By Irish Cyanide & Happiness author, Dave McElfatrick
Via Colm Whispers
Last night: Meanwhile, In A Parallel Universe
The sale of the Charlie Hebdo magazine published after the Paris atrocity is threatening to become the first major test of the Irish Republic’s blasphemy law, Muslim representatives and secularists have warned.
Ireland’s Islamic Cultural Centre has said the presence of a depiction of the prophet Muhammad on the front page of the satirical publication, on sale now in Irish shops, is a clear breach of the country’s blasphemy legislation
Helric Fredou and his mother
Further to this
Derek B writes:
Me again! I wanted to throw my tinfoil hat in the ring again and share (as there is a mainstream media blackout on these details) some new details concerning the apparent suicide of Helric Fredou [the police commissioner charged with interviewing Charlie Hebdo relatives]. On the night Helric died he had been preparing a report on Jeannette Bougrab, who was apparently the partner of Charlie Hebdo editor ‘Charb’ (but was not allowed to go to his funeral by Charb’s family). More ominously, Helric’s mother has been refused access to her son’s autopsy….Anyone?
Why can’t he just accept the official narrative?
Stupid bacofoil non-Charlie truthtard.
Previously: Ridicule Is Nothing To Be Scared Of
O’Connell Street, Dublin.
Thanks Some Dad
John Diver and Shuki Byrne (above) on O’Connell Street, Dublin this afternoon.
(Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland)
Yesterday’s Sunday Times.
Derek B writes:
It is striking that the Charlie Hebdo shootings was against freedom of speech but those that question aspects of the events of that day, not least the suicide of one of the leading investigators, are ridiculed. I don’t agree with Jim Corr about everything (The Corrs’ cover of Fleetwood Mac’s Dreams remains a sore point) but I would urge people to have a look at some of the eveidence that is coming out about what happened in Paris and examine the official narrative….
How much for Charlie now????
‘Sold out’: Charlie Hebdo poster in Paris today
Further to the Irish Times’s decision to not publish the cover of Charlie Hebdo’s latest issue
Some argue that the decision by most Irish newspapers not to reproduce the more provocative Charlie Hebdo cartoons is a betrayal of free expression….Charlie Hebdo certainly saw itself as defending free speech; but in a deliberately provocative manner. It has described itself as a “journal bête et méchant” [silly and rude newspaper]. Like Jyllands-Posten in Denmark, it countered the Muslim prohibition on images of the prophet by printing the most offensive images of Muhammad it could provide.
…Without question, nothing it did justified the slightest violence against Charlie Hebdo.
But does not publishing images of Muhammad really infringe the public’s right to information? Is this the real front line in the battle for media freedom? Surely there are more important challenges to be made than this one?
The rest of us generally try to show a bit of respect and decency and not do stuff that would needlessly draw on the crazies, just for the hell of it. And that sort of automatic self-censorship is what makes us civilized as human beings. It’s not just a matter of judgment; it’s a matter of common sense. Talking about some concept of ‘absolute and unfettered free speech’ is not only factually untrue, it also assumes the imposition of a whole range of cultural values on another people who happen to share the globe but who think differently.
Amidst the right and proper condemnation of the killings in Paris, surely it is possible that we can ask some questions, and give some context. Or is there also to be a censorship of any debate around this event, which would be a grim irony in itself. Surely, such a debate is worth having, and having urgently, given that Charlie Hebdo now plans to publish further such images and other publications have vowed to do the same, thereby surely creating further unrest – and possible killings.
Yesterday ‘Gratuitously Offensive’
“The Alliance Francaise cultural centre in Dublin said, based on their inquiries, there is no where in the State to purchase a copy of the magazine. A spokesman there said some members of staff were asking relatives in France to buy them a copy. He added that the centre would be taking out a subscription with the magazine so members will be able to read it in the library there, but they won’t be allowed take it home.”
