To paraphrase the Michel Audiard of Les Tontons flingueurs, we can say that collaborators dare to do anything. While the jihadist cutthroats are still shedding blood on France, a black flight of peremptory crows is descending on the plateaus and squatting in the newspaper columns. The poisonous honeyed platforms charged with rewriting reality follow one another as if nothing had happened. In any case not what had upset us to the core of our souls: this aftershock of previous earthquakes, five years after the massacre of Charlie Hebdo’s journalists, the attacks on the Bataclan and the Hypercacher.
Multiple French flags and effigies of President Emmanuel Macron have been burnt all over Pakistan in the last couple of days as Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government encouraged political parties, radical Islamic groups, lawyers and students’ associations to come out to the streets in thousands against the perceived Islamophobia in France.
A teacher. He was a History teacher who, when teaching the subject of freedom of expression, asked his pupils that this fundamental freedom could shock them out of the classroom. That already says a lot. This teacher was threatened with death on social networks. He knew it. He had filed a complaint. Some parents had even asked him to resign because you understand, freedom of expression is obscene.
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the global money laundering and terror-financing watchdog, will hold its next plenary session virtually from October 21-23. At these plenary sessions the various countries that are on the FATF’s ‘Black’ and ‘Grey’ lists come up for review. Currently there are 2 countries, North Korea and Iran, on the agency’s Black list and 16 countries including Pakistan on the grey or increased monitoring list.
In rapid succession, Islamic Relief Worldwide, Britain’s leading Muslim NGO, was forced to get rid of two of its key leaders. The first for antisemitic writings, the next for singing the praises of Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood.
On September 2, the trial of the January 2015 terror attack at the Charlie Hebdo office and the Hyper Cacher of Porte de Bagnolet in Paris commenced at the Paris Criminal Court. The same day, the Charlie Hebdo magazine re-printed the cartoons of Prophet Muhammad that had made those who worked in the magazine target of lslamist terrorists. When questioned during his visit to Lebanon, French President Emmanuel Macron said he would not intervene against the reprint of these cartoons, as the press in France enjoys freedom of expression and even the freedom to blaspheme. While Mr. Macron’s statement was well received in France and in most countries around the world, it sparked strong opposition in some countries in the Muslim world.
Where does this dangerous and particularly unhealthy idea come from, that we can, for a single moment, discuss the real responsibilities in the massacre of Charlie? Wriggling in front of these twelve graves, wondering, with a penetrating air, if these dead people did not try a little bit to be murdered? You have to be really contaminated to think such a thing, that cartoons could be responsible for the execution of their authors. And then what? A text, an opinion, a thought, an attitude? Bullshit! We stagger about, it’s so stupid. So we would all be guilty, laymen that we are, of believing that freedom of expression and thought are not mortal sins?