Although I am not Charlie Hebdo, I do condemn the barbaric attack and support the people who stood up for freedom of speech in the face of political correctness and religious oppression.
Following the attack in France, Al Jazeera English executive producer and editor Salah-Aldeen Khadr sent out a memo to his staff. This memo started an email exchange that was leaked to National Review Online. In the original memo, Khadr laid out a plan to minimize the effects of the Charlie Hebdo massacre.
After listing nine suggestions ranging from characterizing the killing as a “targeted attack” and not a “broad attack on the French people” and asserting that “I am Charlie” is an alienating slogan, the memo concluded with the following passage:
“Defending freedom of expression in the face of oppression is one thing; insisting on the right to be obnoxious and offensive just because you can is infantile. Baiting extremists isn’t bravely defiant when your manner of doing so is more significant in offending millions of moderate people as well. And within a climate where violent response—however illegitimate—is a real risk, taking a goading stand on a principle virtually no one contests is worse than pointless: it’s pointlessly all about you.”
From a flawed premise comes a document stunning in its implications. Instead of even pretending to report the news in an unbiased fashion, this Al Jazeera editor wants his reporters and staff to run interference for and minimize the effects that barbarity will have on his religion. The entirety of the memo is included at the end of this article.
Unfortunately, he is being aided and abetted by members of the mainstream media and even our government. For some reason, AG Eric Holder, in Paris to attend a meeting on fighting terrorism, didn’t march with other world leaders to honor the victims of the Charlie Hebdo attack. It was bad enough that President Obama or Vice President Biden couldn’t find the time to attend, but Holder was already in Paris.
Marching with David Cameron (Great Britain), Benjamin Netanyahu (Israel), Francois Hollande (France), Angela Merkel (Germany), King Abdullah II (Jordan) and 35 more world leaders would have been a good idea. We did send the U.S. ambassador to France, but he seems kind of small potatoes. Even the White House thinks we should have sent someone with a higher profile.
For years, terrorists with incredibly strong ties to Islam having been committing terrorism and murder, but no one is allowed to question why the “religion of peace” does not harshly condemn and vilify the animals that are sullying its reputation.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi sees this more clearly than many in the West, calling for a ‘religious revolution’ to minimize violent jihadism.
“Is it possible that 1.6 billion people (Muslims worldwide) should want to kill the rest of the world’s population—that is, 7 billion people—so that they themselves may live?” he asked. “Impossible.”
He is correct. No matter how much the media bends over backwards to minimize the effects of extremist act committed by Muslims, each one adds to the burden that decent and moral people have to tolerate. Eventually, that burden will be too heavy to carry.
Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.
The full text of the memo from Executive producer Salah-Aldeen Khadr:
Thursday, January 08, 2015
Subject: AJ coverage of events in Paris
Please accept this note in the spirit it is intended – to make our coverage the best that it can be …. We are Al Jazeera!!!!
My suggestion is that we question and raise the following points in our coverage – studio/anchors/guests/correspondents:
- This was a targeted attack, not a broad attack on the french population a la Twin towers or 7/7 style. So who was this attack against? The whole of France/EU society? Or specifically this magazine. The difference lies in how this is reported not in how terrible the act is obviously – murder is murder either way… but poses a narrower question of the “why”? attack on french society and values? Only if you consider CH’s racist caricatures to be the best of European intellectual production (total whitewash on that at the moment)
- Was this really an attack on “Free speech”? Who is attacking free speech here exactly? Does an attack by 2-3 guys on a controversial magazine equate to a civilizational attack on European values..? Really?
- “I am Charlie” as an alienating slogan – with us or against us type of statement – one can be anti-CH’s racism and ALSO against murdering people(!) (obvious I know but worth stating)
- Also worth stating that we still don’t know much about the motivations of the attackers outside of the few words overheard on the video. Yes, clearly it was a “punishment” for the cartoons, but it didn’t take them 8/9 years to prep this attack (2006 was Danish/CH publication) – this is perhaps a response to something more immediate…French action against ISIL…? Mali? Libya? CH just the target ie focus of the attack..?
- Danger in making this a free speech aka “European Values” under attack binary is that it once again constructs European identity in opposition to Islam (sacred depictions) and cements the notion of a European identity under threat from an Islamic retrograde culture of which the attackers are merely the violent tip of the iceberg (see the seeping of Far Right discourse into french normalcy with Houellebecque’s novel for example)
- The key is to look at the biographies of these guys – contrary to conventional wisdom, they were radicalised by images of Abu Ghraib not by images of the Prophet Mohammed
- You don’t actually stick it to the terrorists by insulting the majority of Muslims by reproducing more cartoons – you actually entrench the very animosity and divisions these guys seek to sow.
- This is a clash of extremist fringes…
I suggest a re-read of the Time magazine article back from 2011 and I have selected the most poignant/important excerpt….
It’s unclear what the objectives of the caricatures were other than to offend Muslims—and provoke hysteria among extremists.
Defending freedom of expression in the face of oppression is one thing; insisting on the right to be obnoxious and offensive just because you can is infantile. Baiting extremists isn’t bravely defiant when your manner of doing so is more significant in offending millions of moderate people as well. And within a climate where violent response—however illegitimate—is a real risk, taking a goading stand on a principle virtually no one contests is worse than pointless: it’s pointlessly all about you.
Al Jazeera English