It’s unclear who attacked a French satirical magazine today, but it has faced threats for publishing images of Mohammed and the gunmen appear to have shouted that they avenged the prophet. I hold the right to freedom of speech and expression significantly higher than the need to accommodate religious sensitivity, so here, in solidarity with satirists the world over, is an image of Mohammed.
I note that relations between the west and the population of majority Muslim countries would be significantly improved by an end to illegal, pointless wars of aggression in the Middle East by our government (Iraq), the support of military governments that took power from democratically elected ones by force and whose courts are sentencing demonstrators to death en masse (Egypt) and the deeply stupid policy pirouetting on Syria and destructive power vacuum caused in Libya by NATO’s bombing.
Here’s a simple five-point step to getting that underway.
1 – Close Guantanamo Bay.
2 – Release the Chilcot Report.
3 – Arrest Tony Blair for war crimes.
4 – Put Jack Straw on trial for complicity in the extraordinary rendition of Libyan rebels
5 – Launch a public enquiry into the UK’s role in torture, following the release of the CIA report and make sure those complicit are brought to justice.
That has got nothing whatsoever to do with freedom of speech here in western Europe meanwhile and I hope the French police bring these disgusting attackers to justice fast. If anyone is offended by the beautiful image above, tough luck.
As the New Yorker has so eloquently put it today: