The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Charlie Hebdo—Almost

In January, 2015, Left-leaning journalists, writers, and other intelligencia were shocked, absolutely shocked (and frightened), immediately after the murder of 11 cartoonists and journalists by Islamic terrorists at Charlie Hebdo in Paris. They expressed outrage and even created a Twitter hashtag (the ultimate expression of concern for this type of individual) in solidarity with the satirists at Charlie.

It only took them about 4 months to become intellectual (and literal) cowards.

Rich Lowry reports on an incident in Texas:
Terrorists assaulted a “Mohammed cartoon” event in Texas sponsored by activist Pamela Geller, and the response has been, in part, soul-searching over what’s wrong with Pamela Geller.

Geller is an attention-hungry provocateur who will never be mistaken for Bernard Lewis, the venerable scholar of Islam. Her Texas gathering to award a cash prize for the best cartoon of Mohammed — depictions of whom are considered offensive by many Muslims — was deliberately offensive, but so what?

Two armed Muslim men showed up intending to kill the participants, and were only thwarted when they were shot dead by a police officer who was part of the elaborate security arrangements.

Absent the security, we might have had a Charlie Hebdo–style massacre on these shores, in Garland, Texas, no less, a suburb of Dallas. (The world would be a safer and better place if the forces of civilization everywhere were as well-prepared and well-armed as they are in Texas.)
This morning ISIS announced that it was behind the attack (that's unverified).

Left leaning journalists, however, are far more interested in investigating Pam Geller than they are in exploring those who wanted to murder her and her fellow attendees. Others have decided that satirizing Islam is an understandable, if not justifiable, "provocation" for Muslims.

The Wall Street Journal reports:
Against this backdrop we have the extraordinary—almost comical—irony of some of America’s bien pensant intellectuals boycotting a ceremony Tuesday by the PEN American Center to confer its annual courage award for freedom of expression on Charlie Hebdo. PEN is an association of writers, and six prominent novelists—Peter Carey,Michael Ondaatje,Francine Prose,Teju Cole,Rachel Kushner and Taiye Selasi—have been trying to repeal the award for Charlie Hebdo.

Ms. Kusher said she was uncomfortable with the “forced secular view” and “cultural intolerance” represented by Charlie Hebdo, whose signature attacks were on organized religion. Before the boycott, Mr. Cole wrote in the New Yorker magazine questioning the praise for Charlie Hebdo in the wake of the massacre. He lamented that the concern for Charlie Hebdo’s murdered cartoonists won’t be matched by concern for the young men of military age “who will have been killed by U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan and elsewhere.”

A separate petition signed by more than 200 PEN members complains that their organization is “not simply conveying support for freedom of expression, but also valorizing selectively offensive material: material that intensifies the anti-Islamic, anti-Maghreb, anti-Arab sentiments already prevalent in the Western world.”
It's fascinating that the knee-jerk reaction from many on the Left is that any delineation of the violence and barbarity promoted by Islamic radicals, or for that matter, any criticism, satire or questions focused on the Muslim world are nothing more than "anti-Islamic, anti-Maghreb, anti-Arab sentiments already prevalent in the Western world.”

Apparently, the signatories at PEN haven't the intellectual capacity to explore why this tendency toward "anti-Islamic, anti-Maghreb, anti-Arab sentiments" might exist and (Oh! The horror!) whether Muslim moderates might have some responsibility for ridding Islam of the violent and barbaric elements that are defining it in small but relentless increments.

Instead, the American media investigates Geller and her colleagues, because outing an anti-Muslim "right wing" bigot is far more newsworthy and meme-worthy than exploring Islamic murderers who want to dampen or eliminate free speech and force their warped pro-Sharia worldview on all of us.