On Freedom of Speech and Tolerance and Powers of Surveillance

Written By: - Date published: 11:46 am, January 8th, 2015 - 101 comments
Categories: Europe, im/migration, International, john key, national - Tags: ,

Charlie Hebdo

Like Karol I was shocked to wake up and read about the killing of staff at Charlie Hebdo and also the killing of two police officers, one of who, Ahmed Merabet, was reportedly of Muslim background.

We should suspend full judgment on what has happened until we have more facts.  Leaping to judgment has previously been shown to be a mistake.  Early speculation about the Sydney Siege was shown to be incorrect, not to mention damaging.

The report from one of the survivors suggests that the killers may have been French born adherents of the Muslim faith and Charlie Hebdo’s caricatures of the prophet Mohammed was clearly the cause of the attack which appears to have been well planned.  There are reports that the attackers claimed to be from Al-Qaeda in Yemen.  Suspects have been identified.

It is not as if acts of terrorism are unknown, it is just that acts of terrorism involving Muslims appear to receive extra coverage.  For instance the recent firebombing of NAACP offices in Colorado received little local coverage although admittedly no one was killed.  The killing of seven journalists during the recent Israeli attacks on Palestine received little coverage.  But any “Muslim” involvement seems to make the event that much more newsworthy.

There are three implications for our society from these events:

  1. Loss of Freedom of speech
  2. A break down of tolerance
  3. A push by the State to further increase the powers of surveillance.

As to the first there will be a chilling effect on the media.  But we need to protect their right to publish information, even upsetting information.  Satire has to be at the front of the list of what needs to be protected.

As author Phillip Pulman has said:

It was a shocking thing to say and I knew it was a shocking thing to say. But no one has the right to live without being shocked. No one has the right to spend their life without being offended. Nobody has to read this book. Nobody has to pick it up. Nobody has to open it. And if you open it and read it, you don’t have to like it. And if you read it and you dislike it, you don’t have to remain silent about it. You can write to me, you can complain about it, you can write to the publisher, you can write to the papers, you can write your own book. You can do all those things, but there your rights stop. No one has the right to stop me writing this book. No one has the right to stop it being published, or sold, or bought, or read.

And a recent tweet of his:

Salman Rushdie, the English Author who had a Fatwa placed on his head for an irreverent depiction of Mohammed has said this:

“I stand with Charlie Hebdo, as we all must, to defend the art of satire, which has always been a force for liberty and against tyranny, dishonesty and stupidity.

Religions, like all other ideas, deserve criticism, satire, and, yes, our fearless disrespect.”

Some have suggested there should be a mass publishing of the offending cartoons.  But I do not know why.  I agree with Stephanie Rodgers that in terms of quality they are poor.  And why exercise the right of free speech just to offend?  While we should have the utmost right to say something this does not mean that we should use it to intentionally upset.

The “break down of tolerance” has been happening for a while.  Attacks by the extremist fringe of a particular society are said to be justification for condemning that society as a whole.  This is as nutty as blaming Christianity for the actions of the Klu Klux Klan.  But if we allow tolerance to break down then the terrorists are winning.  The best thing we can do is reach out to the various Muslim Communities to show that all we have interesting cultural differences there is so much that we share in common.

And besides there is a diversity amongst the Muslim Communities as strong as there is amongst the European Communities.  As an example anyone who thinks that the good people of West Auckland are the same as the people of Remuera need their heads read.

Finally, as for increased surveillance it is a given that the governments’ particularly the right wing varieties, will use this event to push for even further powers of surveillance.  But the question whether increased powers will ever improve things, let alone justify the loss of personal freedom, is never properly answered during these bouts of power grabbing.  After all the actions of a lone gunman in Sydney who pretty well published his nuttiness to the world via Facebook were not stopped.  Allowing even further powers of intrusion into our lives will help how?

While on this point prepare for further cynical exploitation of the situation by this Government similar to what occurred during the Sydney Siege.

My deepest condolences to the families of the people who have been killed.

101 comments on “On Freedom of Speech and Tolerance and Powers of Surveillance”

  1. Te Reo Putake 1

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/cartoon/2015/jan/07/charlie-hebdo-paris-attack-cartoon-bell

    Good post, ms. As well as the assault on freedom, it’s worth acknowledging that this is also an attack on mainstream Muslim belief.

