Censorship

It's Everybody Bomb Anybody Who Draws Mohammed Day in France!

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Reuters reports that a French publication has been bombed (and its website hacked) after it ran an issue that had been "guest-edited" by the prophet Mohammed:

The offices of a satirical French magazine were gutted on Wednesday by what its editor said was a firebomb, after it put an image of the Prophet Mohammed on its cover.

"The building is still standing. The problem is there's nothing left inside," Stephane Charbonnier, editor of the weekly Charlie Hebdo, told Europe 1 radio.

This week's edition shows a cartoon of Mohammed and a speech bubble with the words: "100 lashes if you don't die of laughter."

It has the headline "Charia Hebdo," in a reference to Muslim sharia law, and says Mohammed guest-edited the issue.

The editor of the mag is unapologetic and undaunted, even as his staff is scurrying for new digs:

"There is no question that we will give ground to the Islamists. We will continue."

And he's got the backing of at least one major political figure in the land of Voltaire, that oh-so-secular saint of free expression:

"We condemn with the greatest strength what is nothing other than an attack against a publication in a country that must embody freedom of expression," Jean-Francois Cope, head of the ruling conservative UMP party, told Europe 1 radio.

More here.

That sort of defense of a very basic human right is good to hear, though like most European nations, France hardly embodies freedom of expression. It criminalizes all sorts of "hurtful" language and in 2008, reports the FrumForum, courts there issued 350 sentences for racially charged insults. Just as it banned religious garb during the Revolution and has mostly cast a gimlet eye on public displays of religiosity, France bans burqas. Europe in general has been slow to learn a multi-part lesson: You should not only let immigrants move wherever they want, you should allow them to assimilate fully into society both through law and custom; sure, the host country or society or group will be changed too, but that's just another great up-side to immigration. And no one should be protected because their religion or heritage or feelings are hurt by words. Violence, it goes without saying, is a different matter, one easily covered under "fighting words" exceptions to freedom of speech and expression.

As awful as it is to see publications literally attacked because of cartoons, it's at least promising to see pushback against such unjustifiable terrorist actions. It would be better still to see French law encode actual protection of all speech.

The offending image is shown elsewhere on this page. Anyone who reads Reason regularly knows what I think of most editorial cartoons (Pulitzer Prize winners seems especially mentally and comically challenged): They're not worth the space they take up in the dreariest of publications. And I think that actually goes for most regular newspaper comic strips too: They generally stink on ice. But it's a better world where folks ranging from Gary Trudeau (whose inarguable decline in talent and insight and funniness has been on public display for decades) to, I don't know, the spawn of Mort Walker are gloriously free to draw whatever the hell they want without fear of being killed.

Reason has written a lot about the controversy over the Danish Mohammed cartoons, going so far as organizing an "Everybody Draw Mohammad Day" contest after the originator of the idea understandably backed away from it due to death threats and, at best, a lukewarm response from the community of artists and other media types. Following the advice of the FBI, Molly Norris eventually disappeared herself, a desperate move that speaks volumes about the need for constantly articulated defenses of free expression.

Here's a good starting point for understanding why we defend the rights of people to think and express what they feel. Especially but not limited to goddamn cartoons that are about as threatening as a cheese sandwich. The winners of our contest can be viewed here. Here's "a primer and a call to arms" on "Reason and Free Speech," penned by Matt Welch and myself for an event we held in New York last December to celebrate John Stagliano's exoneration on federal obscenity charges.

And in case you need any convincing that not just specific instances of free speech but the larger concept remains an endangered species, check out this piece from Bruce Crumley in Time.com. "Defending freedom of expression in the face of oppression is one thing," writes Crumley. "Insisting on the right to be obnoxious and offensive just because you can is infantile." Such a distinction neatly sidesteps who precisely gets to decide what's obnoxious and offensive and what counts as real oppression and infantile pushback. Crumley harbors a grudge against Charlie Hebdo because way back when it republished "the infamous" and "just plain lame" Danish Mohammed cartoons that led to death threats and physical attacks. Before the ruins of the Charlie Hebdo offices had stopped smoldering, Crumley had already gotten to the heart of the matter: "Apart from unconvincing claims of exercising free speech in Western nations where that right no longer needs to be proved," he sniffs, "it's unclear what the objectives of the caricatures were other than to offend Muslims—and provoke hysteria among extremists."

That's a bizarre thing to write in the wake of a firebombing of a newspaper whose crime was being infantile and unfunny. It's bizarre too that Crumley himself notes that free expression still has a ways to go in France and elsewhere, yet it no longer needs to be proved. Unconvincing? Sure. Incoherent? You bet. But it's a telling mental construction that should remind all of us why we need to stand up for free speech always and everywhere, even (and maybe especially) when the speakers are "obnoxious" and "offensive" and "infantile." Or French.

Nick Gillespie is the editor in chief of Reason.tv and Reason.com and the co-author, with Matt Welch, of The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What's Wrong With America. Follow him on Twitter. This story originally appeared this morning but has been updated and expanded during the day.

Watch Reason.tv's video on "What's the biggest threat to free speech?" from that event:

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  1. You got stones, Gillespie, but I guess The Jacket will protect from the ramifications of publishing that frog cartoon.

    1. Nick please invite me to the next one of these at the box. I’ll buy a bottle. Oh, and hook me up with an intro to S.E. Cupp.

      Thanks.

      1. **motions hands in front of chest**

        Nice tits S.E.Cupp they are about the size of my wife’s.

    2. Shameless plug.

      http://www.tshirthell.com/funn…../muhammad/

    3. Who’s afraid of the big, bad Mo?

  2. “The building is still standing. The problem is there’s nothing left inside”

    Oh-oh – the Muslims have the neutron bomb!

    1. Eyes melt, skin explodes, everybody dead…

    2. can I get a “fuck Mohammed” shoutout?

      1. Only if you post your real name and address.

        1. 1600 Pennsylvania Ave
          Washington DC

  3. I have not read the Qur’an, but someone told me there’s a story in there where the main character fucks a lot of sheep. Anyone else hear about that?

      1. Suki, you got those pictures wrong. Those are pictures of pedohile Mohammed. We are discussing sheepfucker Mohammed.

          1. None of us are fucking safe

            1. Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it

            2. None of us are safe fucking.

        1. The Barbie backyard cookout with Mohammed as a pig BBQ grille is not “pedohile”.

          1. It’s not sheepfucker either you stupid twat.

            1. He has a sheepish look.

              1. And you look like a stupid twat

    1. I’ve read some of it and the Hadith – there is a lot of screwing. Kids, slaves, captured women, and his daughter-in-law all get to enjoy the Prophet’s attention. Some even wanted him.

      1. I’ve read the Koran and the Bible cover to cover and I would say that translated into modern english you could play “guess whether this verse came from the Koran or the Old Testament” and over 90% of Americans would fail miserably. Same flavor really.

        1. No surprise. Same region of the world with similar cultures/world-view.

          1. Far from true, actually.

            Arab-dominated Mecca and Medina were nothing like Roman-ruled Jerusalem.

            1. Old testament was written well before Rome took over Israel.

              But, Im in the 10%.

            2. Old T was not Roman.

              1. People called Romanes they go the house!

            3. “Arab-dominated Mecca and Medina were nothing like Roman-ruled Jerusalem.”

              Which one of those were not misogynistic, anti-homosexual, and against looting and pillaging their neighbors and enslaving the women and children? I’m sure you can come up with all sorts of differences but their mores and hence their moral guides were not so far apart. Not to mention Mohammad plagerized the shit out of the Bible. I do always find it humorous when people quote the Koran regarding these types of things as if it’s this guide to super evil acts clueless about the fact that the Old Testament is full of the exact same stuff.

              1. at least they did a better job than the Mormons…Saint Moroni?…LMAO

              2. and in other news MOMA was fire bombed today for an ‘artist’s’ depiction of Christ in a jar of urine, Evil Christians are being sought…
                President Owebama announced millions more for ‘the arts’. Saying, as he raised his beer, “Here’s to what we think is important, to hell with the rest of you!”

          2. Mohammed did crib much of the foundations of Islam from Judaism.

    2. That’s pretty much the gist of the whole book.

    3. Editor’s Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time.

      1. Oh hai, you must be new here.

      2. In that spirit: Muslims who firebomb buildings over drawings are savages and not equal to Enlightenment humanity.

    4. They’re goats not sheep.

  4. Praise Allah you guys didn’t get it last year.

  5. I’m really surprised the French didn’t…ohhh, S.E. Cupp…what was I saying?

    1. This was my take as well.

      1. “Not to be sexist? But I want to chain S.E. Cupp up in my basement”

        http://tinyurl.com/3ed2lnj

        1. What is her “Cupp” size again?

    2. What is it about S. E. Cupp…the skin ? the eyes ? I just know if I ever met her I’d be a blathering puddle of protoplasm. Mrs. Mainer, I love you, but if I ever had a shot with S.E. I’m gonna need a waiver on that marriage license.

      1. She’s like a 7, what the fuck is wrong with you people.

        1. She’s like a 7 on a scale from 1 – 3.

        2. You can send all your “7’s” my way dude.

      2. She’s got that “nerdy girl who will fuck your brains out” vibe.

      3. The eyes. Definitely the eyes. She could have a dick and those eyes would still take you.

    1. Because they are part of a sinister liberal plot. You’d better find a different blog to comment on.

      1. subtle

        (snicker)

        1. Good stuff, Suki!

          Do you have any idea what being a journalist represents in today’s world?

          Cash Only?

          Well, besides that.

          LOLOLOL

          1. Heathens!

            1. Is a money speech anything like a money shot?

            2. “The free market means that those without money to buy what they need do not have the right to live.”
              – John McMurtry

              1. What’s the problem with that/

                If you don’t care enough about yourself to make an effort to provide for yourself, why am I supposed to give a fuck about you?

                1. …expression of “love” for the baby who has a birth defect from pollution from the Koch Oil refinery.

                  Fuck you, I got mine!

                  Psychopaths to the core.

                  Huge rise in birth defects
                  BBC News
                  http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/1878358.stm

                  1. ….poopy in my panties!!!!!!!!!!!!

                  2. well if it’s on the BBC it must be true…did I get that right?

  6. Islam is a religion of peace, and we’ll slit your throat to prove it.

    1. …of peaceful Statism.

      And we’ll tell you to fuck off and die to prove it.

      Gimlet|11.2.11 @ 9:08AM|#

      Dear City-Statism is based on lies,

      Fuck off and die.

      Best,
      Gimlet

      Premise Ten: The culture as a whole and most of its members are insane. The culture is driven by a DEATH URGE, an urge to destroy life.

      Derrick Jensen
      Endgame
      http://www.endgamethebook.org/Excerpts/1-Premises.htm

      1. {fapfapfapfapfapfapfapfap}

        Oh yes…oh Yes…oh YES…OH YEAH BABY YEAH!!!

        Read my muthafukking stupid muthafukkas! READ IT!

        1. I like “cock-asian” better.

      2. Get back to us when someone actually bombs your house for being an autistic douchebag. We might like to insult you, but notice the distinction between words and actions. Or just go back to proving that you have a mental disease by endless nonsense posting.

      3. …is a crackpot.

  7. That’s not a very flattering likeness. No wonder they bombed the magazine.

    1. That magazine was sure to bomb anyway.

      1. God Willed It.

  8. I’ll take this opportunity to pimp Jon Rauch’s Kindly Inquisitors. Probably the best defense of free speech I’ve ever read.

    1. Much easier to get at the Euros than us, though. Much higher Muslim population and thus, a higher radical Muslim population as well. Reason isn’t taking as much of a risk as any European publication by printing spoofs.

  9. At least it was bomb inciting, I mean Friday Funnies wouldn’t incite a poop on your doorstep.

    1. Friday Funnies incites people to blow up themselves in the privacy of their own dwellings, so as not to harm others.

      The horroor. The horror.

  10. First alt-text is a shot at Bok and Payne from out of nowhere.

  11. re: Sarah “PistolFace” Palin

    I thought the pistol was herpes on first glance.

    1. Good eye! I like to think that it works on a lot of levels. Sarah Palin is the Devil, LOL!

  12. Kevin Williamson from National Review looks like the Rasputin character from Hellboy.

  13. First thought: insurance fraud

    I mean, who wants to publish magazines anymore?

    1. Print is dead!

  14. Image-wise, magazines are still far superior to computers.

    You really can see the degradation in colors and detail on high-end screens as compared with high-quality print.

  15. I had no idea Megan McCardle was Rondo Hatton’s little girl.

  16. “What makes this country great is assholes”

    C’mon, how many people had the name Epi pop into their mind first?

    So just let me say, “Thank You, Epi. Thank you for your service in making this nation a beacon to the world.”

    Your country needs you now more than ever. So please, please, you need to raise your game to 11.

    1. “assholes”…C’mon, how many people had the name Epi

      I had “heller” with “Warty” nipping at his butt.

        1. I see the truth hurts you.

  17. “Violence, it goes without saying, is a different matter, one easily covered under ‘fighting words’ exceptions to freedom of speech and expression.”

    This is the worst sentence I’ve seen on reason so far.

    The concept makes no sense whatsoever, and claims about what ‘fighting words’ actually consist of are unfalsifiable. And this is supposedly a legal doctrine?

    1. It’s also worth mentioning the actual history of the term:

      Calling a policeman arresting an innocent person a fascist and racketeer is ‘fighting words.’

      1. much like the “falsely yelling fire in a crowded theater” meme was introduced in a case where it was used as justification for prosecuting a person who was protesting the war.

        iow, by protesting our involvement in a war, he was “falsely shouting fire in a crowded theatre”

        not only was schenck superseded by brandenberg, but alleged liberal/progressives at DU etc. STILL use the fire/theatre thing all the time when claiming we need fairness doctrine and to prosecute oreilly for dr. tiller’s murder

        seriously

    2. I’ve always despised this doctrine. My idiotic con law professor claimed that this was an “objective” doctrine. Are you fucking kidding me? The listener gets to define what the fighting words are. And if they are a pussy ass progressive, a weak muslim, a stupid religious right freaknut, that bar of offensiveness is probably gonna be pretty low.

      1. Me, too. You are allowed to get violent because you were provoked by someone’s words. I seem to recall Texas trying to make it legal to beat up someone burning a flag, because that act was the equivalent of fighting words, and would provoke someone beyond all ability to restrain themselves.

      2. Its not objective, but it was supposed to be consensually based. If you could convince 12 jurors or an appeals judge or a majority of legislators that calling someone’s mother a whore is a good reason for an ass-kicking, you should get off. Similar to justifiable homicide. One specific example of which was coming home to find your wife in your bed with another man. If you shot them in the bedroom, it was justified.

