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“There is no democracy without irreverence, without parody and without satire,” said Mitterand.
But as usual after such events in France regarding Muslim terrorism, the politicians will not discuss or investigate how their country reached this point where a well-known, national publication could be burned out of its offices in its capital, like in a Third World dictatorship. To do so would only help confirm that France, once the land of the Enlightenment, is turning into a place of darkness, thanks to Islamic fanaticism. So it is best just to express nice-sounding phrases, let things settle back down to the way they were and prepare a new set of reassuring phrases for the next attack, which in France nowadays is probably never too far off.
Muslim leaders in France also condemned the firebomb attack, but the president of the French Council of the Muslim Religion (CFCM) qualified his condemnation by stating his uneasiness about the “climate of Islamophobia” in Europe. But this is unsurprising. Mentioning Islamophobia is becoming a common tactic on both sides of the Atlantic whenever Muslim radicalism comes under scrutiny. It helps deflect attention from the real wrongdoings. And while expressing strong condemnation, the CFCM president added his organization “also vigorously deplored the magazine’s tone of caricature in regard to Islam and its prophet…,” indirectly indicating Charlie Hebdo may have itself to blame for the night assault.
France, a country of 62 million people, has a Muslim population of about six to eight million, the largest in Europe. The week-long riots of Muslim youths in suburbs on the outskirts of French cities in 2005 brought to the world’s attention that all was not well with multiculturalism in what was once one of the West’s leading democracies. Once highly regarded for its culture, French society is now probably so sick from the Islamist infection, it is beyond help.
American author and Islam expert Robert Spencer, for example, was unable to have his translated book, Islam Unveiled, published in France in 2003 by a publishing house that had agreed to do so. The book contested conventional wisdoms held in the West about Islam. Publication was cancelled when both the translator and the publisher received death threats.
More in keeping with France’s dhimmi status, while people were threatened with death over Spencer’s book, the novel Rever la Palestine (Dream of Palestine) was published the previous year with no apparent obstacles. Written by a fifteen-year-old Egyptian living in Italy and published by France’s third-largest publishing house, Rever concerns Palestinian teenager’s fighting against “bloodthirsty Jews, who assassinate children and old people, profane mosques, and rape Arab women.” Which says it all about the state of French culture and freedom of expression nowadays.
Charlie Hebdo is moving temporarily into the offices of the leftist daily newspaper Liberation and intends to bring out next week’s edition on time. Europe already experienced a serious and potentially deadly caricature crisis in 2006 when the Danish newspaper, Jyllands Posten, published different drawings of the Muslim prophet. Since then, several terrorist attacks have been broken up that targeted the newspaper building, editors and Posten caricaturist Kurt Westergaarde.
It is as yet unknown whether Charlie Hebdo and its staff will also have to live under the same, years-long terrorist threat as the Jyllands Posten newspaper. But from its recent fiery experience, its editors should at least take away the realization France is no longer a land of unbridled humour, but also one of Islamist hatred.
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