    • lprent 1.1

      …it’s worth acknowledging that this is also an attack on mainstream Muslim belief.

      If I had to guess I’d say that was in fact the main target. The inevitable daft repression and retaliation will almost certainly ensure that it radicalizes those affected by it. That is how you make a small movement to become a larger one.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1.1

        That’s the theory. In practice, when the people don’t turn against the oppressors, the terrorists turn on the people.

        • lprent 1.1.1.1

          Agreed. However they usually get some short-term results from it and generally terrorists of all kinds tend to not think that much about either the future or the most effective ways to achieve goals.

          That is why the process you’re describing takes time, usually decades and usually after the reflexive short-term idiots in the political process get overruled by people who actually read the history of the process of terrorism.

    • weka 1.2

      “http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/cartoon/2015/jan/07/charlie-hebdo-paris-attack-cartoon-bell”

      I’m not laughing.

    • Mike 1.3

      Surely that is exactly what we need need to attack. “Mainstream Muslim belief”. It is evil!

      • Te Reo Putake 1.3.1

        No, it’s not, Mike. Nothing is evil, because evil does not exist. Islam is a religion that is based on peace, but like most religions, it can be perverted toward violence. The problem is violence and intolerence. And, as you demonstrate, ignorance.

  2. Coffee Connoissuer 2

    “Some have suggested there should be a mass publishing of the offending cartoons. But I do not know why.”

    Why?:
    The Streisand effect.

    The Streisand effect is the phenomenon whereby an attempt to hide, remove, or censor a piece of information has the unintended consequence of publicizing the information more widely, usually facilitated by the Internet.

    It is named after American entertainer Barbra Streisand, whose 2003 attempt to suppress photographs of her residence in Malibu, California inadvertently drew further public attention to it. Similar attempts have been made, for example, in cease-and-desist letters to suppress numbers, files, and websites. Instead of being suppressed, the information receives extensive publicity and media extensions such as videos and spoof songs, often being widely mirrored across the Internet or distributed on file-sharing networks.[1][2]

    The idea being that if the result of such attacks is a mass publication of pictures that offend en masse and from as many sources as possible it will be the exact opposite effect of what the murderers (after all that’s what they are). Were wanting to achieve and for it to be as a direct result of their actions is not only the ultimate slap in the face and given who Charlie Hebdo was and what he did it is arguably the ultimate satirical response.
    At least that would be the thinking.

    “why exercise the right of free speech just to offend? While we should have the utmost right to say something this does not mean that we should use it to intentionally upset.”

    Whilst I agree with this completely.
    Freedom of speech is by its very nature designed to protect speech that others may find offensive to ensure free and frank discussion and exchange of ideas free from persecution, prosecution or oppression.

    • can we just get a bit of perspective on this (what many seem to think is blanket) ‘free-speech’..esp. in france..

      ..there is not ‘free-speech’ in france..

      ..there are many restrictions/exceptions to the concept of ‘free-speech’..

      ..just one example is that in my advocacy for ending cannabis-prohibition here and @ whoar..

      ..wd leave me open to prosecution in france..

      ..where encouraging the consumption of illegal drugs is against the law..

      ..there is also holocaust-denial..and a raft of other ‘free-speech’ offences..

      ..so ‘free-speech’ always comes with qualifications..

      ..and is not just a blanket-right to say anything to anyone about anything..

  3. adam 3

    If this and other attacks like this show anything. It is that the right wing agenda, in economics and political authority is an abject failure. Again and again we see the removal of civil rights, work, social cohesion and a decent society.

    The rights response is so predictable it’s a joke. More suppression, more fear, more free markets. This has failed, and with it we slowly destroy the world by burning up all the carbon.

    If you think a state run solution from a rightwing government is going to solve this issue, you’re living in lala land. What can they do – except kill. It’s their only response – they can’t even think of any other solutions. They can only respond with violence, because that has become their political language – they have removed all other options and expect decent people to follow their wargasm ways.

    It feels a little like the later days of Rome – the fear of the enemy within and the abject fear of the enemy outside. We have a choice, either we can work out how to live together – and I’m pretty sure when sons marry daughters, or sons marry sons, daughters marry daughters, that solution will be worked out. Or we can let violence rule the day, fear run our hearts and let society crumble.

    Thanks Micky, wonderful piece – very thought provoking.

