It’s been just over a year since the Charlie Hebdo murders, and I thought it was time to do a little more than simply defy, although I do love that that was Ken’s way of commemorating the date.
On January 7, 2015, a group of lowlives attacked the offices of a satirical magazine for no other reason than they disliked its sense of humor. They believed that their religion trumped anyone’s right to mock it. They believed that their umbrage meant that they had the right to take the lives of those who worked there.
And therein proved that their interpretation of their religion was entirely, utterly, without merit, and worthy of being mocked. And today, they still don’t get it, do they?
Meanwhile, these pieces of trash continue to use violence to suppress humor. Texas, and to a much deeper extent, in Bangladesh. We can not give them what they want. We must continue to mock them, and not let a year simply calm us down and let us move on. The mockery must continue.
I do not single out Islam as worthy of disdain and mockery. I feel that way about all Abrahamic religions. They all trace their roots to an event where a guy’s imaginary friend told him to kill his son, and he said “sure, sounds legit!” Then, the imaginary friend said, “just kidding, just cut off a piece of his dick to show me that you love me.” He still says “sounds legit!” What the fuck else can you expect but madness after that?
I would likely feel that way about all other religions, if I learned enough about them. If you want to practice your religion, by all means, go right ahead. You can believe in a flying spaghetti monster, or a zombie Jesus, or anything else you like.
And dammit, I have the right to mock you for it.
I don’t have that right because I am right. I may be dead wrong. I fully accept that if I ever die, I could be called before some supreme being who will be utterly fucking pissed at me — and if he exists, he damn well should be.
Because I mock him. I mock his followers. I mock lots of things.
As we should be able to.
Does that bother you?
Are your beliefs so fragile, so meaningless, so utterly without merit, that they cannot stand in opposition to mine?
If a “prophet” is so weak that you commit acts of violence against other people because they mock him, then your prophet is not worthy of any respect at all — let alone immunity from mockery.
If your God or your prophet can not take being mocked, then fuck your god and fuck your prophet.
I do not use the term “hero” loosely. But, Charlie Hebdo was bombed before January 7, 2015. Those who worked there knew the risks. They accepted them. And on that day, 12 of them died because they believed in something far more important than any fairy tale.
They believed in freedom of expression.
“Hero” is the right word to describe all of them.
We are only the sum of our thoughts. If the powerful or the fanatical can stop us from expressing them through coercion or violence, we are less human. We all achieve less for being here for the brief time that we get to exist on this rock.
When we got attacked on 9/11, we responded by changing who we were. We responded by curtailing our own liberties, all in the false name of “security.”
Charlie Hebdo’s editor-in-chief, Stephane Charbonnier once said: “I would prefer to die standing than to live on my knees.” A year ago, he died standing.
He died standing for something.
He died standing for freedom of expression.
The correct reaction to terrorism is to do exactly the opposite of what the terrorists want you to do.
I would not normally re-publish these pieces of art. I don’t particularly care for them. But, if these terrorists wanted to take that right away from us by making us afraid, they have sorely failed in their attempt.
With that, I give you what these barbarians tried to take from us.
Fuck your prophet.
And Fuck you.
Je suis Charlie, et je me souviens.
This post originally appeared on Popehat. View it here.