‘JE SUIS CHARLIE’ AND ALL THE OTHERS…



Jean Marie Montali (*)

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?

We mustn’t let that be said. No, no and no! We are innocent. Free and innocent. And when we look at the graves of the innocent victims of Charlie, it is to mourn them, not to desecrate them. We also grieve for Clarissa Jean-Philippe, a municipal policewoman from Montrouge, killed because she was a cop. A cop as were Jean-Baptiste Salvaing, stabbed, and his companion Jessica Schneider, whose throat was slit in front of their three-year-old child by a barbarian of God claiming to be an Islamic State. It was on 13 June 2016, in Magnanville. And Xavier Jugelé, shot dead on the Champs-Elysées on 20 April 2017. And tears again, for François-Michel Saada, Philippe Braham, Yohan Cohen and Yoav Hattab, killed on 9 January 2015 in a Hyper Cacher. Killed because they were Jews. Jews as were Jonathan Sandler (30 years old), his two young sons, Gabriel (3 years old) and Arié (6 years old), and little Myriam Monsonégo (8 years old). It was in Toulouse, on 19 March 2012, at the Ozar Hatorah school. Because the killers of the cutthroat sect also do that: kill children in a school, without any shudder of conscience.

Rarely have we gone so far in the filth. And rivers of tears for the Bataclan, the terraces, the Stade de France, Nice and Father Hamel, whose throat was slit in his little church in Normandy. All these dead, all these orphans, all these parents who buried their children, what do they think of these beautiful speeches, with the tremolos that are needed at each line, about the violence of caricatures and blasphemy? As if only the cartoons of Charlie Hebdo exposed us to the murderous madness of assassins! A lie! Blasphemy? But they are the blasphemers! They, the followers of a sect that is fattening in blood and who have this extraordinary blasphemous claim to speak in the name of the religion they have actually kidnapped and disfigured. Little brains shrunk in a bath of hatred! Heads so empty that you can put anything in them, including that stupid idea of redemption in blood: paradise for the martyrs, where there is in reality only emptiness and nothingness. Lies, lies, lies!

These killers, who find some sort of unmentionable pleasure in the killing of innocents and the humiliation of victims, have no more to do with religion than they have to do with humanity. They have found a pretext in religion to rape, burn, decapitate, drown, hang, disembowel, shoot, machine-gun, dismember, tear apart, peel off a bunch of unfortunate people. In Syria, Afghanistan, France and elsewhere. It is blood that makes them hard, not religion. Mass massacres are their orgies. Death makes them come. Other people’s of course, not their own. And rarely has one gone so far in hypocrisy, or blindness, in refusing to see the enormity of the threat. They kill indiscriminately men, women, children, white, black, Christians, Muslims, Jews and Godless. This sect, whose ideology is based on the trinity of hatred, the dagger and the bomb, kills and destroys everything it hates, that is to say everything that is not like it. The blood must flow. Kill and destroy what we are, with our differences, our values of tolerance and Humanism. They hate us in our diversity. I remember another attack, just three months after the one against Charlie. It was in March 2015, in Tunisia: the attacks on the Bardo Museum and the Parliament. 24 dead and 45 wounded. A museum leaning against the Parliament: art, culture, knowledge and democracy. Everything that terrorists hate, regardless of the colour, religion, origins and beliefs of the victims.

So what do we do? Do we hide and stop living for the reason that there are some turbaned exalted people who would like us to stay hidden, except at prayer time? Do we close the door? The shutters? Shit! We give up, we just stand there listening to their smoking obscenities? No. No and no! Their twisted morality, more dangerous than cholera and the plague combined, is not our thing. Neither is fanaticism. We cling to life. We hold on tightly to it. We even apply ourselves. We go to the museum, because there is less pornography in Gustave Courbet’s L’Origine du Monde than there is in the little crazy brains of fanatics. We go there for the women of Renoir, Matisse, Modigliani, Botticelli or Braque, who are so beautiful because they are naked and that nudity is not indecent. We go for Greek and Roman statues, fleshy buttocks and willies in the air, because they are obscene only in the libidinous heads of the frustrated. We’ll read Charlie, too bad if we don’t like it. We’ll go to the cinema, the theatre, the concert. And then, with a drink in hand, in the sun on a terrace or in the shade of a parasol, we will drink to art, to women, to men, to beauty, to intelligence, to freedom, to love and sex.

Well, to life.

* Journalist and essayist, Former deputy editor of Le Parisien and Aujourd’hui en France