    • disturbed 3.1

      10000-% Adam.

      Freedom is in perilous danger now, as it was pre war Germany and all reason is now being thrown out the window as Key and Co will find ways again to take political advantage of the current turmoil by claiming everything he has done was for our good, while he continues to ratchet down further measures to restrict our freedom of speech.

      “The price of freedom is constant vigilance.”

    • The Lone Haranguer 3.2

      The response in France will reflect the wishes and aspirations of the French people, rather than any right wing agenda.

      With a socialist president (who got into power by arguing that he could fight the bankers) and a culture of liberty, (Voltare & co) any right wing agenda will be stiffled. Certainly there will be a rise in support for the far right (the Le Pen folk will milk this till the end) but the people are not the people of Germany.

      And that a good thing.

      • Murray Rawshark 3.2.1

        I think you have a bit of a romantic notion of the people who persecuted Dreyfus, collaborated with the Nazis during Vichy, wrote a chapter of the book on colonial atrocities in Algeria, committed an act of war against us in Auckland Harbour, and viciously suppressed the Kanak independence movement. Even worse, they confiscated the property of rugby league clubs and gave them to union. It’s also the country of Voltaire and a few others, but they are part of a very broad canvas.

    • Mike 3.3

      Yeah Right!

  4. Rolf 4

    There is not much freedom of expression in New Zealand anyway. Everything is censored, called moderation “of legal reasons”. Newspapers can be, and have been, closed down by senior bureaucrats with a phone call. The defamation laws gives the right of silence to anyone with money.

  5. Rolf 5

    It is not about surveillance and excessive surveillance, but about mass surveillance. Nobody will object to the state to monitor potential terrorists and trouble makers. We should all object to, and stop, that we all are treated as potential terrorists and trouble makers.

    • Atiawa 5.1

      I would suggest though that we all have the potential to be terrorists and trouble makers. My father changed his date of birth on his dole card so to be eligible to join the first echelon to North Africa at the beginning of WWII. He didn’t know what he was letting himself in for and times were hard but the army paid better than the dole.
      In our eyes he was an enlisted soldier. In the eyes of those he fought he was their enemy, an invader, perhaps a mercenary, even a terrorist.

  6. Tracey 6

    And the Army of God in the USA who target doctors performing abortions. Are they not terrorists too? Yet they have not been shut down despite murders, maimings and intimidation, they operate in plain sight.

    • tc 6.1

      yes they are classified as terrorists by the FBI and feature in the stats being a very busy group. The FBI stats make interesting reading from 1980-2005 from loonwatch.com.

      ” there were more Jewish acts of terrorism within the United States than Islamic (7% vs 6%). These radical Jews committed acts of terrorism in the name of their religion. These were not terrorists who happened to be Jews; rather, they were extremist Jews who committed acts of terrorism based on their religious passions, just like Al-Qaeda and company…”

  7. I’d be very interested to know what Hooton thinks of this as it is just the kind of thing he tried to incite against Nicky Hager.

    Is it so funny now Hoots? Is it? Is this the kind of thing you wanted?

    • Murray Rawshark 7.1

      But that’s different. What Odgers and Hooton did is perfectly explicable. They might be along soon to explain why.

  8. ghostwhowalksnz 8

    Im wondering if internment without trial as operated by the British in Northern Ireland ( and others) will be the next step by jittery governments.

    “Chérif Kouachi was convicted of terrorism charges and sentenced to three years in prison, along with 18 months of suspension, for having assisted in sending fighters to Iraq’s insurgency”- Wikipedia

    The two main suspects were allready well known to the French authorities. So more surveillance isnt the answer. These people arent hidden from the security services

  9. Ian 9

    “The best thing we can do is reach out to the various Muslim Communities to show that all we have interesting cultural differences there is so much that we share in common.”

    Sorry but I read the above as more than a little cringe-worthy. Can you possibly be suggesting that we just need to show the Muslim community some love and understanding and everything will be ok? Surely not?

    The telling thing for me is that with every incident where the religion of peace has been named as a party to the event – even if only in passing – not once has the Muslim community reached out to the Western World publicly to condemn, vilify or scorn the perpetrators. Not once.

    The reason why? They’re as terrified of these nutjobs as many of us are or they in fact endorse their actions or both.

    Until they lead the charge against this odious behavior then they’ll get no or deserve any support.