        Not defending the practice, just clarifying. There’s no objectivity about it, but a consensus based argument could be made.

        1. i had a case where a guy in a bar asked a woman if he could buy her a drink. she was drunk, bipolar, and started belittling him. he turned around and began to walk OUT of the bar, still holding his pint of beer.

          as he approached near the door, she yelled the coup de gras at him “yea, llike i would go out with a fucking N***er!”.

          according to multiple witnesses, he literally instantaneously spun around, reared back and threw the pint glass. straight at her head.

          when i got there, her forehead was literally lying across her nose and mouth area.

          nasty.

          the glass shattered.

          to this day, i don’t think we ever caught that guy.

          her (civil) lawyer (looking for a big lawsuit against the bar etc. of course) called me twice trying to fish for info about “do they overserve” etc. bla bla

          regardless, i am pretty sure if he had been caught, he would have put up some kind of fighting words diminished capacity defense, to at least try to get the felony knocked down to a misdemeanor or even a walk

          but it was a perfect example of a fighting words thang, because as multiple witnesses said, there was literally no thought. it was INSTANT turn and fire when she said the word.

          that’s how much of a trigger it was

          not defending or belittling the fighting words doctrine, but i think the point is – if you don’t want to be picking glass out of your forehead, there are certain things it might behoove you not to yell at people.

          cause whether it’s legal or not, people aren’t always rational.

        2. I am confused; I thought the “fighting words” exception was supposed to allow the police to arrest both sides for assault, rather than allow the insulted party to use it as a defense for an assault charge.

          1. I know fighting words when I hear ’em!

    3. “You got a nice wife and kids, it’d be a shame if anything happened to them.”

      Is this speech protected by the First Amendment? I don’t see a literal threat there.

      Sometimes you have to go by the “reasonable person living in the current society” standard. Yes, it’s potentially ambiguous but that’s life. As much as some libertarians wish it were so, everything isn’t black and white.

      1. Verbally announcing your plans to injure someone else isn’t ‘fighting words.’

        Fighting words are speech that offends someone else, regardless of reason, enough to cause the listener to commit an act of violence.

        1. That statement does not announce plans to injure someone, indeed at the literal level it is a compliment.

          It’s only a threat because the listener is likely to perceive it that way.

          1. That is why you don’t assault them in front of witmesses or call the police on them. You stalk them, kill them and bury them somewhere where they’ll never be found. No point in bringing symantecs into it. Not that complicated really.

            1. or witnesses either

              1. don’t confuse “fighting words” doctrine with the “true threats” doctrine.

                they are entirely different.

                true threats are not protected speech. what is and isn’t a true threat is dependant on a host of factors (i had a very long detailed case once involving witness intimidation that hinged on this).

                but true threats and fighting words are only related in that they are not constitutionally protected speech.

                they are ENTIRELY different doctrines, types of speech

                note that “mere advocacy of violence” in general does not constitute true threats under case law.

            2. Note to self: never piss off AlmightyJB

  18. Now I really feel like an asshole.

  19. I feel like the linked Doonesbury article from 2002 would have been a great read, but the links don’t work anymore. Is there any way they can be fixed so that we can see the strips that are referenced?

  20. SE Cupp: name, or bra size?

    1. Who cares? Just more of her please!!!!!

  21. Mort Walker is funy! And so are his progeny!

    1. Compared to you, yes.

      1. Via Alan Vanneman: Sherlock Holmes and the Giant Beetle (Bailey) of Sumatra

        1. I LOL’ed at this.

  22. “Stephane Charbonnier”

    Seriously? Talk about names and destinies.

  23. Europe in general has been slow to learn a multi-part lesson: You should not only let immigrants move wherever they want, you should allow them to assimilate fully into society both through law and custom

    Um, scuse? I’m no fan of Europe, but the US didn’t exactly set any land-speed records in learning to treat its own large non-white minorities equitably either. We Americans can start complaining about Europeans being slow to let go of racism in 2070 or so.

    1. The only land-speed record was set in the Blitzkrieg.

      (I can make that joke because Mike Godwin is busy covering the Occupy movement)

    2. Ummm…Europe has a head start of at least 1400 years, I know they has moslems in France in 732, for example.

      I dont know why we need to give them until 2070.

      1. There have been people of Asian origin in North America for tens of thousands of years. So?

        I’m talking about time in the modern era during which a large, different-colored minority has been present interspersed with European society. Didn’t happen until the 1970s.

        It took the US 100 years from the end of slavery to get to the triumph of the civil rights movement.

        1. I’ve read some things recently, and saw a program on History channel, showing that newer evidence suggests early people probably came to the Americas from Europe.

          1. It was wrong, which isn’t surprising if it was on the History channel.

            1. “It was wrong”

              Citation unsurprisingly absent.

              1. Yes, because it was so present in the original statement. Next time I’ll spend time out of my life to find citations to correct something you may have heard on the History that one time.

