Although the bodies of the 12 victims of the savage attack against the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo are still warm, it seems to be that everyone is trying to one-up each other in their struggle to appear as the most vocal supporter of freedom of speech. People like Francois Hollande and Manuel Valls of France, Angela Merkel of Germany, Mark Rutte of the Netherlands, Mariano Rajoy of Spain, and every single pointless, inbred, poor excuse of humans of the decaying royal houses of Europe, all run to the streets and speak of freedom of expression, like it’s something they actually believe in. In America the events are the same, with war criminal, and Nobel peace prize winner, Barack Obama and his consort of useful idiots, condemning the attacks as something they cannot seem to understand.
How, they ask, could something like this happen?
Today, on the streets of many major cities, there were protests of people demonstrating their solidarity with those whose blood was spilled. Carrying plenty of signs, and live-tweeting the events of course, they condemned what happened and, behind their teary eyes, seemed truly puzzled at what could possible cause something like this.
In the case of many, I have very little sympathy for those crocodile tears.
Where was Francois Hollande’ and Manuel Valls’ commitment to freedom of expression when people like Varg Vikernes and Dieudonné M’bala M’bala were punished for “speech crimes”? Where were Angela Merkel’s concern for freedom of expression when Ernst Zündel spent 5 years in prison for denying the holocaust? What about Mariano Rajoy, when people like Pedro Varela are sentenced to prison for publishing Nazi books and have their books, ironically enough, burned? Or Mark Rutte, when even Dutch politicians like Geert Wilders face prison for offending Islam or Muslims?
Where were the demonstrations when deniers of genocides were thrown in prison? Where were the tears and the insufferable hashtag activism for Varg Vikernes when his house was brutally raided by French anti-terrorist forces, just for his blog posts? When he was forced to pay thousands of Euros in punishment for “offending” Jews and Muslims?
Let’s be frank, the truth is that none of these people, none, believe in freedom of expression. Their loyalty lies on the ideal of a homogeneous culture where everyone is free to agree with each other, and where offensive speech is eliminated, either by judicial means or simply social pressure.
It is pathetic to see the memories of the victims soiled by the false indignation of a bunch of opportunistic hypocrites, who are only loyal to their re-election, or by a bunch of cowards who never before said anything about freedom of expression. How come so many European politicians are so eager to condemn the murders of these cartoonists, while their own countries still allow the imprisonment of those who publish offensive speech? Can a man like former French president Nicolas Sarkozy give lessons on freedom of speech when he actively pursued punishing deniers of the Armenian genocide?
What these pathetic characters have missed in the very brief introduction to freedom of expression that, I’m sure, they were given before the cameras started rolling, is that they don’t get to pick and choose what expression is OK. While people are certainly correct in defending their right to offend Islam, they must also use the same zeal in defending the rights of others to offend them.
This is perhaps the best irony of all. Charlie Hebdo had a “proud” tradition of insulting not just Islam, but everything and everyone. Catholics, Jews, Muslims, nobody was safe from them, and they seemed to have relished in the vitriolic hatred that they got from their targets.
Our indignation for what has happened in France is justified. The people who committed these atrocities must be punished, and we cannot let them ever think we will be intimidated. And yet, many publications still won’t run the offensive cartoons, or will waltz around the obvious issue of how many times we have bent over backwards to accommodate the savages, even if only out of fear. This says a lot about the times we live in, perhaps much more than the criminal acts of a bunch of fanatical sociopaths.
At the end of the day, those cartoonists are dead. No matter how many minutes of silence are dedicated to their memories, their pens will forever lie still. Honoring them in a meaningful way is much harder than just gathering a bunch of politicians and inbred royals for a photo-op. It requires us accepting that we can never again tolerate anybody, be it an angry mob or the State, to tell us what type of speech is permitted.
Are we all Charlie Hebdo?
Then abolish the laws that restrict our speech.
Let freedom ring.
It’s worth it.