The notion that Charlie Hebdo is a purely satirical magazine that attacks everybody and cannot, therefore, be considered racist seems to generally be espoused by well-meaning but uninformed people. The fact of the matter is that in 2009, Charlie Hebdo fired a cartoonist after he mocked Jews and yet, has no issues consistently running Anti-Muslim cartoons that go out of their way to offend the sensibilities of Muslims. France also has a track record of double standards.
People familiar with the American notion of ‘absolute’ free speech unwittingly think it applies in France. It does not. The cartoonist who Charlie Hebdo fired was put on trial for ‘inciting racial hatred’ – something which even the most well-meaning supporters of Hebdo cannot deny they were doing towards Muslims (regardless of the technicality that Islam is a religion and not a race), and France previously sentenced Roger Garaudy, a historian, to jail for daring to write his book “The Founding Myths of Israeli Politics” in which he attacked Zionism, even though almost all his sources were Jewish.
More to the point is this; how is it that the brutal murder of 12 people in France has caused such widespread reactions when the murder of over 3000 Pakistani’s by Unmanned American Drones has not caused half as much anger throughout the world? All this to assassinate around 50 so-called ‘high profile’ targets? Who, it must be added, had not, for the most part, been convicted or found guilty in any court of law. Is this not, in and of itself, proof of the inherent racism that seems to be the huge elephant in the proverbial room?
Put another way, consider this; how would the world react if the United States had murdered 3000 Europeans in their attempt to assassinate around 50 so-called ‘high-profile’ suspects?
You all know the answer; the world would have gone batshit crazy.