14 January 2015

No laughing matter...

It is difficult to be clear-headed and express one's opinion about what happened in Paris last week... This is because so many complex, overlapping and emotive issues are involved, such as (in no particular order):
  • freedom 
  • freedom of expression
  • press freedom
  • the role and responsabilities of journalists
  • political satire
  • humour
  • political cartoons and their impact
  • anarchy and left-wing politics
  • terrorism
  • islamism
  • totalitarian regimes and theocracies
  • religious/social/ethnic intolerance
  • the marginalization of Muslim communities in France
  • secularism and French "laïcité" laws
  • anti-defamation laws
  • the rise of the extreme-right
  • multiculturalism
  • racism and poverty
  • social and spatial divide in urban areas
  • anti-semitism
  • blasphemy
  • iconoclasm
  • protest and solidarity marches
  • groupthink
  • etc.

Here are a few links to help you try and understand more clearly the issues involved:

Wikipedia entries:

> Charlie Hebdo shooting
> Islam
> Islamism
> Islam in France
> Depictions of Muhammad
> List of freedom indices
> Iconoclasm
> Groupthink
> Toleration
> Laïcité (in English)


> Islam and free speech: What's so funny? Aljazeera article
> International: des voix discordantes sur les caricatures de Charlie Hebdo. Contrepoints
> Caricatures de Charlie Hebdo : Peut-on rire de tout? Contrepoints
> Je ne suis pas Charlie... The Guardian
> Charlie Hebdo tributes. THE DAY
> Protests and demonstrations. THE DAY
> A The Guardian journalist's opinion on French laïcité
> The Pope's view. AP
> "France must reach out to disillusioned young Muslims...". The Guardian
> Video from The Guardian: interviews of members of the British Muslim community.
> What are the issues around the Charlie Hebdo shootings? THE DAY

Other sources:

> Statement by the High Commissioner (UN) for human rights
> World Press Freedom Index 2014

Please send as "comment" suggestions for other sources!