    • Sacha 9.1

      “not once has the Muslim community reached out to the Western World publicly to condemn, vilify or scorn the perpetrators. Not once.”

      You’re welcome to your own opinions, but not your own facts. It’s not their fault if our media do not report what moderate Muslims have been doing for ages:
      http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-debate/in-the-mideast-as-in-france-satire-is-a-weapon-against-extremists/article22331032/

    • Anne 9.2

      … not once has the Muslim community reached out to the Western World publicly to condemn, vilify or scorn the perpetrators. Not once.

      You are either a deliberate liar or you are a blind, deaf cretin.

      Thousands upon thousands of Muslims – either independently or through their leaders/elders – have openly expressed disgust and outrage over the actions of Al Qaeda and ISIS. They will do so again over the barbarous act in Paris. As for the ordinary Muslim people who live in the war-torn areas… of course they can’t speak out. They are dead meat if they do. That doesn’t mean they support the terrorists.

      It’s your kind of simplistic, stupid thinking that enables these acts of terror to continue unabated. We need to support Muslim communities wherever they exist and help them in every possible way to stamp out this odious scourge within their midst.

      • Ian 9.2.1

        Wow – I don’t like what you say therefore I must cast aspersions on your integrity, physical status and mental capacity.

        Awesome, that definitely helps the debate move along.

        Drawing the conclusion that somehow I enable or permit these acts of terrorism because I have an opinion that differs to yours? “Lazy thinking” as my 5th form english teacher would scold.

        I’m fairly sure debate is possible without the personal slurs but then possibly it would not fit your agenda or personal narrative. Good luck with that approach – I’m sure it’ll work well for you in future as no doubt it has so far in life.

        However, to my point – I’ve watched most of the MSM reports on this event and not a single Muslim leader has decried the people who committed this act. I’m not saying it has not happened, merely that I have not seen or heard it.

        It is in fact correct that media in the middle east often lampoons ISIS and satirizes some of their barbarous acts. But that is not the same thing as Islamic Leaders taking a stand anywhere in the western world and doing the same.

        I’m neither lazy, blind or stupid. And a considered opinion is always open to change. Unlike a closed mind.

        • Anne 9.2.1.1

          Did you watch TV1 news this evening? If so, did you conveniently ignore the mention of Muslim leaders et al who have condemned outright the latest act of barbarism just as they have in times past. Last time I looked the video was still not up online but I’m sure you have the wit to check it out for yourself.

          I never said you were lazy, but I have noted before you can be blind and stupid when you want to be. So If you don’t like the truth, go some place where they specialise in selective dishonesty. Whale-Oil springs to mind. Might be more to your liking.

        • Murray Rawshark 9.2.1.2

          Your 5th form English teacher should have also taught you the difference between facts and lies.

          As to the number of Muslim leaders who have condemned the Paris murders, I’ve made the research easy for you:

          http://lmgtfy.com/?q=how+many+muslim+leaders+have+condemned+the+Paris+murders%3F

          I’d say you are also lazy and biased. Maybe not blind or stupid, but intellectually dishonest.

        • Manuka AOR 9.2.1.3

          @ Ian

          No doubt you “publicly … condemn, vilify or scorn the perpetrators” of the ongoing killing of these civilians then: http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2014/nov/24/-sp-us-drone-strikes-kill-1147

        • Tracey 9.2.1.4

          in your first post you imply the muslim community doesn’t speak out because they are as scared as the “rest of us” in your second you say they may have spoken out but you haven’t seen or heard it?

          is there a third post?

          I scroll down… er, no.

    • Olwyn 9.3

      Mohammed Moussaoui, president of the Union of French mosques, condemned the “hateful act” and urged Muslims and Christians “to intensify their actions to give more strength to this dialogue, to make a united front against extremism”.

      There you have at least one member of the Muslim community speaking out publicly.

      It’s toward the bottom of this page:

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/europe/64749010/paris-terror-attack-12-killed-at-satirical-newspaper-charlie-hebdo

    • Murray Rawshark 9.4

      Bullshit. Muslim clerics and organisations have condemned these sort of acts more times than you’ve had hot breakfasts. On the other hand, how many Christian organisations felt they had to condemn Anders Breivik and distance themselves from him because he claimed to be a Christian?

      Police stop making stuff up.