        2. “I’m talking about time in the modern era during which a large, different-colored minority has been present interspersed with European society. Didn’t happen until the 1970s.”

          That is not only a lie, it’s the kind of lie that demonstrates why people want you to die in a grease fire.

  24. And incidentally, the turban on Mo’s head in the cartoon does not in the least look like a pair of testicles, so get that thought out of your mind at once. Anyway, everyone knows he only had one ball, PBUH.

  25. Religion is the seed of mental illness.

    1. the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness

      1. Religion is the number one killer in history. Worse than mental illness.

        1. I’m pretty sure religion hasn’t ever killed anyone.

          1. …”Ahsshole.”

        2. …I’m a dumbass.

        3. I’d like some real numbers on that cause I seriously doubt it has out paced straight out war/invasion or whatever flavor of totalitarianism you want to go with (fascist, socialist, etc.).

          1. Damn joke handle.

            1. Come, hear the brass band. Enjoy! Then quick, jump into the nice boxcar and go on long ride to Eternity!

  26. S.E. Cupp featured in video on Hit and Run, and all it took was blowing up one silly building. I’d like to volunteer to blow up the next one if we can see her in a swimsuit or underwear

    1. Can’t view it from work. Guess I’ll have to leave early.

  27. So European governments, who lack an appreciation for free expression, should import more people from a culture which has even less regard for free expression, and this will lead to a triumph for free expression.

    1. I’d hate to be a liberal. I’m allergic to cognitive dissonance.

      1. Yes, yes. Happy marching useful idiots.

        to the tune of “Fish Heads”
        Idiots, Idiots
        Happy marching Idiots
        They can beat a drum!
        I took an Idiot
        out to Occupy Wall Street,
        didn’t have to pay to get him in.
        (repeat chorus)

  28. informed rational freedom loving people have all the reasons in the world to fear islam…

    the twin fogs of political correctness & ignorance must be dispersed before western society better understands this menace. even a brief review of islamic theology & history quickly exposes the deadly roots of this evil ideology….

    Mohamhead was a 7th century murdering warlord who rose to power on a river of blood surrounded by thugs and gangsters using intimidation, violence, deception and trickery to expand their criminal empire while mercilessly suppressing and killing their opponents and enriching themselves on stolen booty.

    The evil koran is a collection of sayings and speeches by this diabolical madman claiming divine guidance from some mythical sky-god which has inspired generations of crazed fanatics to abhorrent behavior resulting in historys worst ever crimes against humanity starting 1400 years ago and still continuing even today.

    Islam is just another fascist totalitarian ideology used by power hungry fanatics on yet another quest for worldwide domination and includes all the usual human rights abuses & suppression of freedoms.

    graphics version, great for emailing 🙂

    http://img256.imageshack.us/im…..ermoko.jpg

    1. Any worse than Xtianity?

      1. Not that I’m an islamaphobe or whatever, but yeah, worse than Christianity. Say what you want about the church after it gained legitimacy but for the 1st 300 years it didn’t rise because of warfare and intimidation.

  29. Especially but not limited to goddamn cartoons that are about as threatening as a cheese sandwich.

    I personally find the cheese sandwich far more threatening. A cartoon has never given me explosive diarrhea. If I’m intolerant of lactose, does that make me a bigot?

    1. A cartoon can be threatening in a good way. Mockery and insults can be very damaging, and the jihadist/Salafist types need to be mocked and insulted.

    2. “If I’m intolerant of lactose, does that make me a bigot?”

      No, it makes you a hypochondriac with a psychosomatic disorder.

    3. Try dropping a fresh-out-of-the-frying-pan cheese sandwich on your bare thigh and then tell me how non-threatening it is. I declare a Fatwa on cheese sandwiches.

      1. I declare a Fatwa on unpasteurized cheese sandwiches.

        Fatwa, feta, whatevs.

  30. See why we need to burn more Korans? These Muslims are very sensitive, we need to help them man up and get used to the BS everybody else puts up with.

    1. Gregooooo!!!!!1!!!11!!

  31. Just what did guest-editor Mohamet say that was so incendiary?

    1. He said “I made up that 72 Virgins thing”

      1. Yew got a purty mouth there, Achmed…

  32. “Europe in general has been slow to learn a multi-part lesson: You should not only let immigrants move wherever they want, you should allow them to assimilate fully into society both through law and custom; sure, the host country or society or group will be changed too, but that’s just another great up-side to immigration. And no one should be protected because their religion or heritage or feelings are hurt by words.”

    So if I’m reading you correctly here, Nick, this attack was actually the fault of French society overall for not being welcoming & accepting enough of their violent, unassimilated muslim minority?

    But once the country gives up on its sisyphean & quixotic quest to remain somehow ‘french’ and allows its culture to drift to meet the immigrants from backwards, violently barbaric cultures halfway, it will be a much more tolerant, peaceful place? That’s your theory?

