This afternoon 12 people were murdered in Paris. They were gunned down for creating satire, for lampooning and makes jokes. It appears that the magazine Charlie Hebdo was targeted because it satirised a religion, in this case Islam. You cannot have a liveable planet where murdering people who make jokes is considered to be sane by any organisation at all.
I would like to hope that not only, as the Internet banner now doing the rounds states: “Je suis Charlie” in solidarity with the writers and two policemen gunned down today, but “Nous sommes Charlie”. But it is also essential to bear in mind that, as with Northern Ireland in the 1970s when I was growing up, when not everybody brought up as Catholic and with Irish heritage or citizenship was “IRA scum” and bombing innocents. My family wasn’t. Not everybody today with vaguely “islamic sounding” names and heritages is a mad, murdering lunatic.
The dead included the cartoonists (CARTOONISTS!):
• Georges Wolinski
One more piece of sanity in this moment of insanity comes from The Hindu newspaper in relation to the ‘Bollywood’ movie, PK. It reports:
here we are again, having to defend Hinduism from those who seem to think that the slightest hint of humour or heresy can bring crashing down a religion that has stood strong for millennia. I refer, of course, to the controversy around the Hindu director Rajkumar Hirani’s movie “PK.”
The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) wants it banned, and its members, along with those charming chaps from the Bajrang Dal, have taken to tearing up the film’s posters and halting screenings. The reason? According to VHP spokesman Vinod Bansal, “PK” “keeps making fun of Hinduism.” Members of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board have also demanded that the Censor Board remove some scenes in the interest of maintaining “communal harmony.”
It goes on:
Once a film has come through the Censor Board, no one has the right to demand that it be pulled from theatres because it has offended them. Everyone is sensitive to something, and if you begin to factor it all in, you’ll never make a movie.
And fortunately, the Indian government agreed as reported here.
Je Suis Charlie Hebdo