[Marxism] Charlie Hebdo not Racist

Lenin's Tomb leninstombblog at googlemail.com
Tue Jan 13 16:56:19 MST 2015

Dan clearly has his defences up and has no interest in being convinced (or, strangely, in convincing anyone).  However, just for the record, the cartoons were not just about ‘religious zealots’.  Most of them were about Islam as such, taking the Prophet Mohammed as the meet exemplar of the supposed follies of Islam.  

This began with the famous contrived idiocy of the Danish Cartoons, which CH reproduced to tremendous commercial success.  Perhaps the most famous of these cartoons depicted Mohammed as a wild-eyed beardy oriental type with a bomb in his turban.  The bomb bore the Shahada declaration - the statement of faith which Dan would make if he converted to Islam one sombre day.  The story told by the cartoon was fairly straightforward: we are seeing all this violence everywhere because Islam is essentially and fundamentally a bomb waiting to go off in the heads of believers.  It is essentially and monolithically a terrorist creed, the cartoon said, and as such represents the enemy of civilised modernity.

One of the more famous covers for which CH was criticised was the one bearing the legend, Sharia Hebdo.  On the cover, Mohammed was featured as guest editor, represented as a fairly standard oriental primitive, promising 100 lashes if you don’t die of laughter.  Again the message was the same: Islam is essentially a primitive, violent, repressive and intolerant religion.  Other depictions featured Mohammed sucking off satan, or made fairly easy jokes about his relationship to Aisha, alluding to the old (misinformed) Islamophobic trope about his being a paedo.  One could go on.  All of these are well-known stereotypes used to justify the surveillance and repression of Muslims on the grounds that they represent a civilisational threat to the ‘the West’.  They are no different to infamous racist libels against Jews.

Of course, as a former Charlie Hebdo writer named Oliver Cyran wrote to the editor a few years ago, this line that they go after everyone equally is nonsense.  There is no ‘Talmud Hebdo’, and there aren’t pictures of rabbis fucking pigs or counting money.  Rightly so.  Indeed, when the CH writer Maurice Sinet produced a vicious antisemitic libel on Sarkozy’s son, he was rightly fired by the publication.

CH had a moral and political purpose.  It knew that racism was wrong when it was directed against Jews, and black people.  Charb rightly said that racism is not comedy.  But the magazine didn’t extend that consideration to Muslims.

> On 13 Jan 2015, at 23:36, Dan via Marxism <marxism at lists.csbs.utah.edu> wrote:
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> They depicted RELIGIOUS ZEALOTS as goat-fuckers. My God (or no God) ! Can't you see the difference between an "Arab Muslim" and a "Religious Zealot"? Or do YOU think all Arab Muslims are religious fundamentalists? In that case, YOU, my friend, are racist. Very racist. Fortunately, Charlie Hebdo, ALWAYS made sure that viewers would UNMISTAKINGLY understand that a character with a long beard, a crazed expression, a long robe and a blade/or bomb was a bigot. This did NOT apply to Muslims generally.
> Charlie was also infamous for depicting nuns as crazy, the French military as bloodthirsty, vainglorious buffoons, orthodox jews as people with a kippa and long yarmaduks, Israeli Soldiers as killers, etc.
> To claim that Charlie was/is racist is not only disengenious, it is a purpouseful lie that can only benefit those who want to impose THEIR NOTION that all Muslims SHOULD become crazed zealots.
> On 14/01/2015 00:22, Charles Faulkner wrote:
>> i'm no expert on charlie hebdo but i think if you go back and look at the images you will see that they typically portray arab muslims, not just muhammad, in the most grotesque way.  never white muslims for instance, or asian muslims for that matter.  consistently arab muslims.  it just looks obvious that the cartoons are meant to provoke the muslims in france, who are mostly arab.  comparisons to cartoons in america and elsewhere abound and the irish example is very well taken.  it really is disingenuous to flaunt such cartoons and then claim that great care was taken to make a distinction.
>> "wax lyrical" about religion?  not here friend.
>> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> *From: *"Dan via Marxism" <marxism at lists.csbs.utah.edu>
>> *To: *"Charles Faulkner" <lacenaire at comcast.net>
>> *Sent: *Tuesday, January 13, 2015 2:56:52 PM
>> *Subject: *[Marxism] Charlie Hebdo not Racist
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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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