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Luminous Animal

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Current location: San Francisco
Member since: Thu Jul 24, 2003, 01:06 PM
Number of posts: 27,310

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“Charlie Hebdo”, not racist? If you say so… (written in 2013 by and ex-Charlie Hebdo employee)

A very good read from a former employee of Charlie Hebdo. It's long and difficult to pull some snips but here goes…

To Charlie Hebdo, it’s always been good form to scoff at the “fat idiots” who like football and watching TF1 [television network]. A slippery slope. Belief in one’s own superiority, accustomed to looking down on the common herd, is the surest way to sabotage one’s own intellectual defences and to allow them to fall over in the least gust of wind. Your own, although supported by a good education, comfortable income and the pleasant team spirit of “Charlie’s gang”, collapsed at a stupefying speed. I remember a full-page article by Caroline Fourest which appeared on June 11 2008. In it, she recounted her friendly meeting with the Dutch cartoonist Gregorius Nekschot, who had gotten some grief for representing his Muslim fellow-countrymen in a particularly hilarious way. Judge for yourself: an imam dressed as Santa Claus buggering a goat, with the caption: “We have to share our traditions”. Or an Arab, slumped on a couch and lost in thought: “The Qur’an doesn’t say if you have to do anything to be on the dole for 30 years.” Or even the “monument to the slavery of white indigenous taxpayers”: a Dutch person in foot shackles, carrying a black person on his back, arms crossed and sucking on a pacifier. Foul racism? Oh come on, it’s freedom of expression! Certainly, Fourest granted, the slightly coarse humour of her friend “doesn’t always travel well”, but it must be understood “in the Dutch context which is ultra-tolerant, even angelic, towards fundamentalism.” Whose fault is it if Muslims leave themselves open to gags with export difficulties? That of Muslims themselves and their over-angelic allies, obviously. As Nekschot himself explained to Charlie Hebdo’s readers, “Muslims must understand that humour has been part of our tradition for centuries.”

No-one in your office up and quit after this insufficiently-noticed page, which after all did no more than sanctify a process which had begun six or seven years earlier. Birds of a tolerant feather flock together. But when I read this in your Le Monde article: “We are almost ashamed to remind you that anti-racism and passion for equality of all human beings are and will remain the founding principles of Charlie Hebdo”, the only information I got from it is that your team are not completely immune to shame. Really?

After Val and Fourest left in 2009, called to higher things - one as head of a public radio network, the other to the podiums of official anti-racism - we might have wondered if you would continue to follow their lead in their absence. The least we can say is that you have remained faithful to their line. You’ve absorbed it down to the core, it seems.

Today, those flies which Tignous never fails to add buzzing round the heads of his “beards” are more than ever attracted to your imagination, as soon as you “laugh at” Muslims. In a video posted on the Charlie Hebdo website at the end of 2011, we saw you, Charb, imitate the Islamic call to prayer, to the rapt giggles of your little buddies. What a hilarious new version of the Qur’anic recitation for your magazine’s deadline; Michel Leeb [famous French impressionist - trans.] could not have done better. What collective poison would you have had to stew in to get to this point? From what psychological depths did you drag up the nerve to “laugh” at a cartoon representing veiled women baring their buttocks as they bow in prayer towards “Mecca-relle” [a pun on maquerelle, the madam of a brothel - trans.]? This pathetic stream of crap isn’t even shameful; its stupidity embarrasses you, even before it reveals your state of mind, your vision of the world.


http://posthypnotic.randomstatic.net/charliehebdo/Charlie_Hebdo_article%2011.htm

(Edited the title… I meant to point out that this was originally written in 2013)
Posted by Luminous Animal | Tue Jan 13, 2015, 12:15 PM (8 replies)
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