Je Ne Suis Pas Charlie
Our hearts go out to all who lost their lives last week to terrorism in Paris. 17 innocent victims. 3 terrorists gunned down.
First and foremost the terrorists are to blame for this tragedy. It was evil, wicked and completely and utterly insane to murder people for merely expressing views they (the terrorists) disagree with. No one deserved to pay with their lives.
People talk about freedom of speech and we’re all for that of course, but with power and a sizeable readership comes responsibility and influence and as France’s leading satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo arguably had a responsibility to be more careful with what it published. It has patently failed with fatal consequences in that basic editorial duty. Careful editorial judgement was sadly lacking for years as the magazine was allowed to poke fun at the prophet Mohammad, other religious figures and the wider French and world-wide establishment.
The tragic events of last week were a direct consequence of that magazine playing recklessly and foolishly with the principles of freedom of speech.
I reiterate, that whilst no one truly deserved to lose their lives over mere cartoons and opinions, unfortunately in today’s climate of intolerance amongst certain people and organisations, Charlie Hebdo staff knew they were taking a risk with their magazine content. It is truly tragic in the extreme that a number of Parisians’ lost their lives.
There is a dichotomy here in supporting the ’Je Suis Charlie’ campaign for free speech, but on the other hand there is a recognition we live in times of religious intolerance (come to think of it, it’s hard to recall a time when religious intolerance did not exist) and therefore accept that there is a need for care and even a degree of censorship in what is said, published and broadcast.
We live in times of press and media censorship and constraints anyway, so the principle of freedom of speech doesn’t exactly exist in its broadest sense when it comes to publishing and broadcasting, not to mention the restrictions on what employees can say at work either if they wish to remain employed or what public figures can say if they too wish to stay in employment or not face a media and public backlash.
So whilst we can support the Je Suis Charlie campaign for freedom of speech, we cannot support it in its entirety as we also recognise the need for everyone to try to exercise sound judgement.
#Je ne suis pas Charlie
Baga massacre, Nigeria
We send our condolences to the families of up to 2,000 innocent people who tragically lost their lives as part of the obliterating of 16 entire villages in Baga, Nigeria by the Boko Haram terrorist group last week.
Hundreds of bodies — too many to count — remain strewn in the bush in Nigeria from an Islamic extremist attack that Amnesty International described as the “deadliest massacre” in the history of Boko Haram.
It is reported that most of the victims were children, women and elderly people who could not run fast enough when insurgents drove into Baga, firing rocket-propelled grenades and assault rifles on the town residents.
“The human carnage perpetrated by Boko Haram terrorists in Baga was enormous,” Muhammad Abba Gava, a spokesman for poorly armed civilians in a defense group that fights Boko Haram, told The Associated Press. He stated that the civilian fighters gave up on trying to count all the bodies. “No one could attend to the corpses and even the seriously injured ones who may have died by now,” Gava said.
“This marks a disturbing and bloody escalation of Boko Haram’s ongoing onslaught,” said Daniel Eyre, Nigeria researcher for Amnesty International.
We hope swift action will be taken to capture and deal with the perpetrators of that atrocity.
Source: AP The Big Press – Baga massacre – January 2015
RIP 2,000 Nigerians and 17 Parisians