This is a French satirical magazine, regarded as more notorious than clever. This unsophisticated and vulgar publication specializes in, crass jokes, and relies on offence, bums and dicks. As Tory Shepherd says in an article in the Telegraph January, 16th 2015-That’s their schtick and good on them for sticking to it. ( gimmick, Yiddish middle high German.)
But I ask, is it freedom of speech or licence to savage Muslims, Christians and Jews, even if in equal measure? Is it wise to do so in any society, let alone a multi-cultural one? Bigots seem to be on the rise, while many deranged, radicalized Islamists, are ready to take offence, seeking revenge in the most violent way possible. Le attentat in Paris, that awful assassination, would suggest no, no, and no, not Je suis Charlie. This grubby publication has cost the lives of both the police and the dessinateurs –cartoonists.
Doubtless, more deaths are already planned.
Thank God we have 18C in Australia, that section of the Racial Discrimination Act which makes it an offence to publish anything reasonably likely, in all the circumstances, to offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate another person, or group of people on the basis of their race, colour, nationality or ethnic origin.
The changes suggested a few months ago were meant to remove offend and insult, intimidate would have stayed, vilify planned to be added. In the light of the Paris atrocity, it would seem to me best to leave 18C alone, not contemplate removing these clauses. If Charlie Hebdo were shut down here because of 18C, it does not seem to me it would be any great loss for Australians. We have no place for bigots, even those who wield the pen, not the sword.
Tory says the Left in Australia are too pretentious to rely on vulgarity and offence to sell a magazine like Hebdo. Dare I suggest they may be too highbrow to countenance such a publication? Even in France it was on the verge of bankruptcy. The attack actually raised public interest sufficiently to warrant printing millions of copies.
I agree totally with Tory’s closing paragraph. While it’s admirable that MPs, commentators and commissioners and others want to show solidarity with those killed, and to reaffirm a commitment to freedom of speech. They can find ways of doing so without deifying this bigoted, vulgar and undeniably offensive publication. You don’t have to be Charlie to be in favour of free speech, and vehemently against terrorism.