Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Eleven Dead in Paris

The news from Paris this morning is horrible. The offices of a satirical magazine were attacked by heavily armed men killing 11 people. The pictures are disturbing. Free people everywhere are united in support of the French people and freedom of the press. The story is still developing as I write these words so further details may emerge that will clarify the issues here. Right now it appears that this particular publication, Charlie Hebdo, may have been targeted for its frequent publication of irreverent cartoons featuring the Prophet Muhammad. The weekly describes itself as, among other things, strongly anti religious and says it reflects, " all components of left wing pluralism, and even abstainers."

From the sound of it, this is not a magazine I would care to read, me being somewhat religious and decidedly not left wing, however they do have my respect and admiration for having the guts to actually publish satire aimed at Islam, the world's untouchable religion. I've always found it galling how Christianity and Christians are routinely mocked by Hollywood, while Islam almost always gets a pass.  There may be occasional and rare exceptions, but generally speaking, it's open season on bible-thumpers. I love going to the Onion website because I'm always entertained, but I can count on one hand the number of articles I have seen sending up Islam compared to the almost daily drubbing that Christianity sustains. But, that's fine. It's satire, and that's part of the fun. Still, the primary reason Islam gets treated with kid gloves is because of attacks like this. Islamic terrorists have sent a clear message to every newspaper in the world that if you cast the Prophet in a bad light, they will come after you. Largely, it has worked, but apparently not on this hardy band of Frenchmen. I salute them and mourn their deaths.

I shouldn't even say this, but in all candor, I couldn't help laughing a bit at one particular detail of this still breaking story. I shouldn't be laughing at anything having to do with such news I freely admit. I am clearly a terrible human being. However, when I read that during the assault, two French policemen arrived on bicycles, and after realizing that the attackers were heavily armed...FLED THE SCENE, well, the irony was just too much. What's it been now, seventy years? Some things never change I suppose!