    You think that having France mix its culture w/ that of reactionary Islam will somehow benefit both? Rather than just destroy France’s? That the country will actually be *more* likely to not protect anyone “because their religion or heritage or feelings are hurt by words” after it has incorporated the culture of a group that will literally kill themselves in order to harm you if they think you have insulted their “religion or heritage or feelings”? Really? That’s what you think?

    That might be the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard you say. It sort of makes me re-evaluate all the things you said that sounded sensible.

    1. Re: blighter,

      So if I’m reading you correctly here, Nick, this attack was actually the fault of French society overall for not being welcoming & accepting enough of their violent, unassimilated muslim minority?

      The first great faux pas the French committed in this struggle for Islamic accomodation, it would seem, was not losing the battle of Poitiers… or something.

    2. The Jacket writes:

      sure, the host country or society or group will be changed too, but that’s just another great up-side to immigration.

      I’d like the Jacket to explain how the fuck making France’s culture more like that of Saudi Arabia or Afghanistan is a “great up-side to immigration.”

      If you want to argue that free movement of people is a human right, fine. If you want to argue that it makes economic sense, fine. Hell, if you want to argue that transforming America’s culture to make it more like Mexico’s is a good thing, fine. But if you’re so blinded by open-borders dogma that you think France will benefit from less separation of church and state and more honor killings as a punishment for getting raped, there’s something seriously wrong with you.

  33. Not exactly on point but relevant to free speech: the Third Circuit today reaffirmed its “fleeting expletive” decision and again vacated the penalty the FCC imposed on CBS for Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction.

    Decision here: http://www.ca3.uscourts.gov/opinarch/063575p2.pdf

  34. Again, just as a reminder:

    Draw a cartoon of Jesus, get an angry letter to the local newspaper, maybe a boycott.

    Draw a cartoon of Mohammed, shit gets set on fire and people may wind up dead.

    Yeah, that’s proportionate.

    1. So Islam is like Christianity a few hundred years ago

      1. And?

        Do you actually have a point to make, or are you actually so fucking stupid that you think drawing false equivalence means anything to anyone here?

        Seriously, why do you bother posting when all you do is make an ass of yourself.

        1. I am the only one allowed to make an ass of myself!

        2. I love all these “and?” posts. If Mr Fify’s post is relevant, so is heller’s dismantling of it.

          1. “If” it’s relevant?

            How often do Christians set fires and kill people over Jesus-based satire?

            1. I question the relevance because it’s not clear what point you’re trying to make.

              If you’re trying to say that Muslims or Islam itself is dangerous, that’s poppycock. The likelihood of a random Christian participating in a religious terror attack is roughly equal to the likelihood of a random Muslim participating in a religious terror attack. Both are on the order of one in a hundred million.

              If this is just a my-religion-is-better-than-theirs pissing match, you need to look at the historical behavior of Christians and Jews, for instance, during periods when they have held power. And I’m not just talking about medieval inquisitions and holy wars, or Israel’s behavior of the past half-century. Bush and Obama are purportedly Christian and have orders of magnitude more innocent blood on their hands than al-Qaeda, albeit more like manslaughter than murder in most cases. Now, neither was motivated to engage in activity that led to needless innocent deaths by religion, but that’s largely because the West isn’t motivated by religious concerns anymore. Wherever Christianity has conflicted with secular values and bare convenience, it’s been thrown to the four winds.

              1. Oh, come ON, Tulpa.

                Draw a cartoon of Jesus, and see if you get firebombed over it.

                Odds are, you won’t.

      2. as practiced, to some extent – YES
        see: reformation, modernism, etc.

        which is kind of the point. when the relativists try to draw parallels (see: the christian taliban and other such drek), we inevitably get crap like “but the crusades” (don’t even get me started or whatever)

        but the reality is that nobody is in fear of making fun of

        druids
        christians
        jews
        buddhists
        hindus

        etc.

        south park riffed on the fact that scientologists like to SUE everybody who messes with them, but even that didn’t stop the infamous “in the closet” episode, they just credited it anonymously 🙂

        1. Right, and black fathers weren’t afraid of white guys raping their daughters back in the Jim Crow South either. Does that mean black men really were dangerous?

          People’s fears are a poor barometer for true levels of danger. The Mohammed cartoons and other depictions have been published by US outlets countless times in the past few years and there has been no violence against the outlets responsible. (anonymous threats don’t count — you get that for kicking the wrong person off Hell’s Kitchen for chrissakes) Being scared of Muslims blowing you up in the US is ridiculous.

          1. You are discounting the fact that the amount of selfcensorship out of fear is already huge. In the US, people ALL THE FUCKING TIME. Mock christianity, Judaism, atheists, etc. with zero fear of retaliation. The fucking FBI recommended the woman who organized draw Mohammed day in the USA go into hiding. She took their advice. If you can’t grok the difference, I can’t help you.

            1. Again, you’re citing fear as evidence of danger. If the danger were significant then Reason, Wikipedia, and many other US organizations that have published the original cartoons and later images of Mohammed would be getting terrorist attacks.

