In the aftermath of this week’s “Charlie Hebdo” attack, many editorialists and much of the public have adopted the slogan: Je Suis “Charlie Hebdo” (“I am Charlie Hebdo”) in solidarity with the slain cartoonists and to demonstrate that they will not be intimidated into giving up their right to freedom of speech. Yet many others are conflicted. While they support the right to freedom of speech and do not advocate censuring publications such as Charlie Hebdo, they find the publication’s material offensive and do not want to let themselves be goaded into proclaiming “Je Suis Charlie Hebdo”.
Here are a couple of articles from both positions:
“The right to blaspheme religion is one of the most elemental exercises of political liberalism. One cannot defend the right without defending the practice.”
“Charlie Hebdo and the Right to Commit Blasphemy” By Jonathan Chait http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2015/01/charlie-hebdo-and-the-right-to-commit-blasphemy.html
“I am offended when those already oppressed in a society are deliberately insulted. I don’t want to participate. This crime in Paris does not suspend my political or ethical judgment, or persuade me that scatologically smearing a marginal minority’s identity and beliefs is a reasonable thing to do. Yet this means rejecting the only authorized reaction to the atrocity.”
“Why I am not Charlie” http://paper-bird.net/2015/01/09/why-i-am-not-charlie/