      • lprent 9.5.1

        The Kurds are mainly Sunni muslims. Amazing how well they have stood up against ISIS despite their relative lack of armaments.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 9.5.1.1

          A testament to the strength of parliamentary democracy, although they were retreating until the reinforcements arrived.

  10. Brian McPerkins 10

    Comes down to this, if someone wants to draw a picture of Mohammed and publish it, thats their right.

    NO one has the right , to kill you if you do.

    Kinda guessing people here and at the daily blog will be erecting a stature of Martyn Bradbury and Derek Fox with their comments today.

    • weka 10.1

      🙄

    • Miracle Worker 10.2

      Comes down to this, if someone wants to write a book to portray John Key as the thinly disguised, self serving, narcissistic, precious tyrant he is, that’s their right.

      NO one has the raid the author’s home looking for their sources if they do.

      (Especially not after describing the book as “a bunch of screaming left wing conspiracy theories”).

      Kinda guessing all the right wing grunters with zero critical thinking ability and exaggerated senses of entitlement will be erecting a statue of the first self serving politician to capitalise on the events in Paris today, with completely hypocritical statements like “The targeting of journalists going about their daily work is an attack on the fourth estate and the democratic principles of freedom of speech and expression, which must be strongly condemned,”

      Puhleeease….

      • mickysavage 10.2.1

        + 1

        • Anne 10.2.1.1

          … the first self serving politician to capitalise on the events in Paris today, with completely hypocritical statements like “The targeting of journalists going about their daily work is an attack on the fourth estate and the democratic principles of freedom of speech and expression, which must be strongly condemned.”

          It left me breathless. The self-same hypocrite who I have no doubt was party to the encouragment of the police to raid a member of the fourth estate’s home and commandeer his work files and computers because he didn’t like what that member was revealing about him and his office.

      • Tracey 10.2.2

        +1

        more uncritical regurgitation by a fourth estate lacking self awareness, pride, or scruples.

      • Murray Rawshark 10.2.3

        “Kinda guessing all the right wing grunters with zero critical thinking ability and exaggerated senses of entitlement ”

        It’s not hard to see why they like cartoons so much. Looking at pictures doesn’t hurt their brains. Remember the fuss they made about FJK, about some singer supposedly wanting to kill FJK and rape his daughter? I don’t even know if that happened, but maybe if it had been in cartoon form, they would have supported it.

    • Colonial Rawshark 10.3

      NO one has the right , to kill you if you do.

      You should’ve just stopped at “No one has the right to kill you PERIOD”

  11. Stan Cartman 11

    How come whenever there is a tragic effect like this, someone in the comment section has to write “But what about what happens in america?”

    How can people get so precious, get that much hatred with their own ideology.

  12. weka 12

    “Charlie Hebdo’s caricatures of the prophet Mohammed was clearly the cause of the attack”

    This seems premature micky, and to be honest, facile. Yes there are freedom of speech issues here, but they’re not the only thing going on by any means. I’m not sure why we should assume that this is a terrorism of extreme offense-taking, as opposed to a terrorism that’s well thought through for its strategy and effect well beyond so called satirical cartoons.

    The West can keep on about freedom of speech right up to the next world war.

  13. Miracle Worker 13

    Why wasn’t the pastor of the West Auckland church, who recently called for the wholesale execution of gay people, arrested for terrorism?

    As a gay man, it terrifies me that psychotic individuals like him are allowed to walk around free after making such extreme public statements like that.

    Why have there been no legal or judicial consequences for him?

    Why are such double standards being allowed?

    Why is such selective morality being applied by the authorities in instances like this?

    If some kid with a Middle Eastern looking surname wrote something similar on Facebook, the authorities would be all over him like a rash.

    So why does a white, middle class nutter with an English sounding surname posing as a religious leader get away with it?

    Could it be simply because he is not a Muslim and doesn’t have a Middle Eastern sounding surname?

    If it were up to me, he would be sitting in Mt Eden on remand without bail awaiting trial as you read this.

    Oscar Wilde was right – morality is like art, it starts with drawing a line somewhere.

    The problem we have in society now, is that the very authorities we rely on to draw the line wisely and *fairly* are the very people responsible for the fact that it keeps moving according to the mob mentality they are deliberately and calculatingly and consistently stirring with the help of an extremely irresponsible and self serving mainstream media.

