Home Opinions Charlie Hebdo: This is not the time to discuss "limits" of free speech

Charlie Hebdo: This is not the time to discuss “limits” of free speech

When there were some tweets yesterday that raised questions if the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo should have been “careful” and “respectful” towards the Muslim sentiments, we thought that those were isolated voices.

However, a day after the ghastly terror attacks, more and more similar voices are being raised by different people in the mainstream media.

While questions like “whether absolute free speech is possible” or “should there be a limit to the free speech” have been being debated since ages, OpIndia.com believes that this is hardly the right time to discuss such questions.

- Advertisement - - Article resumes -

It is akin to discussing “should women dress modestly” when a rape has taken place and the rapist claims that he was “provoked” due to the skimpy clothes the woman was wearing.

Any such debate will unwittingly legitimize the medieval and violent ideology that the perpetrator of the crime subscribes to.

Unfortunately, such debates are taking place. For example, look at this article published on Firstpost.com, which explains the “nuances” of why the author, Sandip Roy, is not supporting the campaign #JeSuisCharlie, which was started to show solidarity with Charlie Hebdo.

Je Suis Charlie drawing by Jean Julien
Not everyone is willing to support this movement; there are other priorities for some.

The author declares that the cartoons were indeed offensive, and quotes another view that says that “Their satire was bad, and remains bad. Their satire was racist and remains racist.”

Surely, the author has all the right to say that – free speech after all.

It further says, rather quotes, “The murder of the satirists in question does not prove that their satire was good.”

Indeed, even this point is taken – free speech after all.

But dear Mr. Roy, what we ought to be discussing right now is that not whether the murder of the satirists in question prove that their satire was good, but whether the act of murder proves that the grievances of the murderers were genuine.

The “quality” of cartoons is the last thing we need to discuss at a time when the terrorists, and their apologists, are citing deeds and teachings of Prophet Mohammad, claiming that the act of murdering someone for saying offensive things is sanctioned in Islam.

Let’s keep the political correctness aside. The truth is that even if a cartoonist draws an approving illustration (as opposed to a mocking cartoon) of Prophet Mohammad, chances are very high that he would be accused of blasphemy and there will be calls for beheading him.

Isn’t it the right time to question such beliefs?

How is this belief – that one shouldn’t draw pictures of a particular personality – fundamentally different from a belief like “one shouldn’t eat non-vegetarian food on Tuesdays”? Why should there be satire that mocks only the latter belief?

It is not about particular beliefs. It is about the priority our commentators are assigning – questioning the satire versus questioning the beliefs.

Why are our commentators not debating issues that question and attack the dogmatism of the terrorists, but are instead choosing to debate issues that question and attack editorial tastes and discretion of the magazine?

Do they really think this is the time to discuss limits and boundaries of free speech? If so, the terrorists are nodding in agreement.

Share This Post With Your Friends & Fans:
We need your support to survive in the media industry. Please consider paying us for the content we produce:

To know more about these payments, please click here.


Election 2019 Live Updates

Track all the updates on one page as the results and trends trickle in

The Left has lost its deposit. It is time for the Right to fight Modi

Modi 2.0 heralds a new beginning for India and her people. It must not be allowed to cultivate the habits of Modi 1.0.
Shehla Rashid remembers 2014, says she had wanted Kejriwal as PM

Shehla Rashid loses it early on counting day, says “Felt like a Muslim when ‘mass murderer’ won in 2014”

As early trends show an NDA victory, Shehla Rashid calls him a mass murderer, says she had wanted Arvind Kejriwal as PM in 2014 and she had felt like a 'Muslim'.
NYT peddles Modi 2.0 as victory of India's most divisive leader

Dear New York Times, India has chosen Modi 2.0, deal with it

When India gives a thumping, unprecedented, overwhelming victory to a man who has made every single Indian feel proud of their nation and heritage, the NYT's heartburn is expected. 

The story of BJP’s rise and rise in West Bengal: The story starts not in 2019 but 2017 Ram Navami

History may remember the 23rd of May, 2019 as the day when the future of Bengal Politics changed forever. However, it was on the 5th of April, 2017, on the auspicious day of Ram Navami that the seeds of it were sown.
Rana Ayyub had a meltdown seeing BJP securing an unprecedented victory

Unprecedented Modi victory triggers meltdown for controversial journalist Rana Ayyub

Prospect of a stunning Narendra Modi victory in 2019 Lok Sabha election triggered a mental collapse for controversial journalist Rana Ayyub

Smriti… who? Smriti, the one who gave your brother a run for his money

In a major upset for Congress, BJP's Smriti Irani won the Congress 'family seat' Amethi defeating Congress President Rahul Gandhi by over 50,000 votes

Rahul Gandhi should not fire his data analysis chief, but promote him. Here is why

The divine vision of Praveen Chakravarty, "Big Data" head of Congress, is too precious

Kanhaiya Kumar’s family uses LPG stove to prepare for his victory, contrary to his claims just a few weeks ago

Kanhaiya had claimed that his mother cooked on a Chullah and not on an LPG stove as it was not viable because of being too expensive and also exhausted within 3-4 days.

‘Chup Chaap Kamal Chhaap’: The slogan that changed Bengal politics forever

While Bengal is the land of Maa Durga and Maa Saraswati, 'Jai Shree Ram' soon became a symbol of political protest.
Subscribe to Day's Top Stories

Latest articles

Connect with us

164,717FansLike
142,535FollowersFollow
64,625SubscribersSubscribe
Share This Post With Your Friends & Fans: