Jan 072015

Satrical Magazine Charlie Hebdo has been hit in a terrorist attack, 12 people dead.

These are the names of the dead that have been released so far  (9:30 Mountain Time, 1/7/15).

Stéphane Charbonnier, known as Charb, the magazine’s editor and cartoonist
Bernard Maris, an economist and writer and the magazine’s deputy editor
Jean Cabu, cartoonist
Georges Wolinski, cartoonist
Bernard Verlhac, known as Tignous, cartoonist

Let us never forget them.

My readership is miniscule. Almost no one will see this post. Of the people who do, I expect none of them will be religious fanatics. Even if someone with violent intentions did stumble across this – I’m nobody. There’s no notoriety in killing me. There’s no fame or praise in it. No one would get the admiration of their peers.

So this is not brave in any way. What the cartoonists and satirists in France did – that is brave. But in solidarity, here is the drawing I did of Muhammad for the 2011 “Everyone Draw Muhammad” day.


  4 Responses to “This Is Not Brave”

  1. This is one of the few posts of yours that makes me really uncomfortable. The only reason you have to draw Muhammad is to anger Muslims. There are sometimes other reasons to do this, but you don’t have any of them. I recall agreeing with most of this article by Scott, and I agree with most of what I remember it saying, but I’ve only reread the first part which makes my point. You shouldn’t draw pictures of Muhammad just to anger Muslims; if you do you shouldn’t attract attention to them.

    I disagree with what I remember of the article about when it is appropriate; I think if you have some reason a picture would help, it’s probably OK to draw such a picture (standard disclaimers apply), but not just for the sake of angering people.

    • Daniel, it will help with free speech. Also see here http://douthat.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/01/07/the-blasphemy-we-need

      • Let me put it this way:

        Many people feel that it is acceptable to hound people for their jobs for making comments that are homophobic, racist, or sexist in a private capacity.

        These people are a serious threat to free speech. (If you think “free speech only means the government won’t stop you saying it”, or something, fine; but for the sake of argument.)

        Is the correct response to these people to go out onto the street and shout racial slurs at the nearest black person?

        Would that in any way help your cause, do you think? Or would it make people *more* convinced that our free speech is attacking minorities, and needs to be stopped with censorship?

        The same applies here. The response to “we need to ban Nazis from exercising their free speech” is not to start spewing antisemetism in support of them; it’s to argue for free speech *even when* something is offensive.

      • This was a provocative comment and I appreciate it.

        However, I’m trying to follow this “for the sake of argument”, but I’m having trouble because I think hounding people for making such comments is in a different class. There’s a variety of responses that people counter to that position can take, including debate. Further, it involves both the people protesting as well as the company, who could also theoretically be swayed.

        The Paris shooting is a separate issue, involving violence, from which no fair response can take place. The way to negotiate with agents like this is different and involves switching their pre-action incentives of what will occur the next time they do a similar thing.

        “Terrorism” really is an ontologically distinct class and requires different responses than the situation you’ve sketched out.

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