Pauvre Paris, mais je NE suis PAS Charlie

At present I’m taking a week of holiday rest in a small cabin in Wiltshire. There is a TV and watching the coverage of the Paris outrages makes for a macabre but compelling spectacle. (On this point, discovering the free channel Euronews has been a relief. The constant repetitive drivel on the BBC and Sky is annoying. Euronews is not afraid to have short periods of silence with live footage, without someone using dozens of words to describe what we can see for ourselves on the screen.)

When a friend alerted me to what sort of rag Charlie Hebdo is things made more sense. Murder can never be the solution to insult. Militant Islam knows no other way it seems. They are truly vile, even demonic. They have no excuse.

Yet Charlie Hebdo is almost as vile. This magazine seeks deliberately to insult and provoke, especially with regard to religion, not least the Church. Laurence England on Facebook neatly described this tragic event as the clash between extreme Islam and extreme secularism, and this rings true, not just in this case but in general with regard to all the atrocities of IS and Al Qaeda. The innocent victims will be many if the current series of events continues.

Contrary to the rhetoric being constantly repeated, the Paris attack is not an attack on freedom of speech; it is an attack on, an appalling and disproportionate overreaction to, the abuse of freedom of speech. The employees at Charlie Hebdo are not martyrs nor heroes; they are victims. The police officers killed are more deserving of the labels hero and martyr.

So even as the West, and for the moment France especially, fights the hideous evil of militant Islam, perhaps the West, and France in particular, needs to understand how destructive is militant secularism. It will be futile to denounce the devil at work in militant Islam when at the same time we coddle the devil at work in our society.

Freedom of speech is not unlimited, as proved by our own laws of libel and slander. Its abuse occasionally provokes some to appalling acts of revenge. To speak the truth in love is the only legitimate use of freedom of speech. Charlie Hebdo speaks something else entirely.

So, je ne suis pas Charlie. Catholics mourn for its victims, denounce the murderers, expose the Islamist agenda; yet so too Catholics must expose the dangers of extreme secularism.

If only France had shown similar outrage at the slaughter of Christians and Yezidis in Iraq and Syria, who provoked no one. Consistency would help.

May all the victims rest in peace, and those who mourn them be comforted.

Happy new year.

5 thoughts on “Pauvre Paris, mais je NE suis PAS Charlie

  1. What this massacre illustrates is the inherently seditious nature of Islam. When Jesus stood before Pilate on a charge of sedition, He succeeded in persuading the Procurator that He was no threat to Caesar. He forbade (and forbids) His followers to commit this crime, and no one could accuse Him of inciting soldiers to lay down their arms and abandon military service.

    If Pilate had arraigned Muhammad, the last thing he would have said before tasting Roman steel is: “I have been commanded to fight people until they say there is no God but Allah and that I am the Messenger of Allah.”

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  2. Might I add that it is up the the highest religious court & leaders to come out & say that killings such as these lead to hell not paradise. While these misguided people believe they are doing the will of God (or Allah) they will not be dissuaded from such actions. Paradise is for good people not murderers!!

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  3. First of all may I just say Father that you must not keep disappearing on me–it has been far too long since I’ve enjoyed a post from you!!
    So a belated Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year!
    Now on to the business at hand—-
    I echo your view here 100%
    My posts, for the past two days have rung of your words, especially today’s post as I took a look at freedom, responsibility and moral obligations and the two sides of such.
    Just because we have the freedom to do, say, write, draw, sing something, anything, does not mean that we should. Just because one can defame, desecrate, belittle, antagonize, mock, etc. does not mean that we should do so—particularly when we know that whatever it is we are making fun of, mocking, or demoralizing is important to another human being—even if we find their way of thinking terribly flawed and skewed.
    I am not a fan of the followers of Islam as I have seen nothing edifying of this religion—not from its history nor of its current day followers but that does not mean that I want to ridicule what they find “sacred” just as I abhor those who desecrate what is important to me—be that the Church, a crucifix, a cross, a bible, or any imagine of God, Jesus or any other sacred Christian image or individual (i.e. a pope, saint, nun, cleric). Do we not have a moral obligation to our fellow man to demonstrate respect?
    I know that evil exists in this world. That there always will be bad people and bad things as we are all afforded freewill and choice and that Satan does indeed walk freely on this earth. I loath the terrorists and extremists and even the so called lone wolves that seem to believe that to murder, attack maim and destroy the lives and the way of life for so many others is a goal or sick mission.
    But if we know that our actions such as a drawing, an article, a book, a speech could cause trouble by fanning the flames of extremism, do we not have a moral obligation to our fellowman not to do so.
    I find it selfish as well as irresponsible on the part of Charlie Hebdo to have put so many people at risk and so many lives in jeopardy just to be able to produce an image that they know would create a firestorm.
    It has not been fair to those mere bystanders and police who have had to find themselves in the middle.
    Yes Liberties are what we of the west have lived and died for now for hundreds of year but with those liberties come grave responsibilities that we seem to have thrown to the wind.
    Sure we can denounce Islam, we can point to its lies wrapped in religious rhetoric and we can agree that it is not this “peaceful” religion of an almighty God—but we don’t have to be sarcastic, or mocking or belittling or hide behind twisted humor to prove a point—-
    Forgive my soapbox Father. I just have felt I was the only one in western society who has felt this way. . .
    with love—Julie

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