HEBDO: Why we must resist sympathy for Islamics about Charlie’s true colours


Christopher Booker wrote in the Telegraph over the weekend that Charlie Hebdo “isn’t really very good satire”. I’m inclined to agree, but on the other hand it gives offence to millions of people in need of a severe dose of offence in order to reposition their feet back on the planet. As usual, Booker adds considered value to the debate by suggesting most of the ‘leaders’ being directed in Paris probably had little or no idea before last week what Charlie is. I’m sure he’s right: in my original post the weekend following the attack, I pointed out that few were more hypocritical than the French élite, most of whom detest Charlie Hebdo.

There are two points I would make about Christopher’s piece, however. The first is that Charlie is disgustingly nasty about every aspect of national and international hypocrisy. In an average year, there is no more bile directed at Islamists than most other pols, religious leaders, bankers etc. And of course, we mustn’t forget that Islamists kill a quite inordinate number of people every year, but those Muslims not of an ‘ist’ disposition fellow-travel with them. So in my book, yes, they should be kicked for that. It is, however, only the Muslims who are variously torching anything to do with Christianity, magazines and cartoonists in Pakistan, Indonesia and Africa at the moment: they too had never heard of Charlie before 12 days ago.

The second point is that, as a francophile for decades and now a resident here, the French do have a different sense of humour when lampooning things. For some reason, it seems to be largely about bottoms and farts, things being rammed up bottoms, bottoms sitting on fences and so forth. They find it funnier then we do, but it’s based on le con and les conneries –  arseholes who talk nothing but shit. The quickest way in French satire to demonstrate that a pompous idiot is human just like the rest of us is to show him on the loo, farting, running out of toilet paper and so forth.

My bottom (sorry) line on all this is that we must not let English considerations of quality cloud the debate here. Equally, we must not give the censorious even the tiniest chink of light upon which they can base the argument that Charlie was – and is – “asking for it”. The new Pope (of whom I approve on the whole) went down in my estimation last week when he remarked that those who insult Islam “must expect to be punched”. Must they? Islamist websites insult every religion on the planet beyond their One True God, but nobody mentioned this last week. And the average Muslim’s response when interviewed on camera was a shrug, and the words, “Why are they [CH] trying to escalate this?” So killing the entire editorial staff of the magazine wasn’t an escalation then?

This isn’t a new topic for me: as long as ten years ago, I attracted a great deal of hate-thread for pointing out how long it took UK Muslim Council leader Iqbal Sacranie to condemn the 5/5 London bombers. The day before, however, I lost a lot of readers (and two friends) by saying that London had been given a bloody nose by its stupid politicians and their infinite desire to clamber up Uncle Sam’s bottom. Oh dear, we’re back at bottoms again.

The deconstruction of hypocritical and mendacious bollocks from all warring factions about everything was the starting point for The Slog. Performing that task is also called free speech. Within three days of orchestrating the Walk for Free Speech in Paris, Francois Hollande cracked down on “hate speech” via Facebook and other platforms, arresting 54 French citizens. As a blogger based here in France, I cannot name a French bank I know perfectly well is in dire financial straits -and the mess won’t have been helped by the CHF decoupling last week: I will face a fine of €13,500 euros if I do name them.

In the West, we haven’t had real Freedom of Speech since the passage of the race relations act, and the ushering in of the Age of Euphemism by the jackbooting march of pc goblins and deranged feminists. For myself, I’d give freedom of speech just one caveat: no freedom of speech for those against whom I could present clear evidence that, if given the power, they wouldn’t extend freedom of speech to me. But even that is capable of being perverted: ultimately, free speech is like pregnancy – it’s indivisible: it either is, or it isn’t.

The prolific tweeter Mark G Sparrow has been hounded half to death by pointing out such things on Twitter. The baying hordes desperate to shut Anna Raccoon up ruined her life for a while. The Mob has stuck Rolf Harris in jail, and is now denying Ched Evans a living. Everywhere in our culture, media barons, the rigid Left, politicians in hock to Mammon, neoliberal commentators and yes, extreme religionists, all conspire to dump reality and ethics in favour of A Line. In the end, that line strangles Truth.

Christopher Booker is acutely aware of this himself: towards the end of yesterday’s piece, he notes with balanced accuracy that:

‘In a time when there is such pressure to prevent people saying things that do not conform with group-think – when every kind of “political correctness” rules; when Christians are arrested for quoting the Bible in the street, for fear of giving “offence to minorities”; when boarding-house owners are prosecuted for not wishing to let rooms to gay couples; when there are calls for “climate change deniers” to be sacked or put on trial; when judges repeatedly threaten people with imprisonment for trying to expose the travesties of justice in their “child protection” system – who really knows what “freedom of speech” is any longer?

There has been no better comment on the clouds of humbug recently billowing in all directions than the admission of BBC employees that they are under an edict from apparatchiks on high that they must not on any account describe to their audiences the contents of any of those Charlie Hebdo cartoons.’

It’s because of such plainly spoken reason and sense that he regularly gets 2-3,000 comments on his pieces at the Telegraph. But even in that increasingly odd bastion of conservatism, the Wimmin are bursting through with their own billowing clouds of pernicious fantasy…upon which subject I shall blog in the very near future.

Yesterday at The Slog: Complication is good for elites…it hides bad decisions