    • The Lone Haranguer 13.1

      Miracle worker, that “Baptist” pastor dude turned out to have an “online church” only and had no affiliation to the Baptist Union, or any other church group in New Zealand.

      In many respects he was our equivalent to that “Muslim Cleric” in Sydney who took the hostages, who wasnt a recognised Cleric at all.

      But the self appointed baptist pastor wasnt accused of any crimes, where as the “Muslim Cleric was simply an accused child molester and an accused accessory to the murder of his ex wife.

      Both operated at the extremes and both were an embarrassment to their religions.

      • Miracle Worker 13.1.1

        @The Lone Haranguer:

        What difference does it make whether he was online or said it to a TV camera, or in a radio interview, or in emails, or on Facebook, or in front of a congregation?

        The public forum is the public forum is the public forum.

        Who cares if he was affiliated with the Baptist Church or any other religious association?

        The fact is he not only incited extreme violence, he used blatant discrimination as his basis for doing so, and he used hate speech to do it.

        If he had called for women to be executed simply because they are women, not only can I guarantee you the outcome would have been different, I can also guarantee you would not have provided the flimsy attempt justification for it that you have here.

        Using the “lesser” of two evils approach like you did diminishes the right of gay people not to be spoken about or treated the way that he did.

        My comment was about the double standards being applied in society and by the authorities when it comes to the incitement of violence and the use of hate speech.

        Your reply proves the existence of the very double standards I was referring to.

        If a Muslim Cleric used an online “church” to call for the public execution by hanging of all gay people in New Zealand, would you be so quick to defend him or diminish his actions?

        If a Muslim Cleric used an online forum to incite any kind of violence at all, would you be so quick to defend him or diminish his actions?

        Did you do so in the case of the West Auckland religious nutter because he was only talking about killing gay people?

        Where is your logic coming from?

        This debate highlights how quickly and easily people can and do diminish the hurt and offence caused to minority and marginalised groups when hate speech and derision is directed at them in public forums.

        If it isn’t directed at you, then the people who it is directed at should just “harden up” and “get over it”?

        If the same hate speech and incitement to violence had been directed at you or your family, would you be so quick to diminish it and/or defend it?

        Does the right to “free speech” only apply when it doesn’t offend *you* or threaten *your* safety?

        In addition to all of these points, you still missed the main thrust of my original questions, which were aimed at trying to understand why the authorities apply the law with apparently extremely selective morality in cases where hate speech and incitement to violence occur.

        The anomalies are glaring and obvious.

        These questions beg to be asked and deserve to be answered with more than dismissive responses.

  14. Pete George 14

    Very good post Greg in every regard.

    I wouldn’t publish cartoons designed to offend because I don’t like that sort of thing, but publishing them in no way justify the ultimate intolerance, murder.

    • weka 14.1

      Hooray.

    • mickysavage 14.2

      Thanks Pete.

      We will make a left of you yet 🙂

      I saw you received a hard time on Kiwiblog today for pointing out some inconvenient truths …

      • Pete George 14.2.1

        It hasn’t been pretty there today. Or should that be a concentration of more ugly than usual.

      • Pete George 14.2.2

        And it’s not getting any better at KB. In a new post today The cartoons that 12 were killed for (good on DPF for doing that):

        DPF: I must endorse Fletch, it is good to see you have intestinal fortitude, unlike Pete George, who has capitulated to the mongrel bastards.

        That’s because I chose not to re-publish the cartoons because I don’t like their approach.

        • weka 14.2.2.1

          Yes Pete, because it’s all about you. 🙄

          The donotlink if anyone actually wants to go there http://www.donotlink.com/framed?613458

          btw, publishing the cartoons without translation, just more of the same old bigotry. Oooh look, some stupid evil Muslims 🙄 🙄

          DPF seems to think that publishing more cartoons will stop Islamic terrorists 🙄 🙄 🙄

          • Colonial Rawshark 14.2.2.1.1

            Maybe droning a few more innocent civilians in Yemen will help as well.

          • tracey 14.2.2.1.2

            perhaps the circles he hangs out in have lots of bodyguards, so he feels faux bravery?

  15. logie97 15

    There are no winners in this situation. It is a tragedy.
    I guess we will find out why there were the two policemen reportedly guarding the magazine offices. Is it routine for newspapers / publication houses to have police guards?

  16. Tess 16

    So the press will publish a photo of a policeman pleading for his life before he is brutally murdered.

    But they won’t publish a fictional cartoon of a fictional character in a fictional book because that’s offensive.

    Future generations are going to look back in horror at how much pain and suffering these ridiculous fictional books and fictional beliefs have caused.

    • idbkiwi 16.1

      “So the press will publish a photo of a policeman pleading for his life before he is brutally murdered.

      But they won’t publish a fictional cartoon of a fictional character in a fictional book because that’s offensive.”

      Of all the comments I’ve read today about these sad murders, that’s by far the best. Well done. Can I steal it?

    • Colonial Rawshark 16.2

      But they won’t publish a fictional cartoon of a fictional character in a fictional book because that’s offensive.

      If you think that disrespecting other peoples beliefs and treating their values as trite or imaginary is going to help the situation, you are sadly mistaken.

  17. vto 17

    Someone, trcleup I think, posted on the other thread that he/she is not allowed to make fun of people at work as its offensive so why should cartoonists be allowed to make fun of people?

    It has been on my small mind since and I think it has merit…. if I draw a cartoon of someone at my work place in a pornographic pose or similar (which that person would clearly find offensive) in order to elicit amusement etc and placed it on the office noticeboard (signed of course) ………….. what would happen?

    trcle up asked why these cartoonists should be allowed to step to a lower standard and be permitted to offend people in the same name of amusement?

    It is a very good question that is difficult to answer methinks, though it does lead to all sorts of implications, imo most notably that it shows up our “offence” laws in the workplace as out of touch with democratic reality and free expression …. does it not?

    • b waghorn 17.1

      A cartoon of a workmate like that would be work place bullying and that shouldn’t be tolerated in any form . Muhammad is not here to take offence so there’s a big difference .

      • vto 17.1.1

        That doesn’t fly obviously ….. it is the followers of Muhammad who have taken offence and that is lifeplace bullying and that shouldn’t be tolerated in any form.

        • The Al1en 17.1.1.1

          British imams statement

          A statement issued by a number of British imams says: “Following such a shocking event, the Imams of the UK voice their outrage and strongly condemn such brutality in the strongest terms. Nothing is more immoral, ugly and offensive to the Prophet Muhammad and insulting to Muslims than murder in his name.”

        • b waghorn 17.1.1.2

          So is an offensive cartoon of slater or key wrong because it would offend some of there followers.

          • vto 17.1.1.2.1

            Well that is the question isn’t it ……. workplace rules say nope can’t be offensive, while lifeplace rules say tough, suck it up, offence is legitimate …

            I don’t think they can both be right can they.. which means one of them is out of order .

          • vto 17.1.1.2.2

            sorry, misread your question slightly. What you are asking is the degree to which offence can legitimately be taken – fair question…. it will certainly be a spectrum with perhaps….

            an offensive cartoon of a family member may be legitimately offensive..
            whereas an offensive cartoon of Slater may not be..
            while an offensive cartoon of someone/thing more dear to a person than even a family member i.e. Muhammad is probably legitimately offensive..

            I don’t think your implication that only those the subject of offensive cartoons can be legitimately offended is realistic due to the vagaries of human nature ..

        • One Anonymous Bloke 17.1.1.3

          A far greater number of “the followers of Muhammed” have taken offence at the killers, not to mention fallen victim to their vile acts.

    • The Al1en 17.2

      Unsurprisingly you’re part of a very small minority, and whilst that isn’t always a bad thing, when innocent people get murdered by terrorists, it’s not really a good look to victim blame.

      Seriously, wtf is wrong with some of you lot?
      And yep, rhetorical question.

      Anyway, carry on with your free speech, nugget.

      http://www.3news.co.nz/world/photos-cartoonists-respond-to-charlie-hebdo-attack-2015010906?ref=photo#axzz3OG8WIu5n

      • vto 17.2.1

        You’re a little difficult to follow sometimes al1en…. but there was no victim blaming, only examination of societal rules and norms ……

  18. vto 18

    I remember when Helen Clark micro-chipped dogs in order to stop them biting people ……….

    same effectiveness as increased spy powers to stop terrorists biting others ……..

