R.I.P. the people killed in an attack on Charlie Hebdo

I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it – Voltaire

Say what you want about Charlie Hebdo being a “defender” of free speech, but their aim was and is always to insult with cheap jokes, hide behind the rhetoric of free speech, laugh about it, and increase sales in the making. They’re not a nice bunch of people. Here’s a reminder of who they are and what they did.

But still, this by all means doesn’t justify killing them. R.I.P. Charlie Hebdo’s editor, cartoonists and journalists. And R.I.P. the Muslim police officer Ahmed Marabet, who was also executed by the gunmen while trying to protect the people at Charlie Hebdo office.

In a moving tribute to him, Ahmed Marabet’s brother reminded us that “one must not confuse extremists and Muslims. Mad people have neither colour or religion.” Indeed, it was another Muslim, Lassana Bathily, an employee at the Paris Kosher market, who saved a lot of Jewish customers during the siege by an extremist that killed 4 people there.

Here’s where it gets tricky. Gunman Amedy Coulibaly took hostage at the Kosher market by threatening the Paris police that he will shoot the hostages, unless the Charlie Hebdo killers Sharif and Said Kouachi (both of whom at that point have been surrounded by the police at Dammartin-en-Goele) were released. The 3 extremists were eventually killed, and later on we learned that Coulibaly and his girlfriend Hayat Boumeddiene have actually spoken more than 500 times with the Kouachi brothers over the phone, thus establishing their direct link.

The problem is Sharif and Said Kouachi were radicalised by Bush’s Iraq war and Abu Ghraib torture, and claimed to be trained by Al Qaeda in Yemen, while Amedy Coulibaly claimed to be from ISIS, two terror groups who are supposed to be at war with each other. Did these two incidents just mark the terrifying joint forces of Al Qaeda and ISIS?

Meanwhile, under the French law Charlie Hebdo could formally run cartoons mocking Islam without getting any trouble from the authority, but NOT cartoons mocking the Holocaust. So, freedom of speech my derriere! Furthermore, while they claim to have mocked every religion equally and any political establishment equally, the truth is Charlie Hebdo did not offend with equal frequency, where for the past 15 years Islam have been their primary target to offend.

With so much Islamophobia in the air, it’s sadly not surprising that since the Charlie Hebdo attack the French Muslim community, despite universally and repeatedly condemning the attack, has suffered from a wave of “misguided reprisal attacks“, while the mainstream media focus their attention on the “anti-semitic nature” of the hostage taking in the Jewish supermarket. Meanwhile, less than a week after massive rallies “defending free speech” the French authorities have arrested a youth for, guess what, posting a cartoon on facebook mocking Charlie Hebdo.

With this in mind, here’s Ezra Klein on why you should stop saying that you’re Charlie Hebdo (Jesuis Charlie), and here’s the reaction of Charlie Hebdo’s surviving prominent cartoonist on the sudden support and friends from around the world.

And just in case you didn’t already know, here’s what the Qur’an said about the mighty pen, the percentage of terror attacks in the US and Europe that are committed by Muslims? 2%, Pope Francis is also critical towards Charlie Hebdo, Muslims can take a satirical joke, and this might actually surprise some people, but Muslims condemn terrorism.