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Insane. Really fucking horrible news, even in a time of consistent horrible news.
Ten people killed according to BBC 24 at the moment. Tragic.
witness reports saying machine guns and rocket launchers(?!) unverified tho.
10 dead. Still on the loose at time of writing. This is horrendous.
Just seen James Delingpole RT'ing something that our very own JDTraynor wrote in response to him about it. That was also weird.
There were shots fired at the Charlie-hebdo offices a couple of years back if I remember.
For those that don't know, Charlie-Hebdo is a weekly satirical cartoon magazine and has a really large readership. I only say this to give context since it might seem weird to brits that a cartoon magazine would be so popular and culturally influential: its probably more widely read than Private Eye for example.
They're pretty 'controversial' and get away with a lot of things by citing 'liberté d'expression'.
The offices were stormed, I think, after they published (and re-published) various cartoons of Muhammad.
The magazine has had numerous court battles with Muslim and Jewish groups over material they've published over the years.
or more likely just inspired the attack.
Don't even know if it's islamist related, but sounds likely based on the lastest reports
12:37. The radical Islamic State group threatened to attack France minutes before Hebdo tweeted a satirical cartoon of the extremist group's leader giving New Year's wishes, AP says.
was just thinking about how bad islamophobia is there the other day after reading about houellebecq's new book
yeah thats one of the reasons france is so shit
no offence, not meant to be a personal attack or anything
just dont get why it's so romanticised (especially paris) when it's constantly a timebomb of dissent because of bigotry and people putting their foot in it and being all of the phobes
eh? can you expand on that please theo?
the step up in rhetoric from normally balanced people about 'civilised west vs barbaric east' is kinda upsetting. But then i do understand that it's very hard to know how to react when faced with unrestrained psychopathy (but then also this legitimately applied to people on both sides of the divide)
not sure she was shot. can't imagine her trauma
v different circumstances and dynamic obvs, but it's very depressing seeing the stuff people are saying now. eg this absolute shite: https://twitter.com/amolrajan/status/552827117663436801
realise this is the lesser of two evils right now but there's not really much to be said about the attack other than how horrible it is.
or the cartoon? Cos the cartoon is from years ago.
fair enough but the sentiment is still shite. Pseudo-intellectualised version of 'pc gone mad', and normally half-decent people seem to be swallowing it today
Need to remember that in the context of republicanism and laïcité, as great as those things are, anti-islam sentiment and racism has come to the fore over the past 5 years, the rise of the FN being the most visible manifestation of that. Apparently Salmand Rushdie's said that 'religion deserves... our fearless disrespect' in relation to this, and there's now things being written about satire as a medium as if it exists in a vacuum or is colourblind in its targets.
its not really surprising that some of the reaction in the immediate aftermath is short-sighted.
Just need to be careful that these sort of sentiments don't stick around and become the narrative later on.
Quand on ne sait rien, on ne dit rien...
FN was already at 14% in 1988...
And I think it's more than a little offensive to talk today about supposed french islamophobia, racism, bigotry...
Sure, we have our share of bigots, racists, homophobes... which country hasn't. And I dont think we have more than others. But today we mourned people who were fighting the good fights.
It goes without saying that these events are horrific and that the context doesn't make them any less so. The last section of this article hits more eloquently on what I was trying to get at -https://www.opendemocracy.net/open-security/aidan-white/charlie-hebdo-how-journalism-needs-to-respond-to-this-unconscionable-attac
i can guarantee i'm not using this as an excuse to bash lbc.
look, i didn't mean to offend anyone, but i'm not entirely clueless when it comes to french politics and i do believe la république has made some decisions i don't agree with and perceive to be in some way islamophobic (most blatantly obvious being les signes religieux, sans-papiers, la dissimulation du visage)... granted it's been four years since i've personally been to les banlieues or experienced and observed any sort of life in paris itself, which was rife with tension, microagressions and abuse... it's my own perception of issues and those of the places and people i have n the past associated with.
haha this'd myself
basically france never was a utopia. "the culture and the lifestyle" doesn't negate and remove the other stuff from the picture for me. i'll always associate it with some truly horrible stuff i witnessed and traumatic things that i have personally experienced, on top of the nice things.
by saying 'france never was a utopia' i agree with you lyle. i'm not saying the far-right is a new threat, or that xenophobia etc. is new either.
and well put
France to me is a bit like the US; the idea and the founding principles behind it are laudable, even if the implementation is lacking or cackhanded.
