Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Deranged Defenders

The shocking murder of twelve people at the Charlie Hebdo magazine office in Paris has generated many displays of sympathy for the victims and their families, and support for freedom of speech over disgusting acts of terror, many by fellow artists and colleagues. It’s possible that the attack was planned by people who considered themselves defenders of their faith in some way, but they were hardly anything of the sort.

The cartoons that were likely the justification the perpetrators will use for their murder spree were often quite shocking, crude, and yes, offensive. This is hardly the point, though. Even crude and offensive speech should be protected—which is not to say it cannot be protested or criticized! But the standard that we have for freedom of speech, that enables the KKK or Westboro Baptist to have their say in public is the same standard that protects people of other, less noxious, but possibly threatened minority positions from being persecuted.  It is never acceptable that ideas, words, and images, be responded to with violence. To attempt to silence people in this brutal way is an affront to civilization itself.

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Posted by Vixen Strangely on 01/07/15 at 11:25 PM
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