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To wish our press made a stand for enlightenment values....

(163 Posts)
Babycham1979 Wed 07-Jan-15 16:12:37

....and all published the cartoons of Mohammed on their front covers tomorrow.

The right to freedom of expression and to cause offence are fundamental principles that underpin European values and liberal western democracy; surely the only response to the Charlie Hebdo shootings is for our society to make a stand against this kind of fascist terrorism and show that we can't be cowed by bullying.

Some people may be offended, but that's the price you pay for reaping the benefits of living in a modern, liberal, secular society. If our media bows down to this kind of violence, surely the nut-jobs have won? Self-imposed censorship is still censorship.

littlemslazybones Wed 07-Jan-15 16:19:37

Well, if they were going to make a stand for Enlightenment principles I'd rather they start with putting more money into investigative journalism and less into rehashing press releases. It would be better if they acted like a watchdog to highlight misuse of power and didn't try to titilate the masses by turning the poor into a freakshow. But market forces rule. I think last on my list of enlightenment wish list is cartoons of Mohammed.

Babycham1979 Wed 07-Jan-15 16:31:27

So, in short, 'fuck freedom of speech'?

Nice one.

OTheHugeManatee Wed 07-Jan-15 16:34:26


Babycham1979 Wed 07-Jan-15 16:37:37

And to misquote Voltaire (quite fitting, seeing as we're on the Enlightenment), 'I disapprove of what you say,
but I will defend to the death your right to say it'

littleducks Wed 07-Jan-15 16:38:40

with freedom comes responsibility

littlemslazybones Wed 07-Jan-15 16:40:47

Yes, that's exactly what I said.

I did not say, that the link between our press and enlightenment principles went with advertising. Or that it is inherently fucked. Or that, before you get to the right to offend other people, a right I agree with, is less important than a Fourth Estate.

glenthebattleostrich Wed 07-Jan-15 16:44:39

Yes, the responsibility to stand up to extremists.

But as we have a press who are quite frankly an embarrassment, more interested in what some reality 'star' wandering around in a skimpy outfit or who some soap star is shagging then I doubt any of them will have the balls to do it.

Babycham1979 Wed 07-Jan-15 16:58:45

Not all of our press is quite so poor. The Economist, The Spectator, the Guardian, Private Eye; there's still much to be proud of. Even our tabloids demonstrate a lack of deference that compares well to foreign media.

I doubt, however, that any of them will have the guts to print said cartoons.

squoosh Wed 07-Jan-15 17:01:49

'I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it'

Damn right.

FoodPorn Wed 07-Jan-15 17:02:09

YANBU I hope they republish the cartoons.

I would if I could.

lljkk Wed 07-Jan-15 17:09:25

I've been toying with idea of putting the cartoon up on my FB.
Except I don't agree with the cartoon, just the right to see it or draw it.
Too much :-( stuff in the world for me to fix any of it.

scatteroflight Wed 07-Jan-15 18:54:49


But if I were a famous journalist - Polly Toynbee, Fraser Nelson, Andrew Gilligan, Peter Hitchens - would I want to put my name to those cartoons? No way.

20 years ago maybe you could make a stand - when the threat was remote, half way across the globe. Now that the west has been so thoroughly infiltrated by people with these beliefs? Not on your nelly.

Our countries do not belong to Enlightenment values any more. Violence and intimidation rule us. And it's only going to get worse.

OfaFrenchMind Wed 07-Jan-15 19:00:39

YANBU. But to be honest, I myself do not feel very enlightened right now.
I feel downright medieval. Tomorrow I hope I will be back to a more nuanced point of view, maybe. I guess I just need to sleep on it, and not go on Facebook in the next hours.

Crockershite Wed 07-Jan-15 19:11:57

If I've understood your op then, Yabu.
Just because freedom of speech exists doesn't mean we should exploit it.
Of course what has happened today is pure twisted evil.

Babycham1979 Wed 07-Jan-15 19:33:57

'Just because freedom of speech exists doesn't mean we should exploit it'

Well, your name is spot-on, Crockershite. If we don't exploit freedom, then I'm afraid it doesn't exist. It's all very well claiming rights and freedoms, but they're worthless unless we exercise them.

It may sound glib, but my ancestress fought and died for the right to offend others. If we take that for granted, then we don't deserve it. Freedom to express our thoughts and opinions goes hand in hand with democracy, liberty, and equity.

What's the aim of dickheads like today's thugs? To silence opposition. How do we show them they've not won? By not being silenced.

The arch irony is, that if we were to legislate against offence, then most of the Koran (and the Bible) would be prohibited on the grounds that it is hate speech against women, gays, apostates, non-believers etc ad nauseam.

writtenguarantee Wed 07-Jan-15 19:39:23

But if I were a famous journalist - Polly Toynbee, Fraser Nelson, Andrew Gilligan, Peter Hitchens - would I want to put my name to those cartoons? No way.

that's why papers should do it.

Crockershite Wed 07-Jan-15 19:49:55

Why thank you baby....
I actually don't see it as "thugs winning" as you put it, there are no winners or losers.
I shall not claim to be as full of examples as you, however all I meant is, and this very simplistic I know, but here goes:-
Just because I see a person as being fat doesn't give me the right to say hey fatty how are you? It's bloody rude and disrespectful. Is actually what I meant.

Andrewofgg Wed 07-Jan-15 19:55:54

Being disrespectful ought to be what the media is^for^, Crocker.

Would you have wanted the Satanic Verses withdrawn from sale because some people thought it was rude and disrespectful?

Crockershite Wed 07-Jan-15 19:58:39

I just see a line between freedom and racism, that's the price we pay.

ToomanyChristmasPresents Wed 07-Jan-15 20:01:38

YANBU. Agree completely.

Babycham1979 Wed 07-Jan-15 20:12:01

Yes, Crock, calling someone fat would be rude and offensive. But it doesn't mean it's not true and it shouldn't be legislated against. Nor should it result in violence.

To suggest printing Mohammed cartoons is racism is pure nonsense. Charlie Hebdo has a history of highlighting the hypocrisy and satirising the absurdity of Judaism, Catholicism, Islam, fascism... the list is almost endless. It is absolutely not racism. These are enormous, complex hierarchies that exist to control and manipulate people; the freedom to speak truth to power is fundamental.

Recent issues of the magazine pilloried he Pope. Was that racist too? After all, France is still, largely, a catholic country.

Babycham1979 Wed 07-Jan-15 20:13:27

Crock, were wartime cartoons portraying Hitler as a ridiculous little man and Mussolini as a fat, puffed-up idiot offensive? Rude? Racist?

writtenguarantee Wed 07-Jan-15 20:15:17

Just because I see a person as being fat doesn't give me the right to say hey fatty how are you?

First, you actually do have the right to call someone fat. it's not a nice thing to do, but you do have the right.

but your example isn't very good, because no one is attacking anyone (living). attacks on people are different than attacks on ideas. any idea/philosophy is fair game.

if every paper in the west printed the cartoons, it will have a number of effects. hopefully, all muslims will get used to the idea that this is allowed in the west. second, it will give crazies too many targets.

ToomanyChristmasPresents Wed 07-Jan-15 22:41:14

I think some German and Belgian papers are doing it. I wonder if any mainstream British papers will be brave enough.

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