Monday 12 January 2015

Charlie Hebdo Reading List

In a moment of remembrance and honour for the victims of the terrible events that occurred in Paris this past Wednesday - Friday, I've started a list of media articles that I consider most representative of the situation at hand. This is not inclusive and will be updated from time to time. 

Extremely graphic content of the point-blank execution of French (and Muslim) policeman Ahmed Merabet by Said and Cherif Kouachi.

UOIF website, 7 January 2015
The Union of Islamic Organisations of France, an organisation representing over 250 Muslim organisations in France, condemns the Charlie Hebdo attacks. UOIF also participated in the remembrance march of 11 January in Paris.

OnIslam website, 7 January 2015
OnIslam reviews statements of the leading Muslim clerics, scholars and organisations that condemned the Charlie Hebdo attacks. Dr. Wael Shehab stated that:

“Charlie Hebdo attacks are totally divorced from the teachings of Islam, its general spirit, and its sublime objectives.  Islam protects people’s lives, properties, and honor. Attacking even a single human is regarded by Islam as grave and heinous as killing all innocent people of the world. The Qur’an reads, {Whosoever kills a human being for other than manslaughter or corruption in the earth, it shall be as if he had killed all mankind, and whoso saves the life of one, it shall be as if he had saved the life of all mankind.} (Al-Ma’idah 5: 32)”

Guardian, 10 January 2010
Emma Graham-Harrison covers the extremely moving speech of Malek Merabet, brother of slain policeman Ahmed Merabet.

Guardian, 9 January 2015
Anne Penketh reviews statements made by Elsa Wolinski, daugther of George Wolinski who was killed in the Charlie Hebdo attack. She has posted a poignant post on Istagram: “Dad is gone, not Wolinski”. (Shown in photo, above). 

Guardian, 11 January 2015
Nick Cohen takes a closer look at self-censorship among British media relating to threats, perceived or otherwise, of Islamic terrorism.

New York Times, 7 January 2015
Steven Erlanger and Katrin Bennhold provide a summary perspective on the threats to European societies of Islamic integration, immigration and terrorism, and the tensions between a secular society and religious extremism.

Slate, 7 January 2015
Miriam Krule explores some of Charlie Hebdo’s covers and the meanings behind them. This article would be better if it included additional covers satirizing other faiths. Charlie Hebdo has published content ridiculing Christianity, Judaism, women, politicians, “Europe” and many others.

Slate, 8 January 2015
Jordan Weissmann comments on the tensions induced by Charlie Hebdo, and why even though offensive, free speech is necessary.

The New Yorker, 15 January 2015 issue
Adam Gopnik writes on the satirical tradition of Charlie Hebdo in France: “The magazine was offensive to Jews, offensive to Muslims, offensive to Catholics, offensive to feminists, offensive to the right and to the left, while being aligned with it—offensive to everybody, equally.”

The New Yorker, 7 January 2015
George Packer takes a brief look at the role of Islam and terrorism.

Financial Times, 8 January 2015
Philip Stephens reviews the debate of ideas in Europe and elsewhere.

Queen Rania’s moving statement on her response to the attacks. Unfortunately, I could not find her website, but am referencing a third party site.

I am continually reminded of what a magnificent document the United States Constitution is. The First Amendment reads:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

In an age of social and mainstream media incoherence, trolling, national security restrictions, political correctness, and self-censorship, it is vital that the right to free speech, no matter how difficult and caustic, is upheld.

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