    well done the politicians – bloody useless

  19. Tanz 19

    so, this multicultural experiment is really working, isn’t it. Now Freedom of speech is under fire and innocent people are quite murderously getting killed. But we musn’t offend anyone…touchy, feely, hug hug. Let Islam take over, as it is, full steam ahead, fully helped by the PC left. Cultural suicide right before the West’s very eyes, and by the way, lets also change the flag.
    Isn’t Christianity at least sane and honest?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 19.1

      Bigots know best every time 🙄

      • Tanz 19.1.1

        Proud to be a bigot, but at least I’m not a murderer in the name of a so called peaceful religion. Talk about blind. I care for the West and what we had. Islam is out to destroy all that…call me a bigot, I don’t care. The left always resort to name calling rather than debating the issues, just about every time.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 19.1.1.1

          OK, here’s my debating point: not a single assertion you’ve made is true. Citations needed for all of them.

          When you can debate using facts, let me know.

    • tracey 19.2

      “Isn’t Christianity at least sane and honest?”

      From wikipedia

      “Army of God (AOG) is a Christian terrorist anti-abortion organization that sanctions the use of force to combat abortion in the United States….

      The earliest documented incidence of the Army of God being involved with anti-abortion activity occurred in 1982. Three men associated with the organization kidnapped Hector Zevallos, an abortion doctor, and his wife, Rosalee Jean, and held them hostage. The hostages were later released unharmed.[2] The “East Coast division” of the AOG claimed responsibility when three men, including Michael Bray, planted bombs at seven abortion clinics in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington D.C. in 1985.[3]

      The AOG claimed responsibility for Eric Robert Rudolph’s 1997 nail bombing of abortion clinics in Atlanta and Birmingham as well as an Atlanta lesbian bar.[4]

      Clayton Waagner, claiming to act on the part of the “Virginia Dare Chapter” of the AOG, mailed over 500 letters containing white powder to 280 abortion providers in 2001. The letters claimed that the powder was anthrax; though it was not identified as such, the tactic took advantage of the public’s fear of biological warfare after the recent real anthrax attacks.[5][6]

      The group is also associated with a number of murders of abortion providers. Some of these murders claimed association with the AOG; in other cases, while the killer expressed no affiliation with the group, the AOG has lionized their acts and taken up their cause.”

  20. aerobubble 20

    A muslim, citing the Koran, states the phophet would – in my words – not be so stupid as to attack everyone who had ignorance about his faith. How else is a religion to penetrate if ignorance is met with violence rather than tolerance.

    Is obvious that some individuals are to enraged by circumstances, necessarily of their own making, and cannot an up, so seek authority, this time Islam, to ingratiate themselves.

    The lone sydney man was before the courts. The atack on the pakistani school, but revenge for terrorist would brought death to their villages and families. The two year old who reached into their mums bag and let off the loaded hidden gun, nothing says more to me than a very stupid culture than wont grow up. Doctors killed for providing abortions, how is murdering grown up kids…

    I just think our media should stop hiring editors who have no common sense. Its surely obvious to us all that laws are there to protect us, not as the mefia like to portray them as being a burden to our fun, or worse, stopping us protectig ourselves.

    Take something silly. Red lights. Cars get to their destinstion by orderly flow of traffic, so stopping at traffc lights adds to the utility of a car use. Whereas cycling, the utility is harmed the more stopping there is. We know its legal for a person to cross the rpad walking, we know a cyclist can dismount and walk through the red light, and jump back on, we know cyclists can see a lot more than people sitting low in a box with wheels. So we know cyclists aren’t about to jump the red if its not safe. Yet because the folishing idiot Moro believes it makes good radio, cyclists jump onto the pavement, go arond lights, and behave in unpredictable ways, all because there not allowed, and told not to. I have seen kids ride the wrog way on a dual carriaheway up th cycle lane, becuse not doubt idiots on tv said kids cant cycle on pavements.

    Cyclists are pedestrians, like skateboarders, zimmerframe walkers, roller skaters.. etc.
    They have a right to avoid death by road vehicle. Justs as cartoonist should be protected by media editors who have pushed the lie thata major religion kills the ignorant. No religion would be so stupid s to lose the opportunity to emgage and win converts, its just our pervery media backed perverted religion so both may florish.

    On iages of the prophet, I cannot think of any other thing more likely to start a trend of people graffeting walls across the world with said images, than a bunch of perverts killing comic artists in the name of religion. when did our soceity hire all these idiots in the media.

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