It has brought to the fore (again) the idea of 'what is free speech'?
It seem a very simple concept to me. Anyone is entitled to have an opinion, however misguided or abhorrent it may be. We cannot start trying to control people's thoughts. And free speech means we can express this, and anyone who disagrees has the right to argue back. With words, pictures, music. Hence the phrase "free speech".
When a group of people start arguing back at the tip of a sword, or gun or bomb however, that is wrong. And they deserve the full force of the law upon them. We should make no excuse for it, and not question it. If someone points a gun at you or your country, you don't, or shouldn't, just lie down and give in.
I think democracy is a wonderful but very complicated thing. The events in Paris, however, are not the price we pay for it. The price we pay for democracy are the extreme right wing political parties, the extreme left wing, the ones that scare us a bit, but don't go around enforcing their views with a gun.
At the moment, the world is obsessed with the idea of Islamic extremists. But we seem to forget that not much more than 100 years ago, Britain had at least a 3rd of the world at the tip of a Christian-fuelled sword. Christianity very recently, had a hold on the world in just as brutal a manner as a (comparatively small) amount of Islamic extremists would have it if they could.
For me, it is the way of the world. People are radicalised by whatever they see gives them power. If it wasn't Islam, or Christianity, it would be something else that radicalised the bored, the disaffected, those people in our world that feel forgotten but want a voice.
I don't think we can fix this. Merely live through it, and hopefully, learn from it. I don't really understand or know what I'm talking about. So I'll use the below.
|Joe Sacco: On Satire – a response to the Charlie Hebdo attacks|