Being Charlie 11

After the fire of the offices of the satirical...

After the fire of the offices of the satirical French magazine Charlie Hebdo, November 2 2011, 62 boulevard Davout, Paris, France. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

at the European Sting saw with a superfluity of hypocrisy and a thirst for positive media exposure the European political leaders marching last Sunday in the streets of Paris, to tell the world ‘Je suis Charlie’.

He is wrong, I think to say that 

It’s most uncertain if anyone of them knew what the ‘Charlie Hebdo’ was before the atrocity in the premises of the journal.

The satirical magazine was too critical and often too outspoken, shocking and writing against the establishment that no political figure could be safe and/or escape the pen of the magazine. The magazine over the years got lots of enemies all over Europe. But on Sunday those who did not like the magazine for its critical voice wanted to come up and show the world that even when we do not like somebody it is no reason to kill him.  For many ‘victims’ of the magazine it was also important that such magazines do exist for the safeguarding of our democracy. That was much more important than the “vete” or feud. Then enmity there may have been between the politicians, clergy and the magazine was not so that there should be rancour not to have any solidarity with those writers and cartoonists who did their job of giving criticism in a world we would like to see that that stays possible. The freedom of speech, the freedom of thought and freedom of press are much higher values to make sure that they keep existing, than regretting all the criticism one got and being happy those criticasters are silenced.

Bernard Holtrop, the prominent Dutch cartoonist who works for Charlie and other media under the pen name Willem, said:

“We vomit on all these people who suddenly say they are our friends.”

Perhaps he got the impression they showed up as friends, but they showed up as solidarity comprehending democratic mourners.

What had happened needed a general reaction also from those who were more than once offended by the magazine. They knew it was the prise they had to pay for being in the picture.

This tragedy gave substance to the up to then theoretical jihadist terrorism threat against Europe. However the target proved to be very dear to Europeans.

No body of the politicians and those who are for democracy and freedom of all could leave this instance as a faits differts.

It was the menace against the freedom of expression that brought last Sunday four million French to the streets. It’s cynical but true to say, that if the target was a police station, the people’s response would have being different. {Charlie’s tragedy energized deeper feelings amongst Europeans; back to basics?}

Though this week in Belgium the targets were police station and a fire-bomb in Leuven against the province house of Flemish Brabant.


The very French character of the Charlie Hebdo and the reaction to the calamity it suffered couldn’t have happened in Germany or in Britain.

but if the critical and satirical magazines in those countries also would have been attacked I am sure we would have got the same reaction, because the jihadis would have bee attacking the freedom of speech over-there as well.
In case Punch would still have been published and been bombed everybody would be on his ‘back legs’. Also when the student satirical magazine Oxymorom published anonymously by and for students of Oxford University would have been attacked the intellectual world would react firmly even they themselves would have been often a target of mockery. I do not know what the most popular or most shocking satirical magazines are published at the moment in Great Britain, if there is still place for such a paper, and of the German market I am totally unaware of such equivalent of the Charlie Hebdo or Punch or Private Eye.

Of satirical magazines which could be targeted as well and would have got similar reactions we may call: Academia Cațavencu, Le Canard enchaîné, The Daily Mash, Eulenspiegel, Frigidaire, Grönköpings Veckoblad, The Inconsequential, The Lemon Press, Nebelspalter, Il Nuovo Male, Der Postillon, Svikmøllen, The Phoenix, Titanic, Il Vernacoliere and Eine Zeitung, though not of the same calibre as Charlie Hebdo and most of them not known so much except for the Phoenix and for the repeat of the historical Il Male, active from 1977 to 1982, of which collective Sparagna was part, the new monthly magazine Il Nuovo Male and the British satirical website providing parodic commentary on current affairs and other news stories founded in 2007, by Neil Rafferty (a former political correspondent for The Sunday Times) and Paul Stokes (former business editor of The Scotsman). Their publication has garnered praise for its absurd, scatological humour and insightful political satire, as well as being compared favourably with US publication The Onion.