              Of course the FBI is going to tell her to go into hiding. If they didn’t and something happened to her it would be a political disaster, but if they needlessly tell her to go into hiding no one knows or cares.

              1. I’d say we’re pretty lucky shit doesn’t happen like it’s happening in, say, France, when someone draws a picture of Moe.

                With the way the Occutards are stirring the gruel, though, violence is at least on the dry-erase menu board. So, best to be safe than sorry.

      3. So Islam is like Christianity a few hundred years ago

        So you think Muslims are primitive barbarians, got it.

        Why are you such a bigot?

        1. I’d say “drink” but that might get me shot.

          1. Some are, Hassan. And some of them go way fuckin’ overboard when someone else draws a cartoon of their pedophile figurehead.

      4. Yes.

        And?

        Are we supposed to wait a few hundred years for Islam to grow the fuck up?

        1. Christianity didn’t grow up, it simply became irrelevant to Western society as a separate influence. You doubt this, look at how well modern Christians keep the sabbath. In every way it was convenient, Christianity has compromised with secularism.

          1. I thought America was riddled with uber-powerful right-wing Christians just itchin’ to run the entire country, theocracy-style. We get told that quite often by Team Blue.

            So… which is it?

            1. I’m not Team Blue. If you’re going to ad hominem, make sure you pick the right homo.

              1. I didn’t say you were, Tulpa. I know better than that. I was making a point about how some people in this country view Christians in positions of power or connections to same.

      5. Um. No.

  35. Obviously, the biggest threat to free speech are the Koch brothers. Have you been paying attention?!?

    1. Shhhh! The kochtopus will get you!

  36. S.E. Cupp is so damned pretty, it’s hard to look at her. It’s like staring into the sun.

  37. i don’t think anybody who actually really follows free speech stuff could have ANY doubt that europe in general (and canada) have far less than we do. holocaust denial laws, hate speech laws, racial sensitivity laws, etc.

    fuck, amanda knox’s parents got prosecuted for libeling the police – iow criticizing them lol.

    it’s not even remotely arguable

    canada’s CCLA (their equivalent to our ACLU) has some good case law etc. stuff on their site, but in brief, the kind of shit that can get you prosecuted in canada for, speechwise, is frigging amazing

    the best part is that certain hateful speech is not legally defensible EVEN IF TRUE.

    truth is irrelevant is the expression is sufficiently hateful

    1. post-Citizens-United, laws in the US restricting speech are few and far between. I mean, you have laws against perjury and threats and fraud and stuff, but the only really bad speech restrictions left are the obscenity laws (extremely rarely prosecuted), the occasional overbroad gag order by a judge, and the more common copyright/libel lawsuit mischief.

      1. That is true, There are if course speech abuses, but the very stuff that are abuses and relatively rare in this country and usually rectified via civil suit etc. (see : FIRE) are illegal speech w/o question in Canada, Europe, etc. it really is a wonderful thing I am very proud of our tradition of, especially compared to Europe etc

  38. Holy shit, I went to school with that guy from ‘The Village Voice’ (Tony Ortega). We were in Journalism class together. And now 30 years later he’s hob-nobbing with all those hip Libertarians…and I’m languishing in a cubicle and watching him hob-nob on YouTube. It’s times like this I question the choices I’ve made in my life.

    1. Matt Welch said he chose an english major despite his fathers stern recommendations. Take that Matt Welch’s dad!

    2. That’s a start, Danno. That’s a start.

  39. I wouldn’t put up a cartoon of Mo because I know it gets Muslims all bent out of shape and I’m not generally looking to rile anybody just for the sake of riling them.

    At the same time, it gets really, really tiresome hearing the Muslims cry and whine about how they are “unfairly” viewed as prone to fits of completely looney, 100% wacked-the-hell-out fits of homicidal rage, especially after a bombing, a stabbing, or some other violent act – like a beheading.

    There are the occasional violent types from other religions, but they just don’t compare in frequency with the trend of Islamic terrorism and thuggery. For that, you have to go secular and look at communists and narco-terrorist groups.

    With regard to immigration in Europe, I must disagree with the notion that the mass exodus of Africans and Asians to Europe is a good thing. Western individualism and secularism makes for a better way of life than the collectivism and theocracy of many of these immigrants’ homelands. (I mean, it depends on your point of view – I’m sure that Ayman al-Zawhiri would disagree with me….) I’m fully in favor of these newcomers to the West adopting Western ways and fully in opposition to the spread of theocratic trends to the West. I’m not neutral in this – I’m a fan of Western civilization.

    I think much of the problem stems from the horrors wrought by Germany in two world wars, most particularly the second, along with a more broadly shared White Guilt complex over colonialism. This has made European politicians and media figures at best horribly inconsistent in their policies toward immigration and assimilation. The burqa bans are an example – stupid policy which seems mostly symbolic and does nothing about the core issue. Is banning somebody’s favored fashion of dress going to bring about the Westernization of new arrivals? I don’t think so.

