When enough is enough

The BBC tells us today that far right activity is at its weakest in 20 years, but that is not the experience of the hundreds of Jews who emigrate to Israel from the UK every year.  Anti-Semitic attacks have increased over the last year, and in a recent YouGov poll over 40% of people (everyday ordinary peope like you and me) were found to hold anti-Semitic bias. French Jews are fleeing France for the UK, only to find that the racism they experience here means that this nation is no longer a safe haven for them either.

My 12 year old asked about the latest, post-tragedy, edition of Charlie Hebdo – was I going to buy a copy? I had thought about it, becasue I want to affirm their right to free speech. But the magazine has been consistently abusive to everyone of faith – Christians, Jews (a cartoonist was prosecuted in 2009 for anti-Semitism), as well as Muslims. And just becasue they can publish a picture of the Prophet on the front of the magazine, should they? Is it appropriate?

For my 12 year old, to flaunt the power of free speech and the moral high ground (as well as the publicity of the awful tragedy they have experienced) is unnecessarily offensive as well as provocative. I agree. And the publication does nothing to honour the memory of the Jews and the Christians and the Muslim who also died in the Parisian terrorist attack. Enough already, Charlie Hebdo!

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  1. damianboddy’s avatar

    Thank you Dana. I agree. With freedom comes responsibility and justice too. I was moved this morning by another cartoon on FB depicting a cloud with victims of the Nigerian massacre looking down to earth at the mass gathering in Paris. The caption is “Mummy, why isn’t the world standing up for us, too?”

  2. Tony Whipp’s avatar

    Absolutely right Dana, love your concise “just because they can… should they?” I uphold democracy as we know it (and dis as a soldier). I hugely value Churchill’s dictum about defending peoples’ right to say things I fundamentally disagree with! With almpost everybody, I lament the Paris deaths and condemn the overarching violence that is making life harder for Jews than at any time in my life. Even so, I do wish ‘Charlie Hebdo’ didn’t publish this stuff – especially that they hadn’t used Mohammed as their cover this week.

  3. Tony Whipp’s avatar

    Sorry – couple of typos there: wretched tablet ‘keyboard’! Even so, I hope you get the gist…

  4. Denise’s avatar

    And Jesus, Mohammed and all the prophets wept…. In my opinion Charlie Hebdo was a distant entity that I had little knowledge of until this week. That should have been how it remained. The terrorists are and always will be “more wrong” than the magazine, it’s cartoonists and any supporters. Jews, christians (note spellcheck doesn’t capitalise that), Muslims, all other named religions and those who have none need to get a grip. Responsibility, sensitivity and empathy are lacking in lots of areas of society, but at the end of the day, it is always good to have that one friend (or mag, TV prog, etc) who just says the most outrageous things regardless. I really do wish the world would just GROW UP!

  5. Liz Delap’s avatar

    Well said Dana. I had been struggling with my feelings of discomfort around the front page of Charlie H. You have put your finger on it very well. There are many things which you “should because you can”, but this one felt provocative and insensitive. The team of journalists at Charlie H must be in deep shock and grief, perhaps their gut reaction was just too raw.

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