Killers Cannot Silence Reason even if Preaching Free Speech to Terrorists will Buy no Peace.
If the Paris terrorists thought they could silence the media by killing cartoonists and journalists the result was just the opposite.
Publications in the U.K and worldwide reproduced the “offending” Charlie Hebdo cartoon the day after the killings, giving more visibility to terror and highlighting the need for the Islamic community to act fast or risk further alienation of their faith from those who do not subscribe to it.
There are reports suggesting that leading publications in Europe and companies such as Google are providing funds to Charlie Hebdo, which has been facing financial trouble due to falling circulation, to ensure that the company whose bread and butter is satire does not fold up.
So the terrorists’ mission has backfired in multiple ways – the cartoons got a wider circulation and the satirical magazine is also getting a financial boost to continue doing what they do best.
Plus, people the world over have shown their solidarity with the victims by holding interesting rallies on why freedom of expression is indispensable.
Several leading cartoonists the world over responded to the attack with their own creations, some of them are reproduced here – http://www.vox.com/2015/1/7/7508387/cartoonists-respond-charlie-hebdo
Pen vs Kalashnikov
Amid it all, The Telegraph had a telling piece presenting the argument that terrorists win “if we leap up, gulp down their bait – and hate Muslims.”
The writer (Michael Deacon) did not think that the terrorists could be considered to have won if we failed to take the cartoons far and wide by reproducing them.
Michael begins the piece with a theory that “Terrorists aren’t offended by cartoons. Not even cartoons that satirise the Prophet Muhammad. They don’t care about satire. For all I know they may not even care about the Prophet Muhammad.”
A sobering message indeed as moderate Muslims do have a role to play in quelling terrorism.
G Joslin Vethakumar
My earlier pieces on the subject:
- Prophet’s Images are no Laughing Matter (a tribute to journalists)
- Cartoons, Controversy and Killings