In the wake of the jihad slaughter of cartoonists at the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo last January, the remaining employees of the magazine have said a number of outrageous, grotesque, and weak-willed statements. This is, of course, forgivable in light of the horrible jihad slaughter of their editorial staff because of a couple of sophomoric and inane cartoons of the humorless Muhammad.
But in the ensuing months, their spineless posturing and not-so-subtle attacks on those of us who still wouldn’t submit were unforgivable. After jihadists opened fire on our free speech event in Garland, Texas, last May, Charlie Hebdo staffers pointed their poison little arrows at us. When asked about our cartoon and art event, Charlie Hebdo editor-in-chief Gérard Biard rejected any comparison with his magazine’s work: “The difference between us and these people is that these people are organizing contests, anti-Islamist contests. It’s an obsession … We are not obsessed. We are just obsessed by the news, and by how the world is going on. The difference with Pamela Geller, she is obsessed by Islam. She waits [sic] every morning and thinks, What can I do today to defy these people?”
Not so. I am obsessed with freedom. I wake up every morning and think, “What can I do today to save the Republic?” And the biggest threat to our freedom today is jihad and sharia. The Charlie Hebdo cartoonists and writers were obsessed with insulting people and religion. But I don’t put them down for that. I am in favor of freedom of speech for all. Ironically, our event was in defense of the Charlie Hebdo editorial policies after their staffers were massacred; by contrast, when the anti-censorship group PEN honored Charlie Hebdo, many prominent writers boycotted and denounced the ceremonies, so anxious were they to appease the jihad killers.
Our response was different. Just days after the Charlie Hebdo slayings, American Muslim leaders gathered in Garland, Texas to stand in support of Muhammad and the ideology behind the Charlie Hebdo attacks. That was why we responded with an event in defense of the freedom of speech in the same venue, the same city, the same town – indeed, the same room — where the Muslims who wished to dismantle our First Amendment had gathered.
The post-Garland attacks on us from Charlie Hebdo staffers were pathetic and sad. Charlie Hebdo’s film critic Jean-Baptiste Thoret said: “Comparing this Pamela Geller thing and Charlie Hebdo is nonsense. It’s an anti-Islamic movement, and she said it’s an anti-Islamic movement, fighting against what she called the Islamization of the U.S. Maybe there is just one thing in common: You can’t mess with Texas, you can’t mess with Charlie Hebdo.”
He was wrong. You can mess with Charlie Hebdo. They submitted. They promised the world, the Muslim world, they would never draw Muhammad again. It was all so ghastly. And then after we were shot at, they insulted us — were they sorry we survived?
And now, as we approach the one-year anniversary of the Charlie Hebdo jihad slaughter, the editor of the now-subjugated magazine has made an extraordinarily vicious and ugly statement. “No one questions when Jews are killed,” said Biard. “We are so used to Jews being killed because they are Jewish. This is an error, and not just on a human level. Because it’s the executioner who decides who is Jewish. Nov. 13 was the proof of that. On that day, the executioner showed us that he had decided we were all Jewish.”
I find that deeply offensive and grotesque. He implies some wink-wink systemic and unspoken but understood anti-Semitism, and now he is suddenly calling everyone out on it, as if to say, “Hey, everyone, it’s not OK to kill Jews now that I see what it feels like.”
Why doesn’t Biard point out the glaring disparity in the international media coverage of the Charlie Hebdo slaughter and the Hyper Cacher kosher market slaughter? Same jihadis, same cold-blooded slaughter. The Jews at the Hyper Cacher market didn’t draw cartoons. They died merely because they were Jews, but that attack gets little mention. Does Biard not speak about Hyper Cacher because he is “so used to Jews being killed because they are Jewish”? Did he only wake up to the horror of Jews being killed when non-Jews were also killed?
Charlie Hebdo was once one of the foremost champions of freedom in the entire world. But now its surrender is complete. Biard should shut it down, before he does more offense to the memory of his colleagues who died for principles he does not have the courage to defend.