept".
Much has been made of the fact (and accusations of hypocrisy bandied around) over the fact that a Charlie Hebdo cartoonist was sacked in 2009 over an alleged anti-Semitic cartoon (although its rarely noted this decision was taken by a long-since departed editor; that the sacked journalist ultimately won his unfair dismissal suit; and that this cartoon targeted a specific individual as opposed to an entire religion or idea), and many have asked why Muslims should expect to put up with things that Jews don't. Which would be a fair point, if it was true.
Judaism was frequently lampooned (a simple Google search will verify that). The Charlie Hebdo team were also very much pro-Gaza, and often fiercely critical of Israel's actions in the Israel-Palestine conflict. One series entitled 'One Commandment A Day: The Torah Illustrated by Charb' coarsely depicts Jews as contradicting their religious values in their interactions with Palestinians."Ne pas opprimer les faibles" ("Don't oppress the weak") is the title of a cartoon of a Jewish man firing an assault weapon into the back of a Palestinian woman. "Here, take that Goliath!," he shouts.
More in-depth research and conversations with those who were regular readers of the magazine reveal that Charlie Hebdo also strongly and regularly denounced the plight of minorities, they wrote in support of the Kurds, and they campaigned relentlessly for all illegal immigrants to be given permanent right of stay.  One of Cabu's most famous creations was Mon Beauf, which caricaturised an ignorant, racist and bigoted Frenchman, and Bernard Velhac, also known as Tignous (and a member of Cartoonists for Peace) once said, "I would love to think that every time I make a drawing it prevents a kidnapping, a murder, or removes a land mine. What joy it would be! If I had that power I would stop sleeping and would make drawings non-stop."»
«The comments section underneath this article will no doubt be full of remarks and examples of cartoons which appear to defy this and which seem to to scream "racism!" and honestly, it would take a far longer article than I could write here (or you would care to read of mine) to go through every single cartoon, analyse it, explain the context, the news item behind it, the cultural context, the nuances and history of French humour, satire and cartoons (which were used up to 400 years ago to mock religion, royalty and other powerful and oppressive institutions in a time when many people couldn't read and cartoons were essential in the fight against monarchy and the church).»
«And we may appreciate that the very controversial cartoon of Mohammed being filmed naked titled "The film that embraces the Muslim world:" wasn't merely for the sake of putting him in a lewd position - it is a parody of a Brigitte Bardot scene in Jean-Luc Goddard's film Contempt thus satirising the outrage following the release of a controversial film about Islam.
Perhaps knowing all this and more you (or even I) may still find these and other cartoons extremely offensive (or worse) .
It's your right to feel that way, and to say as much as loudly as you like (and in doing so even to offend others). Freedom of speech means that some things people say and do are bound to offend you and vice versa. That's ok. As (a personal hero of mine) Majid Nawaz says you have every right to be offended, you do not have the right to not be offended.»
«Incitement of violence against Jews, Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, atheists etc is not ok (or legal). But criticism and mockery of Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism or atheism and the ideas they represent is. People have rights. Ideas do not. And the law is there to punish those who cross that line.
If anyone genuinely felt that the Charlie Hebdo crossed that very line then they had the option to start legal proceedings (as the Catholic church did many times). Fear of being prosecuted is a valid one that journalists, comedians and even cartoonists consider. Fear of losing one's life shouldn't be. The law is there to guide us in what we say, and punish us when we go too far. If you don't feel that the law adequately represents the rights of muslims or anyone else for that matter, or that certain depictions of religious figures in cartoons shouldn't be permissable, you're free to say so, write about it, protest and campaign to change the law. You aren't however free to take the law into your own hands.
The thought that a religion, a set of beliefs, or an idea, could be above criticism or ridicule is, to me, a scary one which could lead us into very dangerous ground. »
«As we all argue about what's right to say and what's wrong, what's offensive, and what's hypocritical, it might do us good to remember that 17 people died last week in the cruelest of ways. Each was their own person, no doubt differing in their morals, ethics, ideas and thoughts. Let's not call many of them names before they are even cold in the ground, although... of course, it's your right to do so if you like because most of you, like them, have similar freedom of expression. I may not like you insulting them, and you may not like anything that i've said in this article, but as you write your comment in section underneath (perhaps about what a stupid idiot you think I am) just remember that Charlie Hebdo's staff died standing up for your right to do so.»

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