The UK: I'm not so sure.
One even claiming arrears, but Nothing that seems reliable.
The suspects have apparently robbed a service station armed with AKs and RPGs and are 'said to have driven off in the direction of Paris'.
Plus a police women shot dead but no confirmation if it's connected and an explosion in Lyon this morning that they say might be connected.
all the stuff about 'free speech' and all the french nationalism. what happened was truly awful and i feel so much sympathy for their families, colleagues and just about everyone in paris right now. but the reason it was a horrific and completely unjustifiable thing to do is pretty much nothing to do with the 'right' to free speech. it was bad cause it was a violent mass murder. pretty weird that everyone feels the need to stand in 'solidarity' with the magazine and what it stands for when we're already seeing innocent muslims being targeted and threatened.
They specifically went after people for creating things they found offensive. So for me it is rightly a very big part of the story.
But I think it's pretty clear the murders weren't to do with the racist content of the cartoons.
I do find it uncomfortable that everyone is showing solidarity with a magazine that is so clearly racist and anti-Muslim, though.
(idk if it even matters).
i think a lot of people are struggling to see why deliberately publishing material that's intended to insult a radicalized group of people (muslims) is racist.
Its meant to say racialized not radicalized (auto correct to blame)
at the behest of the magazine.
It's not a bad idea to separate a few viewpoints from each other I don't think, especially in these circumstances, otherwise it can be pretty easy to start becoming distanced from any emotion at all. As Lyle said above the nationalism is something that's always been there and while anything they use as a soapbox is therefore immediately uncomfortable
with the core concept, even when it's one that's being exploited by idiots.
which this magazine has clearly promoted. people are now coming out in droves to support the magazine and its 'french' values.
are localising the support to the publication. It's certainly a strong image to use in doing so, but it's not the overall point. For me anyway.
This is your idea of France... Wow...
And we are the bigots...
although that's quite a laissez faire sort of view 'everywheres the same so whats the point discussing it'. There are nuances that make significant differences (e.g. france's banlieus, which the uk doesn't really have, are terrible).
Things are bad everywhere, think that's enough.
but it means that dialogue around it is just so obvious that it's talking to the air a bit?
it doesn't feel like it hurts to isolate this. If I say I'm in solidarity with the idea that violence used to strike out against contentious opinions is wrong is there any need, at all, to say 'yes but obviously racism can't be entertained.' Of course it can't. It's obvious to anyone with a brain cell, on dis or anywhere else.
And the people who don't get that aren't going to change their minds when they're told they're wrong, either. I think that's what I see as being as unnecessary as the likes of Dawkins preaching to the converted.
I dunno. people using this atrocity so soon for think-pieces full of Upworthy-style buzz phrases and point scoring makes me a bit uncomfortable (the constant emphasis on "white men", for example, and pretending that they are the only ones who are producing and sharing the images discussed in the article when that obviously isn't the case). It just feels unseemly, especially when you consider that the article was put up 5 or 6 hours after the events occurred, when the full details weren't really known (and aren't).
Not that I disagree with the overarcing point re: 'political correctness','free speech' and that, it just feels like the article was just thrown together as quickly as possible for clicks and back-slaps.
we're applying the approbation of "point scoring" et al to articles of all stripes and viewpoints, yes?
(I'll fully cop to bashing an obvious target, but Mensch going in with both boots before she realised Charlie Hebdo wasn't the name of a dude was pretty great)
i think it's fair enough to challenge the racist narrative that is by far the mainstream view being propagated by near enough every major news outlet. It shouldn't matter when these articles are published; even if someone is suffering emotional trauma from the attacks, they should still be able to recognised that the world is a nuanced place and there is a need for discussion just as much as emotional outpouring of grief or whatever.
Its a very urgent political problem and the ramifications of this 'free speech' narrative are already taking hold.
The shootings were shocking and in some ways unpredictable but the issues surrounding it aren't new at all.
