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The Paris attacks prove Charlie Hebdo’s critics wrong

Discussion in 'Personal' started by Weald56, Nov 17, 2015.

  1. Weald56

    Weald56 Established commenter


    Very interesting article :-

    First they came for the cartoonists. Among many things that changed in the space of a couple of hours in Paris on Friday night was the significance of the murders at the offices of Charlie Hebdo in January.

    During the subsequent soul-searching, many people, while obviously not excusing the killings, described the dead cartoonists as racists and Islamophobes who “punched down” at minorities in cartoons that amounted to hate speech.

    This division led to heated rows about the meaning of “Je suis Charlie” and the limits of freedom of speech, culminating in an ugly bust-up over the PEN gala that gave the magazine the Freedom of Expression Courage award in May. Dozens of prominent writers, including Peter Carey, Michael Ondaatje and Joyce Carol Oates, signed a letter protesting against the award. Others, less harshly, noted that the Charlie Hebdo staff were brazen provocateurs who had already received death threats. They did not expect to die and certainly did not deserve to but, it was argued, they knew they were targets because of their cartoons. They were an unusual case.

    The Parisians who left home to have a meal, drink with friends, watch a football match or see Eagles of Death Metal headline the Bataclan never thought of themselves as marked for death. It’s likely that among those who lost their lives were some who found Charlie Hebdo’s cartoons of the Prophet offensive and opposed military intervention in Syria. That didn’t matter to the terrorists because simply by enjoying life in Paris they deserved to die.

    By choosing those communal events in those lively, multiracial arrondissements, the terrorists turned pleasure itself into a crime. The Islamic State statement claiming responsibility for the attacks said that “hundreds of pagans had gathered in a profligate prostitution party” in “the capital of prostitution and obscenity”. These weren’t representatives of the state or army. They hadn’t mocked the Prophet. They didn’t “punch” in any direction. They were young, progressive, cosmopolitan people whose only offence was having fun.

    The attacks annihilated the fallacy of justified versus unjustified targets. Horrifying though the Charlie Hebdo attacks were, they allowed Parisians to believe that you had to do something to provoke the terrorists’ ire. (Not so the subsequent attack on a kosher supermarket, but that received much less attention.) On Friday night, however, all you had to do was be alive in the wrong place at the wrong time. U2’s Bono, who was due to play in Paris on Saturday, called it “the first direct hit on music”, and it was: you don’t choose the Bataclan unless you despise music and those who enjoy it. But the night was also an attack on sport, drinking, eating out, friendship and laughter. Of all the people and buildings that the terrorists might have planned to attack, they chose these. All terrorism is symbolic and this was the symbolism they wanted.
    emsjayne, guinnesspuss, wanet and 3 others like this.
  2. kittykinsfluffty

    kittykinsfluffty New commenter

    I don't really think so. I think the Guardian (and that big head Bono) are reading into this something they want to see.
    Terrorists of all kinds will choose to bomb where the maximum people damage can be done - packed planes, trains, stations, concert halls, restaurants, stadiums, shopping places.

    The Guardian is being fanciful as usual.
    racroesus and midnight_angel like this.
  3. Weald56

    Weald56 Established commenter

    ASs I understand it ISIS - in areas it controls - outlaws music, dancing, men & women socialising together etc .- and punishes those who carry on with these activities. So presumably they knew exactly what they were targeting, and it was no coincidence that they included restaurants, a football stadium, a concert hall etc.
  4. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    It's both.

    Great double whammy.

    Strike against decadence and places which happen to be soft targets.

    They're not going to get near Hollande, are they!
  5. kittykinsfluffty

    kittykinsfluffty New commenter

    So apart from men only clubs - that leaves everything else as a target.

    So the Guardian article is pure fantasy.
  6. Weald56

    Weald56 Established commenter

    If you look at the ages of most of those who died, you'll see it was aimed more at younger, more socially active people than (say) at those of my age. They didn't attack retirement homes, for example - they would be equally 'soft' targets.
    wanet likes this.
  7. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    I think the article is spot on.