In case there where no religious reasons there would have been political reasons and for sure there are more important reasons in all those attacks, wanting to have power over others.

When such horrible things happen and people look at the offenders we often get generalisations and ‘labels.’ In many cases of terrorist acts and ransom killings we are unable to know the justification for another person’s action. What we can ascertain is that a specific action is legal or illegal, acceptable or unacceptable. The actions in France may be claimed as the work of Islamic militants, but you and I cannot know that is true.

The work of the Jesuits during the various Inquisitions that ravaged Europe, killing innocent people in the name of Christianity, was not the work of true followers of Christ, they were Christian militants. The same we can say about the crusaders who went to enrich themselves and often enjoyed their adventures trip, where they took advantage of their position and where not afraid to misuse females, whilst they had a wife far away in their country of origin.

Too many people do seem to forget that like in the previous ages now we do have people who use religion as an excuse to murder and to do that which gives them fun. They warp and misuse the writings of the Quran, just as those who misuse the Scriptures and in certain places also do things which are not in accordance to the Holy Scriptures.

Anyone who decides that they are “God’s hammer” on earth diminishes God’s divinity, and that is not something decided by humans. Violence perpetrated by humans on earth, are the actions of humans, not God.

These attacks as should also be seen as political attack, acts against the freedom of press and freedom of speech. When there would be no religion there could also have been lunatics who  did not agree with the mocking attitude of the magazine and would have loved to silence it.

That is the funny thing about it now. Before the attack many politicians, who were present at the Sunday march, did try several times to block a publication of to get the pens of those satirists silenced.

We should look into the past to see if it is really the religion which brought us in a war-zone.

Who started the first world war? Where it Christians, atheists, but not Muslims?
Who started the second world war ? not Muslims ?
Who killed about 20 millions of Aborigines in Australia ? not Muslims ?
Who sent the nuclear bombs of Hiroshima and Nagasaki? not Muslims ? Could you have called such a  killing merciful?Who killed more than 100 millions of Indians in North America ? not Muslims ?
Who killed more than 50 millions of Indians in south America ? not Muslims ?
Who took about 180 millions of African people as slaves and let 88% of them die and be thrown in Atlantic ocean? not Muslims ?

I think you would agree with me that in all cases it were not Muslims!

Throughout history we can see a lot of damage done to co-citizens. The matter was not so much the religion.

In the last few years we also saw lots of killings which have not much to do with religion but much more with the way our society is evolving.

April 20, 1999: two American high school seniors committed the Columbine High School massacre;
July 29, 1999: a spree killer from Stockbridge, Georgia, killed 12 people and injured 13 more;
November 19, 2005, Staff Sergeant Wuterich in Haditha, Iraqi province of Al Anbar, with his squad killed 24 unarmed Iraqi men, women and children, all civilians
April 16, 2007, Seung-Hui Cho (January 18, 1984 – April 16, 2007) killed 32 people and wounded 17 others on, at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Virginia
March 10, 2009, Michael Kenneth McLendon, 28, shot and killed ten people
November 5, 2009, Nidal Malik Hasan (born September 8, 1970) fatally shot 13 people and injured more than 30 others in the Fort Hood
December 14, 2012, Adam Lanza in Newtown, Connecticut, fatally shot 20 children and 6 adult staff members
July 20, 2012, James Eagan Holmes (born December 13, 1987 mass shooting that killed 12 people at a Century movie theater in Aurora, Colorado
March 11, 2012, Staff Sergeant Robert Bales murdered sixteen civilians and wounded six others in the Panjwayi District of Kandahar Province, Afghanistan. Nine of his victims were children, and eleven of the dead were from the same family
August 5, 2012, 40-year-old Wade Michael Page fatally shot six people and wounded four others at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin
September 16, 2013, Aaron Alexis fatally shot twelve people and injured three others in a mass shooting at the headquarters of the Naval Sea Systems Command

They were also not terror acts but would give us enough to think about. How we judge those who did those activities we should look in to our heart to check if we are really judging them with the same balance.

