Continuing the good conversation about the limits of tolerance in light of the Paris terror attacks on the newspaper Charlie Hebdo, and the blind spots in the American media to terrorism by the Christian White Right, that we began here.
[Thom Hartmann also echoed my observations. It would be great to appear on his show. Maybe the friends of WARN can email and tweet Thom with that gentle suggestion.]
The American Taliban and political Islam are more alike than they are different. Both expose violence as a legitimate means of resolving political disagreements in lieu of normal politics and civil society, they are pre-modern and anti-Enlightenment, intolerant, and do not believe in the separation of church and state. These facts stand naked before us; America's corporate media--blinded by American exceptionalism and white racism--are terrified of "connecting the dots" on the overlap between the Christian White Right and their ideological brethren among a small sect of Muslims.
Bill Donohue of the Catholic League, he who is one of the American Taliban, shared his sympathy for the feelings of "offense" that motivated yesterday's terrorist attack in Paris:
Killing in response to insult, no matter how gross, must be unequivocally condemned. That is why what happened in Paris cannot be tolerated. But neither should we tolerate the kind of intolerance that provoked this violent reaction.
Those who work at this newspaper have a long and disgusting record of going way beyond the mere lampooning of public figures, and this is especially true of their depictions of religious figures. For example, they have shown nuns masturbating and popes wearing condoms. They have also shown Muhammad in pornographic poses.
While some Muslims today object to any depiction of the Prophet, others do not.
Moreover, visual representations of him are not proscribed by the Koran. What unites Muslims in their anger against Charlie Hebdo is the vulgar manner in which Muhammad has been portrayed. What they object to is being intentionally insulted over the course of many years. On this aspect, I am in total agreement with them.
Stephane Charbonnier, the paper’s publisher, was killed today in the slaughter. It is too bad that he didn’t understand the role he played in his tragic death. In 2012, when asked why he insults Muslims, he said, “Muhammad isn’t sacred to me.” Had he not been so narcissistic, he may still be alive. Muhammad isn’t sacred to me, either, but it would never occur to me to deliberately insult Muslims by trashing him.
Anti-Catholic artists in this country have provoked me to hold many demonstrations, but never have I counseled violence. This, however, does not empty the issue. Madison was right when he said, “Liberty may be endangered by the abuses of liberty as well as the abuses of power.”Although he was not directly to Bill Donohue, and countering the latter's theocratic urge to make the inalienable right to free speech subservient to the magical thinking of the most extreme of those who are religiously minded, MSNBC's Chris Matthews cut a mean promo on politicized Islam, terrorists, and the argument that civilized people must try to sympathize and understand why some others would be moved to commit violence in the name of religion because they feel disadvantaged by secular society.
What are some of the best, worst, most incisive, or piss poor commentaries that you have seen in response to yesterday's attack by Islamic terrorists on the people of France?