Would you actually expect someone to hold off on publishing this till a time when it has less impact? Why wait till the right wing anti-muslim agenda builds even more momentum. Makes absolutely no sense.
what is the racism they're referring to? are they talking about the arab caricatures or is there something else?
still the best of the cartoons released in reaction to the shootings
that currently their god is more vengeful and merciless than other peoples gods, I for one, will not feel comfortable about saying things publically, that may offend bearded men with their trousers above their ankles who follow this ethos, it is a slightly more powerful message than vague loving to all......in this respect the attackers have suceeded in the promotion that their religeon is about violence and fear.....Im not sure how others, who may be associated (by others) with the attackers beliefs/values will feel about this, their viewpoints would be interesting to hear
if you accept this analysis of its motives, the attack has to be seen not as an attempt to oppose free speech, protest cartoons or terrorise anyone who offends islam, but instead as a strategic attempt to provoke a backlash of freely expressed hatred. from this perspective, people reposting racist cartoons (or doing far worse) are not, in fact, resisting suppression and upholding free speech against its enemies, but actively participating in the 'sharpening of contradictions' that was arguably the precise point of the attack
as it were?
to exacerbate the drama and extremist rhetoric that is circulating and thus pull more into the furore due to backlashes and counter backlashes......i.e. polarising and radicalising the issues?
If so this has been seen many times before
but I do think the whole je Suis charlie response is just what the extremists want, it's all part of the theatre of which they're leading the narrative. The mainstream responses so far only seem to be exacerbating divisions between western society and suppressed religions. We need to democratically remove the reasons for them to hate us, not perpetuate them.
That's some real Four Lions shit.
Live feed on sky
Same guy that shot the copper has hostages in a kosher shop by the sound of things on twitter
actually getting quite mental
Didn't know the 1m print run was being state funded. Bizarre.
the bit where he describes nous sommes charlie as equivalent to nous sommes terroristes is pretty edgy.
but essentially correct.
I think satire has had so many uses historically, I find the line "Satire has always fed on distaste for minorities, marginal peoples, traditional or fading ways of life" quite contentious.
It could have done with some judicious pruning.
I like the bit about everyone ignoring Voltaire's anti semitism especially.
and bin the rest.
Contentious, but not necessarily baseless. Surely satire is usually the privilege of groups who are comfortable enough not to have to engage in any more direct means of action.
Nope. Satire and the defence of it can actually change laws without violence. It's not about being comfortable, it's about understanding where pressure points can be applied to bring change.
to say that i don't believe that using satire is something any less powerful than whatever you might believe direct action is.
It can start revolutions.
But yer man there was an educated, middle class dilettante with the means to publish magazines. Did his cartoons stop people dying thanks to the Corn Laws? I hope so.
Also, one of the pics there is of the Prince Regent being all fat and that. But that's a prime example of satire coming from a place of prejudice - having a crack not for stuff he did, but for the fact he was an overweight German incomer.
but I will defend to the point of mild inconvenience your right to say it.
yeah I... I don't know. A lot of the discourse in the articles that have been flooding the internet have made me pretty angry for some specific reasons and at this point I've sort of grouped them into a general category to shout 'fuck you' at. To the point of incoherence, you're right. I will stop now.
I think that paper-bird article is easily the most irritating of all on multiple levels though.
where almost every bit of analysis on it is horrifying for some reason or other. I guess the nature of modern media is everyone needs to get their opinion out as soon as possible, and when it's such a complex issue, that means a lot of knee-jerk shite comes out while the emotions are still raw.
that achingly wish people could understand that, you guys, racism is really bad and let's not forget that while we're talking about free speech. *If only people could understand*.
are somehow relevant right now!
That's up to you I guess, but I know which side i err towards. Of course the societal problems triggering terrorism need to be discussed, but a) do they need to be as incredibly patronising as they have been and b) do they need to be published *while the siege is ongoing and the murders are only just being processed by many?* It's the wrong time to tell people to look in the mirror. Wait a couple of days, not even a week ffs.
I can see how seriously you'll be taking any kind of discussion on this one then. I'll leave you to it.
and find that side of those kinds of articles really cringeworthy.
But the immediate aftermath of something like this is absolutely the time for everyone to be looking in the mirror, cause the alternative leads down a very dark path, and that's something that can happen within hours.
striking while the iron is hot is important. I don't know quite how much I feel that should mean before a body has even reached a morgue.
