How did Charlie Hebdo get it so wrong?

This week, the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo published an editorial that answered once and for all the question “Is Charlie Hebdo racist?”. In a dispatch that read like a call to arms, the magazine – the target of a horrific terrorist attack last year that killed 11 people – considered what had happened in Paris and Brussels over the past year and asked: how did we end up here?

The editorial then laid the blame squarely on two factors – the complicity of the average, unaffiliated Muslim, and the erosion of secularism by a conspiracy of silence. Terrorism was fomented, it said, and people died because society could not voice discomfort at the many little “iceberg tips” of religious expression that had cumulatively eroded laïcité – the secularism written into the French constitution. Terrorism happened, in short, because freedom of speech was curbed.

The editorial gives credence and sanction to the view that there is no such thing as an innocent Muslim. That even those who do not themselves commit terrorism, somehow by just existing and practising, are part of a continuum that climaxes with two men blowing themselves up in Brussels airport. [Nesrine Malik, 898 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 812 votes] I read their piece and yours, and I fall on their side.

[2ND 686] Quite. I don’t think it is bigotry and prejudice to suggest that the muslim communities of western Europe need to take a long, hard look at themselves.

[3RD 582] I think Charlie Hebdo got it spot on.

[4TH 505] This piece is disgusting. Guardian you should be ashamed of printing this sinister apologism.

Where does begin wit the clangers. “Mild-mannered academic and religious scholar Tariq Ramadan” Planet Earth. Guardian, if you only knew, how people are making fun of you.

[5TH 433] you mean how did it’s narrative not align to The Guardian’s?

Tariq Ramadan is the king of twisting and turning, but hey. I’m probably a facist for posting Hitch

[6TH 428] If you can’t say whatever you like about religion, then freedom of speech is indeed dead.

What is special about worshipping a sky god?

[7TH 400] If anything European secularism needs to become more vocal, more prominent and less tolerant. [Guardian Cif] Read more

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