After the attack on the staff of “Charlie Hebdo,” many people are claiming that we all should be “free” to harass others, bully and offend in the name of “free speech.” However in an ironic twist, the very founder of the satirical magazine, Henri Roussel is blaming the journalists for the tragedy in an editorial, particularly Stephane Charbonnier who was also known as “Charb.”
Roussel describes “Charb” as a “splendid” but “stubborn man.” In light of the firebombing of the offices of “Charlie Hebdo,” Roussel ponders the decision of “Charb” to continue publishing the cartoons of Islam’s founder, Mohamed. He ask the rhetorical question: “What use was it to drag the team into a game of one-upmanship? What made him feel the need to drag the team into overdoing it, he shouldn’t have done it” Out of anger he closes with, “I”m upset at you, Charb. May your soul rest in peace.”
I agree with Roussell. “Charb” was extremely irresponsible and careless. He put his staff at risk knowing that radical Muslims will not back down until those they dislike are dead. “Charb’s” insistence on publishing the offensive cartoons was the equivalent of taunting a hungry bear with a slab of meat. We know that this would elicit a violent response. I elaborate more on responsible speech on my post: “My Thoughts on Charlie Hebdo.” Moreover, Pope Francis himself stated why we must be careful with what we say especially with things that are dear to people such as religion and parents. Attacking these sensitive areas of a person’s life can trigger a response that may be violent.
|“What made him feel the need to drag the team into overdoing it, he shouldn’t have done it.”|
“Charb” in his arrogance continued his harassment of Muslims not caring for himself, his staff and the Muslims of the world who do not appreciate the founder of their religion mocked. I have stressed many times that if we use free speech in this manner, then there is no point in preventing bullying of any group. The “NOH8″ LGBT campaign would not make sense because people would be free to harass and bully LGBT people just because they are free to do so and no one should censor this ability.