In response to the killing of the journalists at the French satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo, the British media shows their true colors, and they are all shades of yellow

To Islamist demands, the British media submits

By —— Bio and Archives--January 10, 2015

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There is a neon sign on the back wall of the Waitrose on Cromwell Road near the Gloucester Road Underground Station.  Instead of the usual advertisement, yesterday the sign simply read, “Je suis Charlie.”  That evening, a man who appeared to be in his mid-twenties to mid-thirties used his iPhone to take a selfie of him grinning broadly while standing in front of the sign.

He did not appear to be condemning those who would use lethal force to limit freedom of expression. He did not seem to be expressing sympathy for the victims of the Paris massacre.  He appeared to be showing his support for the men who had murdered them in cold blood.  He appeared to be celebrating the murderers’ accomplishment. These warriors for Allah had let the world know that the punishment for anyone who had the temerity to follow in the footsteps of Charlie Hebdo would be a brutal death. The editors and cartoonists at Charlie Hebdo had dared to mock Islam, and for that they had deserved to die.  Hellfire would be their eternal fate while those who had upheld the honor of Islam would spend the afterlife in a heavenly paradise.

In his address to the UN General Assembly on September 25, 2012, the one in which he falsely tried to link the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi with “a crude and disgusting video,” President Obama stated that “the future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.”  In the United Kingdom he needn’t worry about the prophet being slandered or Islam being mocked, at least not by the media.  The Daily Mail, Financial Times, Guardian, Mirror, Sun, Telegraph and Times all citing journalistic standards of integrity refused to publish any of the cartoons that appeared in Charlie Hebdo depicting Mohammed or satirizing Islam.

Tom Holland is the author of In the Shadow of the Sword, a history of the Arab world, the publication of which added him to the growing list of those who live in constant fear of being assassinated for offending Islam.  As he pointed out in an interview with the Evening Standard, another tabloid that chose not to publish the cartoons, the Charlie Hebdo cartoons “are a crucial piece of evidence in a vitally important story,” and the public deserves to see what it was the magazine’s editors and cartoonists died for, and more important the sacred principle that they were willing to give their lives for.  But hiding their fear under the guise of responsible journalism, the mainstream media and the tabloids chose to keep the cartoons out of circulation.

Muslim leaders in the UK have condemned the killings while at the same time noting how cartoons such as those published in Charlie Hebdo inflame passions and offend Muslim sensitivities.  Ambassadors from Arab nations have also condemned the murders, but will the Saudi, Qatari and other Gulf Arab leaders stop distributing school textbooks that depict Christians as pigs and Jews as apes?  Will they stop funding Imams and Madrassas who call for a holy Jihad to complete the work of the prophet by killing every infidel who refuses to submit to the will of Allah?  Will they instead promote religious tolerance, freedom of expression and human rights, especially women’s rights?  Not likely.

The staff at Charlie Hebdo was working on their next edition when they were gunned down.  It was to be a satire about Michel Houellebecq and his latest novel, Soumission (Submission), in which in 2022 France becomes an Islamist state.  Is the novel farfetched or is it an accurate prediction for the future of not just of France but for all of Europe?  The answer to that question lies in the hands of those who speak bravely about the sanctity of freedom of expression.  It is one thing to say freedom of speech is a sacred right; it’s quite another to be willing to fight and if need be die to defend that right.

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Al Kaltman -- Bio and Archives | Comments

Al Kaltman is a political science professor who teaches a leadership studies course at George Washington University.  He is the author of Cigars, Whiskey and Winning: Leadership Lessons from General Ulysses S. Grant.

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