Charlie Hebdo was no friend of Christians. Their cartoons have shown masturbating nuns and popes wearing condoms, among other things. Easy to see why Catholics have their own axe to grind with Charlie Hebdo.But in the immediate aftermath of the terrorist attack, the only response that makes sense is one of solidarity with the victims and a clear show of resistance to the terrorist bully. When we skew the discussion to criticizing Charlie Hebdo and advocating for the self-censorship of journalists and cartoonists, we are letting the terrorists win.
Those guys with machine guns were hoping for exactly the kind of public reaction shown by Donohue and Toutounji. They wanted us to condemn Charlie Hebdo, they wanted us to pressure journalists to lay off Islam. Ottawa’s Rabbi Reuven Bulka said it well in yesterday’s Ottawa Citizen:
“’there’s nothing more wrong’ than the murders that took place in response to the Charlie Hebdo cartoons, which is why any discussion about censorship should not take place in the wake of the attack.
“I’m really not comfortable at all with the suggestion,” he said. “What becomes dangerous here is that by doing so — and by doing so immediately — it’s almost as if we’re acknowledging there was some legitimacy to their action.”
Bulka is right, and most people got that point. That’s why many newspapers around the world reprinted the cartoons, and the universal call has become “I am Charlie.”
In the face of bullies like the Muslim terrorists, we need to lay aside our ideological differences and stand united to take away the power of the bully.
She also goes on to make an excellent point about the dangers of state-imposed censorship. It is going to affect us as Christians long before it will affect the obscene or blasphemous expression we find offensive.