Irish expat David Burns writes:
[Police officer who tried to apprehend terrorists on Boulevard Richard le Noir was buried today — received Légion d’Honneur. Wrote the attached because I cycle past where he died every day now…]
When can you justify killing another human being? When it’s in self defence? Whenit’s to protect the lives of others? To defend a cause? Last Wednesday, three men burst into the Paris-based office of a small French weekly called Charlie Hebdo and started shooting at unarmed cartoonists. 17 people are now dead because gun-wielding extremists believed it right to kill people for an ideology. If you live here, your relation to violence has been completely changed by that— changed utterly.
A significant amount of people started defending last week’s bloodshed before those murdered could even be given a funeral. The apologists ranged from the pseudo-intellectual type to the brutally ignorant. All remained unconvincing. What excuse can there be for violence against the non-violent? For shooting cartoonists? You could understand a debate on the merits of Charlie Hebdo as a satirical publication.
Last Friday, the French press reported with outrage the refusal of certain schoolkids to rally behind the slogan for national unity: “Je suis Charlie”. At the same time though, you could understand it. Muslims unwilling to rally to the name of a magazine that had long ridiculed Muhammad; students questioning authority; young people from disadvantaged areas rejecting long overdue invitations to play a part in French society — all of that constitutes an understandable reaction to current events. But posting messages which condone or call for violence against unbelievers? Celebrating the “heroism” of radical men prepared to kill for their religion or their cause? That is beyond the bounds of reasonable or understanding. I cannot agree to it. Or anything like it.
In Ireland, we are about to celebrate 1916. If you’d been here the last few days, you wouldn’t see anything to celebrate about it. There is nothing inspiring about armed radicals with bullets. Not even when they’re proclaiming a republic. Former Taoiseach John Bruton came under fire last year for saying that peaceful, political reform was the nobler route to Irish independence. Now, much more so than before, I can see he was right.
It is doesn’t seem imaginable at the moment to celebrate a rising that held Dublin city to hostage. It is no longer a historic event anymore. It is not just a book explaining why it needed to happen or why the rebels felt they had no choice or even how it was justifiable in the end. It doesn’t matter if you’re born into a system which acts to oppress you and the people you identify with, you don’t have an excuse to grab a gun and go out to shoot people. Not even if you’re hoping to awake the nation.
I’ve followed a lot of the back and forth about the kind of form 2016 should take and how we should frame it. However, it’s the arguments currently going on here in France about the legacy of the past, about post-colonialism, structural discrimination, cultural warfare and all the reasons that don’t justify killing people for a cause that have made up my mind about where I stand at home.
Violence should always be the last resort. Sometimes, it is the only option. The French police last Friday had to use deadly force to save innocent lives. The only justification for killing another human being is those extreme, no-alternative circumstances. Killing people for a political ideology or a religious ideology is not something that can be justified precisely because there is always an alternative. There is always another and better way. History might obscure and shroud that fact with the passing of time but at the moment, it’s bright in my mind. I hope for the sake of society that it outshines whatever people might say to cover it — here and at home.
Previously: A Letter From Paris
(Pic: Patrick Kovarik/AFP/Getty Images, Guardian)
Kevin O’Sullivan, top second from left in beige coat, at the ceremony for the victims of the Charlie Hebdo shootings in Paris, organised by the National Union of Journalists in Dublin Castle on Saturday. Above: Charlie Hebdo’s latest cover
“The paper took the view that publication of the cartoons was likely to be seen by Muslims as gratuitously offensive and would not contribute significantly to advancing or clarifying the debate on the freedom of the press.”
“The “right to offend”, an essential corollary of the right to freedom of expression, could be defended and upheld, as it should be, the paper holds, by other means than causing further offence to the overwhelming majority of a community which deplored the threats to Jyllands Posten [the Danish paper which published depictions of the Prophet Muhammad in 2006] and the attack on Charlie Hebdo.”
“The Irish Times unequivocally and unapologetically defends the right of Charlie Hebdo to publish, and regards the attack on the magazine as an outrageous attack on the freedom of press. The paper welcomes the French government’s commitment to help the magazine financially and expresses its solidarity with the brave band of journalists who are determined to keep the title afloat.”
Irish Times editor Kevin O’Sullivan on why his paper will not reprint Charlie Hebdo’s Muhammad cartoons or the magazine’s new cover.