    (Forget Bono. No good ever came of listening to any of the tripe he dishes up.)
    wanet, CWadd and HelenREMfan like this.
  8. kittykinsfluffty

    kittykinsfluffty New commenter

    Retirement home = potential of up to 50 targets.

    Football stadium = many thousands
    concert hall = many hundreds

    Enough said. You are trying to spin this one out to make a political point, like the Guardian.
  9. GLsghost

    GLsghost Star commenter

    I agree that the target seems to have been a lifestyle they despise - or perhaps are envious of?

    It is predominantly an area where people socialise and love life - friendly, welcoming, multi cultural and tolerant. The antithesis of everything Daesh stands for.
  10. kittykinsfluffty

    kittykinsfluffty New commenter

    They're hardly going to bomb themselves are they? Europe is the antithesis of ISIS. They could have bombed anywhere in Paris or Europe and targeted the lifestyle they despise.
  11. xena-warrior

    xena-warrior Star commenter

    If their main focus is profligacy and prostitution, why not hit the red light districts? Rhetorical: too few victims per terrorist.
    Las Vegas better look out - oh no, hang on, the US has somewhat stricter entry requirements than what I must now regard as the borderless continent of Eurasia.
    midnight_angel likes this.
  12. racroesus

    racroesus Star commenter

    I have posted about the events of Bloody Friday in Belfast; twenty bombs going of in a small city centre, security forces shuffling people from one explosion to the next but 11 killed. On Bloody Sunday in Londonderry the Army opened fire on a parade and killed (eventually) 14. To get big numbers it would be best to spend time shooting people in an enclosed space like a concert hall. Bombs tend to have their force absorbed. The planners knew what they were about and in my opinion sinful activity like listening to music was merely a tag to keep suggesting deep religious motives to the less intelligent cannon-fodder.
    colpee likes this.
  13. Morninglover

    Morninglover Star commenter

    This photos gives an idea of the make up of the music fans at the Bataclan:


    Generally young (< 30) and mixed both as regards gender and ethnicity...
  14. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Holiday-makers (Russian flight from Sharm)
    Holiday-makers (Tunisian beach)
    Tourists (Bardo museum)

    There's a pattern and there are also outliers.

    The factory in Lyon.(June)

    Then the specific anti-Shia targets. (Kuwaiti mosque)

    They've plenty of options.
  15. Duke of York

    Duke of York Star commenter

    Doesn't anyone else find it a bit odd that the Russian airliner which it is now believed to have been brought down by IS, killing all 224 people on board gets little mention compared to the 129 victims of the Paris horror?
    wanet and grumpydogwoman like this.
  16. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

  17. VanEyssen

    VanEyssen Established commenter

    Was it not in the news for some considerable time?
    What do you think was wrong with the coverage?
  18. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    No. Planes crash fairly regularly for a variety of reasons. Remember the Americans shooting down an Iranian airliner years ago? Or the Russians doing the same over Korea I think? Vaguely. It didn't seem so bad...

    We normalise it.

    Paris was a shock to the system. It might happen in other places that seem a long way off to us and it doesn't make the same impact. When it becomes part of your life, you notice it more. If it might put you at risk, you really start to take notice.
  19. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Ah, yes. The old story. Why me?!!!

    Rather than 'why the hell NOT me'?
  20. xena-warrior

    xena-warrior Star commenter

    Whilst it may be more trendy to regard oneself as some kind of state-free global citizen, I do not. I am local. There is absolutely no point in expecting me to devote as much mental anguish to the 25000 under-fives who will die today of entirely preventable means in sub-Saharan Africa and SE Asia as to a friend's stillborn baby.
    All these other places are war zones. Beirut, Russia, most of the Middle east, Afghanistan - they are a long way away and the news of civilian dead has hardly changed for decades. France is 22 miles away, culturally much more similar to me (and how lovely if that really didn't make any difference. At least admit it), not at the time at war with anyone, and I know someone who was in the Cambodge (and survived).
    Of course it is more shocking.
    FolkFan likes this.

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