On a larger scale it's akin to writing a hand-wringing blog about American foreign policy in between planes 1 and 2 hitting the towers. Why on earth isn't the only message in the first day 'this is terrible and we hope the people directly affected get through it'? There are some who would rather make sure that their early opinion is out there on how people should be behaving and thinking, grandiose cunts desperate to get that in first. That's what i can't identify with.
Think I might add it to my résumé and business card. Point taken though.
I know how difficult you have it in figuring out the unease on one side and wanting to be supportive to those people literally living around you. I have similar difficulties even if we don't believe in the same thing. I don't think you've been the slightest bit grandiose or anything close.
people are very quick to generalise and be angry with Islam in general. You only have to read any comments section of any story about this to find the overriding reaction right out the gate is 'Nuke the Middle East', 'Send them all back home' and 'We need to send a message'. And when that's the case, I think it is important commentators do try and give some perspective to stop that spilling over into further attacks and to challenge it before it becomes further ingrained. It would be nice if we could have a period of grace where everyone just holds off from pontificating and reflects before coming back with a more considered response, but that's not the world we live in and as a result, I think the aggression towards Muslims does need to be challenged, and quite aggressively back.
I would have minded less were some of those blogs in question being a little more careful with who they were pushing at. There are certainly out-and-out, or indeed insidious subconscious, racist and intolerant parties out there and they need to be fought.
On the other hand, the backlash at people using the Je Suis Charlie slogan is something I find really hard to stomach for a fair few reasons.
And again, nobody is saying 'well maybe if society gave these people a better upbringing and less nasty racism this wouldn't have happened'.
Its about examining what is meant by our 'standing in defiance', which has been a motif the past couple of days. Nobody can make their mind up about whether the shootings were carried out by rogue, malfunctioning individuals - in which case, are we standing in defiance of bad people? - or whether their islam was fundamental in an attack on core western democratic values - in which case, are we standing in defiance of islam, extremist islam, or standing for western democratic values?
This isn't about 'looking in the mirror' in the sense of asking people to stop grieving to reflect on 'am I racist if I'm angry about these murders?', as you seem to be levelling at those asking for a nuanced understanding of why we might defy those who are supposedly attacking our fundamental values - after all, what are they?
I've found some of the 'why I am not Charlie' dialogue to be missing the point in a fair few blogs, and i think it's the patronising nature of some of those that's put my teeth on edge.
I'm conflicted. I rightly or wrongly see the heavy introspection so immediately written as disconnected with empathy I think. And others don't, and i get that. Gah.
In the case of the IDF killing journalists in Palestine, sometimes with the consent of Western governments including our own. That being the case I find it hard to believe this is simply an issue of freedom of speech.
If we want to see an end to islamic extremism we have to end the oppression of muslisms.
I wonder if that is true nowadays, sure oppression would have been a big part of extremisms formation but I think it has grown into a different thing that may never go away, it is less concerned with retaliating against oppression and more about total domination. IS seem pretty comfortable with oppression other muslims, it seems more of one group seeking power than a reaction against oppression, and for those who travel there from the moderate backgrounds from the west it may be partly about reaction to oppression in other parts of the world but it is also a lot about some deluded romanticised vision of the world, don't think that would go away if oppression ended.
seems to be developing into a shoot out/ smoke out.
way into the building the gunman are using as a hideout, based on their comments earlier I doubt they're going to give in though :/
reports say the Kouachi brothers have been killed.
I believe police have stormed the supermarket.
the hostage that the brothers had taken has been freed alive and ok.
Of course, AFP (Agence France-Presse) is a wee bit like sky in the kind of 'report now, concern ourselves with veracity and corroboration later' MO.)
sounds likely given the evidence tbh.
I heard reports of two hostages being killed earlier on but as there was no confirmation I thought it hadn't been confirmed.
I don't disagree that institutionalised racism is the most significant factor in the increase in Islamic radicalism, but I think the assertion that this massacre wouldn't have happened if this discrimination didn't exist are a bit naive. One just has to read up on the situation in Pakistan or Saudi Arabia to see how blasphemy laws are enthusiastically applied (often with much popular support) for the most minor perceived slights against Islam, almost always resulting in execution.
