Hard-Left cartoonist Garry Trudeau assures us he would “never draw the prophet.”
There have been a lot of people since the jihad massacre of Charlie Hebdo Muhammad cartoonists who have said or strongly implied that they had it coming and deserved what they got. Most of them have been Islamic jihadists and supremacists at anti-Charlie Hebdo demonstrations. No one expected that one of the murdered cartoonists’ harshest critics would be a fellow cartoonist, as well as a fellow iconoclast and slayer of sacred cows: Doonesbury’s Garry Trudeau.
Speaking at the George Polk journalism awards on April 9 as he received a lifetime achievement award, Trudeau charged that the cartoonists had “wandered into the realm of hate speech.” He called for self-censorship in the face of violent intimidation, saying that “free speech … becomes its own kind of fanaticism.”
Trudeau’s words, understandably, incited controversy, and so on Meet the Press last week he attempted to clarify his earlier remarks and dispel the impression that he was blaming the victims for the massacre. However, he only ended up digging the hole deeper and affirming his submission to violent intimidation and implicit acceptance of Sharia blasphemy laws.
In an interview with a fawning and obsequious Chuck Todd, Trudeau assured the world that the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists were “not at all to blame,” but then immediately relapsed into blaming them for their own murders, saying: “I didn’t agree with the decisions they made that brought a world of pain to France.”
Yet it was the jihad mass murderers, not Charlie Hebdo, that brought a world of pain to France. If they had not been willing to commit mass murder in the service of Sharia blasphemy laws, France would not have experienced any pain at all. On Meet the Press, Trudeau was saying that the proper response to a thug who threatens to kill you unless you shut up was to submit and obey. That would in effect install a thugocracy, allowing those who will kill the most people the most ruthlessly the right to rule.
Trudeau also hastened to avow that he would never follow in the blasphemous footsteps of the slain Charlie Hebdo cartoonists: “I wouldn’t draw pictures of the prophet….” This was presumably because, he said, he didn’t “have the right to decide what is sacred and holy and profane for someone else.”
But that is not what is at issue regarding cartoons of Muhammad. There is no question that Muhammad is sacred and holy to Muslims. The question is whether or not that fact obligates anyone else. If I believe something is sacred and holy, does that oblige you also to respect it? Trudeau would apparently say yes. I doubt, however, that he would say the same thing when it came to Piss Christ or the dung-encrusted painting of the Virgin Mary that was exhibited in New York a few years ago. But Christians won’t kill him for offending them.
Since he began Doonesbury in the late 1960s, Garry Trudeau has always been an unreflective, sloganeering Leftist, and in his remarks on the Charlie Hebdo massacre he here shows his dark little authoritarian heart. The Left is increasingly preoccupied with “hate speech,” and insisting ever more loudly that First Amendment protections do not apply to it – and that is nothing short of ominous. “Hate speech” is a subjective judgment. If it becomes criminalized, then those who are in power can use “hate speech” laws to silence the powerless.
Trudeau would likely recoil at such an assessment and deny that he had anything like that in mind, but nonetheless, tyranny is the inescapable result of the combination of their concern with their narcissism and solipsism. Leftists like Trudeau generally assume that their positions are so self-evident that those whom they excoriate as “right-wing” are fully aware that they’re trafficking in “hate speech” — I remember Ground Zero Mosque developer Sharif El-Gamal’s obvious surprise when I answered “Of course” to his question, “Do you really believe that what you are doing is right?” In reality, I myself think much of what not I, but Trudeau (and El-Gamal) says is hateful, but I would never want them forcibly silenced. The same cannot be said the other way around.
It is particularly shameful that someone like Garry Trudeau, who has preened for over forty years over being “controversial” (although actually he has just reflected standard Leftist establishment opinions), would not stand up for the freedom of speech against violent thuggery, and realize that “controversial” voices need protection if any free society is going to remain free.
Indeed, it shows the fix we’re in.
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