Two imagined parallel interviews: Al Qaeda & Charlie Hebdo

StephaneRIP Stéphane Charbonnier – 1967 – 2015
Long live freedom of speech

Following the latest murderous assault upon Western publishers of cartoons …that appear to be beyond controversial to some elements of the international fraternity of humankind…Bob Bracket, special correspondent, tried to tease out the logic behind both side’s actions:

Firstly, with a spokesperson from the magazine, Charlie Hebdo:

BB: “Let me express my sympathy at the tragic loss of life at your offices, can I begin by asking, why do you think this happened?”

CH: “Well, as you know, we are in the business of satirising all organisations and powerful bodies that we feel say ridiculous things – and do irrational things – this is our mission as a satirical but serious paper.”

BB: “The foreign minister, Laurent Fabius, publicly criticised your magazine’s actions after the ‘Sharia Hebdo‘ edition, asking: ‘Is it really sensible or intelligent to pour fuel on the fire?’ – are these deaths really worth carrying on this mission against Islamic symbols and so on?”

CH: “The whole point of freedom of speech and the laws, which we have to protect, is that they must include the freedom to offend. Short of shouting “FIRE” in a  crowded theatre, we believe anyone should be free to say whatever they like in any public forum”

BB: “I presume you mean, within the law, which if course includes slander and libel.”

CH: “Yes, you will remember we were sued for “Defamation”,  two French Muslim organisations, the Great Mosque of Paris and the Union of Islamic Organisations of France, took a lawsuit against us for “public insults against a group of people because they belong to a religion”. But the courts found that we were attacking ideas, not those people and so we were well within the law”

BB: “That was in 2007 and I believe the court ruled that freedom of speech was not without its limitations?”.

CH: “True – The judges said in finding us not guilty of libel/defamation: Freedom of expression may be restricted if “it is exercised in a manner which is gratuitously offensive to others without contributing in any way to a public debate which may encourage the progress of humankind”. I ask you, what is gratuitously offensive in this world and what helps humankind progress… Murdering people who beat your false logic in court, or defending free speech?”

BB: “Thank you, I turn now to Mr Ali Akhbar (name changed to protect the guilty) and put to you that last point:
Surely murdering people who attack your ideas in words is against all the guidance of your holy prophet?”

AA: “Alu-ah Akhbar!”

BB: “Sorry, Mr Aluaha Akhbar…”

AA: “NO, GOD is the greatest, I am Ali”

BB: “Well Ali certainly was the greatest in my lifetime but back to the point:
Murdering people. It’s not good is it?”

AA: “Those who insult the prophet must be put to death, it says so in our holy law and we are but the messengers of Allah doing his holy work”

BB: “Well, we could go into great debates about the essential meanings of the Qu’ran, including the overriding instruction to be merciful that many states with the largest populations of Muslims find to be a truth, but…”


BB: “Yes – you made that point already, my question is:- How does killing some French cartoonists increase the chances of the successful spread of your religion across the world, when it is clear that killing only brings about more killing?”.

AA: “We have seen laid out, God’s law, and people can now see that those who disobey this law will suffer the ultimate punishment, Allah Akhbar!”

BB:”This punishment of death seems to have been going on massively, over many centuries, in many forms, including those who hold only slightly different beliefs to your own – which are what exactly, Wahabist?”

AA: “We Are Sunni – the one true form of Islam, The Shia were founded by squabbling warlords who wished to pervert the message of Allah”

BB: “Did your father abuse you as a child? I ask because your logic is so clearly biased towards revenging imaginary wrongs and killing people that one wonders if…”

– interview suddenly ends there ~ Editor

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.