Diversity is a healthy sign of a society, I believe. So when there is a cacophonous debate, I do make a genuine effort to expose myself to as many viewpoints as possible. Just like with the Charlie Hebdo attack on 7 January 2015.
What I first came across was the solidarity that other cartoonists and journalists as well as a crowd of Parisiens expressed after the event.
- 23 Heartbreaking Cartoons From Artists Responding To The Charlie Hebdo Shooting (Buzzfeed, 7 January 2015)
- RT @BSchmeitzner Just WOW. Berlin’s newspaper BZ tomorrow. RT “@PeterHuth: BZ est Charlie pic.twitter.com/gR7AS4siuC” #JeSuisCharlie (7 January 2015)
- Les soutiens s’organisent pour que « Charlie Hebdo » vive (Le Monde, 8 January 2015)
- Asterix co-creator Albert Uderzo comes out of retirement to pen cartoons in memory of Charlie Hebdo victims (ABC News, 9 January 2015)
- RT @i_car “Ceux qui n’ont pas de pancartes, brandissez un stylo ! C’était leur arme à eux”, lance une dame. La foule suit. (7 January 2015)
Countering the marches and the Twitter hashtag #JeSuisCharlie, however, there emerged #JeNeSuisPasCharlie. The argument put forward by it was twofold. First, the Charlie Hebdo incident is not a matter of free speech [but hate speech], and second, devastating as it surely is, it is getting disproportionate attention [due to Eurocentralism], while what’s happening in Palestine, Syria, Nigeria is hardly receiving any. As recent as the Pakistan school shooting on 16 December 2014, for that matter.
- Why I am not Charlie (Gayeti Singh, The Citizen, 8 January 2015)
- I am not Charlie Hebdo (David Brooks, The New York Times, 8 January 2015)
- RT @Aboujahjah I am not Charlie, I am Ahmed the dead cop. Charlie ridiculed my faith and culture and I died defending his right to do so. #JesuisAhmed (8 January 2015)
- RT @abuaardvark Glad so many world leaders could take time off jailing and torturing journalists and dissidents to march for free expression in France. (11 January 2015)
- Media coverage of Charlie Hebdo and the Baga massacre: a study in contrasts (Ethan Zuckerman, The Conversation, 13 January 2015)
- Who’s a Charlie? France cracks down on free speech in order to defend it (Ali Abunimah, The Electronic Intifada, 14 January 2015)
- Yes, the new Charlie Hebdo cover is offensive (Jonathan Cook, 15 January 2015)
- RT @Akil_N_Awan Powerful cartoon in @Independent today on selective remembrance of victims #CharlieHebdo #Syria #NigerianLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/G2A66hKk5s (18 January 2015)
- RT @PabloK And so, will it be #WeAreAllCharleston? Or will universalism’s mask slip, to reveal its partiality – the real politics of identity – afresh? (18 June 2015)
Then there were also a handful of articles (that I read) that attempted to link this incident to bigger discussions, particularly the important distinction between Arabs, Muslims and fundamentalists.
- One Tweet Perfectly Sums Up the Big Problem With How We Talk About Terrorism (Elizabeth Plank, Mic, 7 January 2015)
- We think the Paris terrorists were offended by Charlie Hebdo’s satire. What if we’re wrong? (Michael Deacon, The Telegraph, 8 January 2015)
- Joe Sacco: On Satire – a response to the Charlie Hebdo attacks (Joe Sacco, The Guardian, 9 January 2015)
- On Charlie Hebdo: A letter to my British friends (Olivier Tonneau, Mediapart, 11 January 2015)
- The Charlie Hebdo Attack: The Double Alienation Dilemma (Akil N. Awan, The National Interest, 13 January 2015)
- Lost in translation: Charlie Hebdo, free speech and the unilingual left (Leigh Phillips, Ricochet, 13 January 2015)
The whole complexity of the matter has left me with a heavy heart and confused mind. I will continue reflecting on it here, but for the time being, I think I will leave it at the following photo (originally displayed by @FrancoisF24, 11 January 2015).