Pope Francis made some interesting remarks about free speech on a flight to the Philippines a few days ago. The pontiff has stated that people’s faith should not be insulted and that they should not be provoked in such a manner. Pope Francis quipped that “If my good friend Doctor Gasparri speaks badly of my mother, he can expect to get punched” and “You cannot provoke. You cannot insult the faith of others. You cannot make fun of the faith of others. There is a limit.” I simply can’t agree with the sentiment Pope Francis holds. A society isn’t really free if not able to criticize, satirize, or insult organized religions, Islam or otherwise. The pontiff’s not the only one who shares such feelings towards Charlie Hebdo though, depending upon which leftist you ask Charlie Hebdo had it coming for taunting “religious fanatics” and that the material deriding the Pope, Roman Catholic Church, Jews, and various political leaders was minimal compared to insults against Islam and Mohammed. A simple Google image search shows other distasteful depictions of various groups and individuals, though other such depictions aren’t what got twelve people killed in recent attacks. Some of my questions for Pope Francis would be: what does count as acceptable criticism, what is the limit and why can’t I make fun of someone’s faith?
It’s not like the Middle East and North Africa aren’t filled with Jew-bashing cartoons or satire, but one until recently obscure French magazine calls for a bunch of killing I guess. Charlie Hebdo protests and killings have continued in earnest in Pakistan, Niger, and Algeria over further depictions of Mohammed and Islam. It’s pretty clear that Charlie Hebdo meant to make offensive criticisms of Islam, but they seem to treat everyone else in a disrespectful manner also. I guess for some leftists it makes sense to compare a lawsuit by Jerry Falwell against Larry Flint (in which the Supreme Court ruled against Falwell) to twelve people getting shot and killed. That’s moral equivalency for you, I guess.
As you can tell by some of the leftist articles I’ve linked to, much of the blame for the attacks in Paris is the fault of Western imperialism, capitalism, zionism, oppresion and other -ism’s that only the U.S. and Western Europe have engaged in. Some people act as if: the Umayyad Caliphate didn’t conquer an empire spanning from Persia, to North Africa, to Anatolia, to Iberia, that the Ottomans didn’t forge an empire of the same scale that bordered Austria, or that General Tikka Khan and the Pakistani Army butchered hundreds of thousands of their own people. Any talk of atrocities committed by a majority Muslim army is simply a conspiracy theory. Only evil white people, Sikhs, or Indians commit atrocities or use propaganda.
As you can see, I’ve posted up more of Charlie Hebdo, though not many depictions of Muslims this time since some will always decry how Charlie Hebdo only “minimally” castigates other religions. What do those of you reading this think, that Charlie Hebdo had it coming, they’re hypocritical, or is everything they’ve done free speech?
BBC-Paris attacks: Pope says freedom of speech has limits
Huffington Post-Je Suis Larry Flint?
Red State-Pope Francis On Free Speech: Terrorism Works Like Hell