After the awful terrorist attack on the Paris office of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, the world has responded promptly. Around the world, people have gathered for ‘Je suis Charlie’ solidarity vigils, with #JeSuisCharlie trending. Has the penny finally dropped for the media?
As Palestinian terrorists continue to attack Israel as they have for decades, the world media looks on and rationalizes their behaviour as a response to Israel’s “occupation” and “imperialism”. This isn’t our problem, they said.
When Islamist terrorists attacked the US on 9/11 in a declaration of war against western society and values, many were content to blame the US for their interfering foreign policy, or call it blowback from their support of the mujahideen in Afghanistan. As President Bush cobbled together a “coalition of the willing” and made further foreign policy blunders in Iraq, it was easy to keep blaming the US, and indeed President Obama has self-emasculated the entire country for its past sins.
The rise of ISIS was again blamed on the West’s dealings with Iraq and Syria. Even as attacks began to spread around the world, they were declared, one by one, as “lone wolf” attacks by mentally unstable individuals. Anyone daring to use the t-word or the m-word were quickly condemned or dismissed, and the real problem was us and our “Islamophobia”. The media seemed unable to make any connection between the attacks, nor to realize that terrorism had evolved.
Now, has the penny finally dropped for the media? Because now, the target of the attack is the media itself: a western magazine with a proud history of satire particularly targeting religious extremism. Charlie Hebdo were indiscriminate – going after the Catholics, the Jews and the Muslims. Of those three groups, it’s very clear that one does not share their sense of humour. One sure marker of a mature and progressive society is its ability to laugh at itself – quality satire is actually quality self-reflection. Yet another attribute painfully lacking in many Muslim societies.
With one of their own attacked most brutally in a clear and unequivocal swipe against free speech – a cornerstone of Western society – will the media finally put the jigsaw pieces together and see the big picture?
Israel has been fighting this very same war against Islamic extremism bent on their destruction on their own front for decades. The front has now widened to many parts of the Western world.
Je suis Charlie
Je suis Western Society
Je suis Israel