The media response, the Europe-wide vigils, the endless #killallmuslims tweets – all of these make Charlie Hebdo sound like a beacon of human rights. They weren’t. They were Islamophobic. They were a racist magazine. This does not mean I believe that people should be killed for being racist. I see the tragedy of the situation, but I can also see how this happened and why. These are the questions we need to be asking, not resorting to simplistic bipolar fundamentalist hate-mongering.
The possible events & causation up to the murder of journalists:
- Charlie Hebdo overtly displays Islamophobic cartoons and articles in the name of “satire”
- People get upset
- Upset people make a critique, but are not heard because they are silenced and oppressed by so-called “freedom of press” (and the fact that they are a minority).
- Upset people get frustrated and angry because their views or hurt doesn’t seem to matter to mainstream. Their views can be ridiculed and they feel they can do nothing about it.
- Some of the upset people are so upset that they burst and resort to violence in order to be heard.
- It backlashes with more support for Charlie Hebdo, but those violent upset people feel at least that their “voice” was heard. But the truth is, their voice is not heard, it is silenced even more.
Yes, Charlie Hebdo journalists didn’t deserve to die. But nor did the people they hurt deserve to be hurt. The journalists were not innocent victims. But that doesn’t mean they deserved to die either.
But resorting to walk in solidarity with the journalists of Charlie Hebdo is not the solution. This is not a good versus evil story. We need to tackle the issues of oppression in order to stop this, not increase it.