And I have a major problem with the narrative that oppression somehow justifies adopting a virulently anti-Semitic, misogynist, homophobic distortion of Islamic faith, or that this distortion should be somehow free from criticism or mockery. If we don't stand up to such deeply troubling attitudes, regardless of where they derive, we are part of the problem.
And how hard it would be to recruit or radicalize young people if this were addressed.
Who/what articles you're mostly referring to? Cause I've seen a lot of discussion about racism but don't think I've seen anything suggesting this wouldn't have happened otherwise. Like I don't think I've seen anyone suggesting that those responsible for this were just very misguided anti racism campaigners.
not addressed to me but as I this'd it i'll reply. I'd agree i've not seen anything that makes that specific assertion, but it is a fairly commonly held view that islamic extremism is a reaction to western oppression, and it follows from that that things like this would be less likely without it. While I think oppression played a huge role in the formation and recruitment to extremism, I think it has also become its own detached self perpetuating ideology that some people get involved because they believe in that vision of the world rather than due to oppression. in some regions it seems to be power grabs by different groups oppressing other muslim groups I find it hard to see it in terms as a reaction to oppression as it seems more internal, and more in terms of people seeking power and conquering that has been going for the whole of history. second half of that post probably not relevant.
1. Those who are 'radicalised' as an inevitability of western oppression (undefined)
2. Those who are just naturally baddies and find that muslim extremism is a good way to be a baddy
kind of but would elaborate on 2 a little. not simply natural baddies using it opportunistically (though possibly some), as they are probably very idealistic and really believe in their vision, I just don't think oppression is always the prompt, and is often about oppressing other muslims. It probably isn't really an individual thing anyway, it is a self perpetuating ideology that has some pretty robust ways of replicating itself. through history normal people have been caught up in some pretty messed up ideology, not just as a response to oppression, just some weird viral thing.
I meant "massacres of this kind". I guess what I'm trying to say is that this hardening attitude against freedom of speech isn't restricted to radicalised youths from the banlieues- it's sadly becoming commonplace across the Muslim world, even amongst more secular states like Turkey and Indonesia. And from my experience (as a half-Arabic person with relatives in Paris) even more cosmopolitan, secularised Arabs hold views about Jews and homosexuals that'd make your average National Front member nod with approval. Certainly dealing with social and economic inequality would make violence rarer, but discrimination is not the the sole driver of this mindset, and I haven't really seen any commentary from left-leaning writers about that. Guess it's a hard subject to tackle.
They don't mean just discrimination but all the various legacies of colonialism and the ways this shapes inequalities today. I broadly agree with you about the hardening attitidues within minority communities - its not something we should just accept as a cultural difference or something. Think the problem is that islamaphibia makes it much harder for progressive voices (from women, lgbt people) to be heard.
about as nauseating as expected.
I demand all australians apologies for rupert murdoch
I am an American, living in America, with a degree in English from a reputable university, and I find this article to be pseudo-intellectual dribble.
And yeah, that *is* a good article. I guess from my perspective I tend to take the uptake of the slogan in the 'best light' mentioned to begin with. Maybe I'm naive rather than the people I take issue with being cynical. I don't think it's the worst thing to give people the benefit of the doubt in their intentions, however. Mm.
as i'm guessing there is going to be a lot if idiots looking to blame all Muslims for the actions of a minority
These terrorists are/were Algerian and there's a long-and deep-running colonial history with France here
Can't see that anyone has mentioned this yet or posted the link to Robert Fisk's article in yesterday's Independent but it's pretty essential reading
Yup, Algerian history is really depressing. French colonialism was oppressive, and some of the French Army's actions in the 50's and 60's were tantamount to war crimes, but what emerged as a reaction to it was even worse. Fisk makes some salient points in that article, but very much underplays the sheer, unblinking brutality of the GIA and the radical Islamic groups that followed. There's a good reason why Algeria never really embraced the Arab Spring- they were depressingly aware that the likely alternative to the stagnant autocratic regime of Bouteflika was an unyielding, violent theocracy.
thought this was quite good
But the essential issue is that it's a call for cultural sensitivity towards the French; who give none to others. So it's a little hypocritical.