Je suis moi

I'm against the fanaticism of the Kouachi Brothers and the vileness of Charlie Hebdo. No one has the right to take the life of other human beings for a word they wrote or a cartoon they drew, or to cause them bodily harm. Similarly, free press isn’t an open license to ridicule someone else’s beliefs, culture and sanctity.
This tragic event is a dirty reminder of the bigotry and atrocities being committed in the names of freedom of speech and religion. Before we identify ourselves with one wicked side or another, let us not forget the thousands of innocent people dying every day, everywhere in the world, of hunger and cold and disease and war and torture. Let us identify with them instead, or at least with our true selves.


Anonymous said…
well said
Ken said…
Yes, sad as it is more people have died from disagreements of religion throughout history than anything else. That people can not just let believe in the way they feel comfortable is just beyond grasp. The bedrocks of a free society are freedom to speak and express oneself along with freedom to practice a religion of choice. That said, no one has a right to belittle people who do not see things in the same vein. That my friend is called intolerance.
Hebe said…
Extreme on either side is what causes all this grief. Regretfully, such is the world we are living in. I am not sure we can fix it either :(
Isobel said…
I agree to a certain point that we should live and let live but I also don't think anyone should consider themselves above criticism...especially if their actions affect others in a negative way. Anyway, fanaticism, in any capacity, is almost always the culprit and if we could eradicate that we'd be much further ahead.
Abufares said…
By bringing religion down and imposing a secular God, by the name of Free Speech, in its place, democracy turns into a similar tyranny.
In this world of many races, creeds, religions, and cultures, a basic form of respect should exist. Call it diplomacy, courtesy, or common sense, but it's nothing more than simple human decency. We don't walk around insulting people only because we worship our freedom.
I'm glad the attackers received their just end but this doesn't even put a dent on the sad state of the world today.
Abufares said…
You're absolutely right. As a blogger, I'm a proponent of individual freedom and free expression but there's a self imposed line that no one should cross. Cultural, sexual, and racial insults are off limit. These are things we're born with, for better or worse, and should always remain off limit.
While we may be appalled by the crime committed, let's not forget that it is a reaction. This doesn't justify it, nothing does, but there is no justification for any art form that seeks laughter through insults either.
Abufares said…
No one is above criticism! Okay, I accept that. But there's a difference between constructive criticism and an utterly senseless insult.
Criticizing an article you wrote is fair game but making fun of your great grandmother is stupid!
What would I, you or the readers gain from such nonsense, except perhaps the cheap laughter of a few idiots who might find it funny.
Should you kill me if I insult your great grandmother? Certainly not, but you might be a moron too.
This is how I see things. I'm saddened because innocent people are dying in the thousands here and elsewhere and nobody cares or grieves. I know you do, but I'm talking about selective humanists whose activism is hashtag driven.
Isobel said…
Well, note that I said "if their actions affect others in a negative way". Hurling insults at someone just because you feel like it isn't constructive at all and I think you know me well enough to know this is not at all what I meant or would stand for. I think using freedom of speech as a conduit for antagonisation and hatred should be criticised and condemned. There are many debates coming out of this event but the only one that is important and not spoken nearly loud enough is underlying reason for radicalisation in the East, and the very fact that innocent people die there every day at the hands of tyrants which the world seems to tolerate is a pretty damn good reason to be angry and motivated to radicalise. Obviously, I don't agree with their methods but I can see how it happens.
Ken said…
Isobel mentioned is the "underlying reason for radicalisation in the East, and the very fact that innocent people die there every day at the hands of tyrants which the world seems to tolerate is a pretty damn good reason to be angry and motivated to radicalize." I think that maybe a reason for this is a total lack of being able to achieve a prosperous future. Whereby a vast majority have no hope for a better future. Like here, the situation of a two level society is running rampant. You have an elite class far removed from the daily realities of what the vast majority faces on a daily basis. Tis built up frustrations eventually will have to have an escape valve and I think this is what the byproduct is from that situation. Hopelessness and despair of an entire people/region never comes to a satisfactory conclusion without upheaval ensuing as an intermediary condition. Let us all hope we as a human race can move beyond this :-(
Isobel said…
You're absolutely right, Ken. And that's a great point about the West and the despair associated with the two-tiered society!
Isobel said…
Come to think of it, its kind of like a microcosm of the world.
Ken said…
Isobel, I diss myself to say this however, I see this coming to a zip code near us here in the west. When the top 1% see their net worth going up by 60% while at the same time I read that 60%(+/-) are living one paycheck from being homeless makes one wonder. Add to that most people have much less than $10K saved for retirement it is no wonder the situation seems bleak. Now that is in North America, now look at the ME Region and the situation is much worse. One has to ask what the outcome will be (sic). We all are in for hard times unless humanity takes a hold to set things right.
Abufares said…
@Isobel and Ken
Well said!
You both know that I'm a product of 2 cultures, and accordingly might seem a little off to (some) people here and there. Not to take anything away from your excellent analyses, I think I'm extra-sensitive to some behavioral nuisances of Middle Easterners and Westerners. I can see an Ahmad or a John with 2 pairs of eyes and from 2 different vantage points. Then, fortunately for me, I focus with a third pair of eyes that is, I like to convince myself, as neutral as possible.
The perpetrators in this crime committed and act of terrorism by all definitions. But so did several western governments when they practiced clandestine torture, when they invaded Iraq for no valid reason and set that country a century backward in time and when they continue to bullshit their way through the Syrian crisis and, at best, count the dead. I only listed 3 relevant acts of state sponsored terrorism that most Middle Eastern people, including myself, wholeheartedly believe are not just about equal to the Charlie Hebdo crime but humongously more sinister as they affects millions of people rather than a dozen.
For Middle Eastern extremists, terrorism is a cheap weapon. For Western governments, state sponsored terrorism is foreign policy.
I'm just talking loudly here so you can both (and others) hear me. I'm in no way refuting your arguments, as I fully agree with them. I'm just voicing an opinion shared by millions of other people on this side of the world. The notion that Western blood is precious and "Eastern" blood is water is taken too matter of factly by, I dare say, the majority in the West. At least this is what I learned from not truly belonging to either side.
You're both wonderful people and I certainly do not mean either of you, but after spending the last 37 years of my life with one foot on each side of the ocean, this is the impression I made. Until universal justice and equality are the prevalent forms of behavior this act of terrorism will be repeated over and over again and the cultural schism that exists will either get wider or remain too broad to bridge.
Ken said…
When I first read some of your comments, I noticed a harsh tone (which I can fully understand). For that I feel sorry, not only for you but for all people who are in a distressed situation. I want to be careful with my words since I do not want to step on toes without warrant. I too have lived in other parts of the world and met many wonderful people of all stripes whom enhanced my experiences tremendously. I really hope in all honesty that this divide you speak of is not too wide. But governments must collectively come together "truth meeting" and find real solutions. We are after all one world and we should act like that. All life matters equally. I take exception that one's blood is more meaningful than another's. I think I have lost hope that in my lifetime I will see this come to a meaningful fruition. Alas, we can only try. Stay safe and give greetings for me to your family.
Abufares said…
Amen, Ken!
Hoping and looking forward getting together again.
Ken said…

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