    Mark Steyn has already written extensively on his predictions for demographic changes in Europe and the cultural ramifications. He makes a pretty convincing argument, though I’m sure there are rebuttals of unknown strength and I’m no statistician. What does seem to be blatantly obvious is that Western civilization is in retreat, in self-denial, almost embarrassed by itself.

    What needs to happen is the opposite – the peaceful export of Western ways to the rest of the world. Not Western food, or Western languages, or architecture, or other such things. What I’m talking about exporting are individualism, social contract, rule of law, and secularism. These things might as well be from planet Neptune to the types who firebomb publications or attack movie makers.

    What I think we’re looking at in Europe is a replacement of Western ideas with the ideas that made the homelands of Europe’s new immigrants so undesirable in the first place. What then?

    An example in micro: Saudi Arabia recently funded the establishment of the King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue. This is a center that is supposed to support notions of religious tolerance and interfaith discussion. Sounds nice, right?

    It’s in Vienna, Austria.

    What the hell problem is there at the moment in Vienna with religious tolerance? Do you get executed for apostasy in Vienna? You can be in Saudi Arabia. So why the hell isn’t this center in Riyadh (or Mecca)?

    The West has done plenty of bad stuff in history – but the Western way of life remains the most free way of life and it should be championed – not surrendered to a wave of assimilated newcomers who have left oppressive lands.

    1. WHY DO YOU HATE BROWN PEOPLE!!!?

    2. Blue-green is definitely your color MM.

    3. Should be “not surrendered to a wave of unassimilated newcomers who have left oppressive lands.”

  40. Get used to it like I finally did, Krazy Kartoon Ma-moot. Peace.

  41. O/T: Just saw on the news that the much-maligned Occupy Oakland has taken over and effectively shut down the port of Oakland. The city estimates that as many as 20% of the Oakland school district’s teachers took a vacation day to participate in the march.

    Now if only we could get the Islamists to march on the port of Oakland…

    1. You’re the worst serious man ever.

    2. Aren’t government pukes and may not take kindly to this bunch stealing their paydays. Be fun to watch.

    3. Unfortunately I have to traverse through the Oakland neighborhood in Pittsburgh daily, where the anticapitalists have been capitalizing on the naming coincidence with frequent marches and other traffic-blocking behavior.

  42. “Europe in general has been slow to learn a multi-part lesson: You should not only let immigrants move wherever they want, you should allow them to assimilate fully into society both through law and custom; sure, the host country or society or group will be changed too, but that’s just another great up-side to immigration”

    Remember kids, burqas and dead cartoonists are just another great up-side to immigration. How did we get along before all this “diversity”?

    And you wonder why the Ron Paul wing of libertarianism is doing so well.

    1. Forgive the Jacket. An immigration story came across the Reuters wire and he reflexively activated the Standard Reason Pro-Immigration Word Macro.

  43. I don’t want to not have sex with S.E.Cupp.

  44. If you’re going to declare war against Islam then fine…spit on their religion and then hit them back hard when they pull a stunt like this. But no, these lefties think that the God they dont believe in blessed them with some inviolable right to insult anybody they like to whatever degree they like and that the recipients of those insults should meekly go along with the joke like the Catholics or Sarah Palin always do. It might come as a surprise to the cynical Euro-trash commies of Charlie Hebdo that there are people in this world who take insults to their beliefs and way of life, accompanied by racist drawings, very seriously and arent going to take them peacefully. So go back to insulting the Pope and doing offensive stereotypes of people who disagree with your decayed leftist screed and leave the Muslims alone unless you are going to retaliate by firebombing a mosque and causing whatever greasy pig of a mullah who is behind this attack to run for his Islamic life back to whatever desert hellhole he came from.

    1. So… it’s okay to commit or threaten violence over something like drawing funny pictures, depending on which religion is the target?

      If so, it should be acceptable for EVERY such slight.

      Me? I think it’s barbaric to blow shit up or – worse – kill people over stupid shit like that.

  45. Why do these muslim/mohammed threads always bring out the kooks? Different web sites, different brand of kooks.

    1. Why do some of the people who get offended by caricatures, threaten or actually DO commit violence because of it?

      THERE’s your kooks.

  46. Gillespie is obviously a man, preumably, without a sense of humor. But I think every news outlet on the planet should publish and broacast the “offending” images.

  47. “When a white bombs a brown man, that is not news, because it happens so often. But if a brown man bites a white, that is news.”

  48. Free speech is proved when it is the most nasty, not when it is witty or profound.

    Bruce Crumley is an irrational idiot. Why is Time not bankrupt?

    Let’s temporarily ban it for stupidity, sort of a time out in the corner in the name of free speech.

    After a month, we can ask them if they get it yet, before they’re allowed back on the adult playing field of public opinioin.

  49. my roomate’s sister-in-law makes $81/hr on the internet. She has been fired from work for 7 months but last month her income was $8779 just working on the internet for a few hours. Read about it on this site NuttyRich dotcom

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