Friday, 21 September 2012

Satire must do everything it can

There is a German saying which translates roughly as "Satire must do everything it can", and today as France closes 20 embassies around the world because of a cartoon, that saying ought to be our motto.  Standing up for freedom of speech is THAT important.

This morning I actually heard a Muslim speaker, Fatima Malik saying that violent reactions to the publications of images of Mohamed were unjustified.   Now don't get too excited.   She didn't condemn the criminals outright, or mention what an outrageous concept it is to go wrecking property just because someone somewhere drew a picture.  She didn't even call for the perpetrators to be publicly ostracised or imprisoned . . . or even stoned to death as is the penalty for really serious crimes like damaging a copy of the qu'ran.

What is all the fuss about?  You won't find a copy of this cartoon on the politically correct pages of the BBC.  There is no doubt that the picture is designed to be inflammatory but it does need to be seen, not censored.

Charlie Hebdo magazine's controversial cover, featuring the latest Mohamed cartoon to hit the news.
Charlie Hebdo magazine's controversial cover,
featuring the latest Mohamed cartoon to hit the news.

Whether you think it is funny or not, one thing is certain in my mind.  Radical and violent Islamism needs to be mocked.  We must not stand for censorship in our own countries because some other culture doesn't like what we say.  What do you do when a three year old child has a temper tantrum?  Certainly you shouldn't change your actions because  of their irrational actions, so what is the difference here?

I'll be in Paris for a few days of the next week.  I might try to buy a copy of the magazine, because I do believe that satire must do everything that it can and that it is time for the Islamists just to grow up.


John Chapman said...

Well after seeing the cover I'm stunned! An apparently Jewish old man pushing another old man in a wheelchair who says 'Must not laugh!'
I an shocked! Not the so called picture of Mohamed, but my inability to see why anyone would get upset about it.

Now if it was something like this I could understand a few mullahs being a tad peeved.

John Chapman said...

Newsflash! In Iran 1,000 atheists rioted when a blank sheet of paper was found on a cartoonist's desk.