My heart goes out to the victims of the assault on Charlie Hebdo.

However, I can’t rightly support all the implications behind #JeSuisCharlie, as it’s a horrifically Islamophobic circulation in an already very Islamophobic France.

Ali Farzat, another political cartoonist based in Syria, was assaulted for depicting the Syrian government as it was: corrupt. He had both his hands broken, and, within days, still managed to draw the above image, his response to the attempted censorship. The difference is that Farzat was not attempting to belittle a racial or religious group, but of governments which sought to oppress those people; political satire that sought to punch upwards rather than contribute to popular anti-religious and racist belief.

Free speech is an important and basic human right, and should be protected at all costs, but I cannot support placing on a pedestal a group which attempted to further harm an already all-too-fragile understanding of the Muslim faith to outsiders. I feel that doing so will only make the current political situation more difficult to navigate.

I guess it just boils down to this: Watch who you elect as a martyr, because while such murder can never be justified, we can’t treat this event as reason for more Charlie Hebdos.

Further reading: “In the Wake of Charlie Hebdo, Free Speech Does Not Mean Freedom From Criticism,” Jacob Candfield, The Hooded Utilitarian

This is more or less my thoughts on the whole thing as well. It’s a bit like if some fanatic went and murdered a dozen people at Rush Limbaugh’s offices. It would be a horrible and tragic crime, but it wouldn’t make the deceased right. 

I’ve been trying to sum up my feelings on the subject and this does a perfect job for me.