[Marxism] Charlie Hebdo not Racist

A.R. G amithrgupta at gmail.com
Tue Jan 13 16:34:37 MST 2015

>>Charlie HEbdo was ALWAYS careful to point out that fundamentalist ISlam
was the problem not Muslims.

This is like saying "Judeo-Bolshevism was the problem, not Jews". There is
no such thing as "fundamentalist Islam". Islam is a set of religious
practices and traditions unified only vaguely through it's association with
the Qu'ran and the Hadiths (vague, often unsubstantiated, purported sayings
of the Prophet Mohammed). It is practiced differently by different people
in different contexts, and even the extent to which Islamic practices
govern over the lives of its adherents varies from both place to place and
time to time. The idea that there is this practice called "Islamic
extremism" or "fundamentalist Islam" is a fabrication, used to group
different groups of Muslims from different parts of the world with a vague
category while leaving room for exceptions for Muslims perceived to be

As for Muslims marching through France, obviously different Muslims, like
different people, have different views on how to react. Some may be
marching because they genuinely think that shooting cartoonists is the
wrong way to go about expressing offense, others may be doing so to show
the genuineness of their membership in French society (which has defined
unity around turning anti-Muslim cartoonists into national martyrs), others
may be marching because some of the victims themselves were Muslims, more
may be marching for god knows what reason. We just had a march with over 40
world leaders, many of whom have a long history of murdering and torturing
journalists when convenient, and French officials who have made careers
criminalizing some forms of dissent (Gaza marches), some forms of
intolerance (anti-Jewish jokes), some forms of conspiracism (Holocaust
denial), while celebrating and lampooning intolerance and convenience in
other contexts (i.e. that Muslims form an international conspiracy, etc.)
Marching in a national march that is so inclusive that it includes people
who disagree with the march's supposed premise says little about the
motives of the people marching.

As for Charlie Hebdo's racism, I think the Boko Haram cartoon did it for

Even the ones that supposedly only criticize the Prophet Mohammed are all
caricatures that emphasize supposed Arab features, the same way as
historical anti-Semitic cartoons did with Jews.

I'm willing to admit, some of CH's cartoons are not racist, and indeed many
are quite witty -- such as the cartoons condemning the massacre in Gaza, or
Marine Le Pen, or De Gaulle. But those involve mocking abuses of power
and/or those who seek to abuse power. They are the opposite of targeting an
already marginalized ethnic group with such degrading depictions. Moreover,
spreading the notion that Muslims and their alleged backwardness in France
is due to their religious beliefs being taken to extremes -- as opposed to,
for example, their social isolation, stemming at least partially from the
kind of widely accepted media invective against them egged on by mags like
CH -- is once again a repetition of the racist narrative about the "danger"
posed by immigrants with different religious views.

The narrative about the shootings itself is a good example. Instead of
emphasizing the shooters' reaction following the US invasions of Iraq and
Afghanistan and the torture of Muslims in those countries; and the
widespread acceptance (with criticism) of the officials responsible
throughout Europe and America; or the obvious reasons why Muslims in France
might vicariously identify with tortured and besieged Muslims in other
parts of the world, such as their social isolation or their own historical
roots as targets of French colonialism; the despondency and extremist
behavior of the shooters was immediately reduced to their religious beliefs
being taken to an extreme. All societal factors that provide meaningful
context were removed.

Within that context, I think it's pretty obvious why someone would find the
CH cartoons to be essentially a form of racist incitement.

- Amith

On Tue, Jan 13, 2015 at 2:56 PM, Dan via Marxism <
marxism at lists.csbs.utah.edu> wrote:

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> Charlie Hebdo never published anything racist. Ever. Says me.
> If you can show me real evidence of a RACIST cartoon or statement from
> Charlie Hebdo, please do so.
> Depicting Jesus being buggered is not racist.
> Depicting religious zealots, with long beards and holding the Coran,
> buggering goats is not racist.
> Comparing such depictions of religious zealots to anti-Irish cartoons of
> the 19th century is blatently
> Charlie HEbdo was ALWAYS careful to point out that fundamentalist ISlam
> was the problem not Muslims.
> I realize the Saoudi, Quatari and Pakistani authorities are spending
> billions trying to control 1.5 billion Muslims by projecting ISlam as under
> siege. The aim is to relegate
> Human Rights to the dustbin of history so that religiously sanctioned
> ambitions can dominate.
> Fortunately, a majority of Muslims can still think for themsleves and
> marched in support of Charlie Hebdo, at least in France.
> Depicting Chalrie HEbdo as racist for portraying ISIS and AL Quaeda and
> fundamentalist preachers as goat-fuckers is not racism.
> Claiming the contrary is Islamist propaganda and siding with the religious
> authorities of countries where blaspheming is banned and so is social
> activism.
> I suspect some on the left have lost sight of the goal of human
> emancipation, the better to wax lyrical about the empowering, communal
> aspects of religion. And other such horse manure born from deeply ingrained
> American religiosity.
> So SHOW ME an example of so called Charlie HEbdo racism !
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