The politicians should also look into their own bosom and check what where they want to say what and how to react. But in this instance I too found that those politicians, who perhaps did not like Charlie Hebdo, should show their feelings with the victims’ family and should look behind the curtain of religion, because much more we had an attack here on the freedom of us all.

We must be careful how we look at the crimes committed by atheists, Christians, Jews and Muslims. When a Christian does such a violent act and calls on his religion, like we also have seen many cases, we are not going to say Christendom or Christianity says so or has such a terrible God. When Jews do horrible things we also are not going to condemn Judaism and say they have a horrible God. So why, I wonder is it different with Muslim terrorists? Why do so many shoot at the Muslim faith?

When a Muslim commits the same act so many Christians and Jews do, he is a terrorist. …

So first remove this double standard…then come to the point!!! , . . . . . I am proud to be a Muslim!!! Are You???

said Peter Masjid Al Ihsaan Bali in a conversation on Islamists kill 12 in France

With thanks for ideas from PeterMasjid Al Ihsaan Bali


Please continue reading:

A world with or without religion

Religion…..why the competition?


Further reading:

  1. About what happened in France: , Being Charlie 2, Being Charlie 3, Being Charlie 4, Being Charlie 5, Being Charlie 6,Being Charlie 7, Being Charlie 8, Being Charlie 9, Being Charlie 10, It’s beautiful to watch the spread of #JeSuisCharlie across the world,Where do we stand in the backdrop of Charlie Hebdo Massacre ?, Charlie Hebdo, offensive satire and why ‘Freedom of Speech’ needs more discussion
  2. Faith because of the questions
  3. Religion, fundamentalism and murder
  4. Christian fundamentalism as dangerous as Muslim fundamentalism
  5. The trigger of Aurora shooting
  6. High time to review the right to keep and bear arms
  7. Time for all to act against free military-style assault weapons
  8. Students in the USA left in the cold
  9. Jew refering to be religious or to be a people
  10. Zionism occupier
  11. Renewed Catholic-Jewish relations still with a blemish
  12. Not true or True Catholicism and True Islam
  13. Migrants to the West #9 Where they came from
  14. Migrants to the West #10 Religious freedom
  15. Quran can convert to Christianity
  16. Quran versus older Holy Writings of Divine Creator
  17. Europe and much-vaunted bastions of multiculturalism becoming No God Zones


  • Charlie Hebdo killings spark Swiss rallies (
    the Vaud government issued a statement condemning “with force this aggression against the fundamental principles of democracy and liberty”.
  • Charlie Hebdo aftermath: France’s biggest satire weekly receives death threats (
    Le Canard Enchaîné, which when loosely translated means The Chained Duck, has said its journalists were threatened they would be slashed “with an axe” for running cartoons mocking Islam.In their latest issue, the French magazine said they received the threat on 8 January, a day after Charlie Hebdo’s office was stormed by two Islamist extremist brothers, with a warning message reading: “It’s your turn”.The weekly has said police have initiated an investigation into the matter and security has been beefed up.Le Canard Enchaîné sells about 500,000 copies every week – in comparison Charlie Hebdo’s circulation is about 60,000 copies.
  • ‘Charlie Hebdo,’ Houellebecq, and France’s Pungent Satirical Tradition (
    I bet most American readers who gazed at the cover of Charlie Hebdo have felt the same bemusement I did when I first glimpsed the journal when, nearly 40 years ago, I first visited France. Something along the lines of “huh?” Staring at the cavorting nudes by Georges Wolinski—“How could they look so innocent, yet be doing such lewd things?”—I was, well, shocked. Even worse, I was stymied. Struggling to place the journal in my own American experience—“Is this some kind of cross between Mad and Screw?”—I suddenly felt so very out of place in France.I’ve since grown older, with much of that time spent studying French history, but I haven’t grown much wiser. The “huh?” has yet to fully morph into an “aha!”
  • Charlie Hebdo Broke Taboos, Defying Threats and Violence (

    In 2012, when Charlie Hebdo editors defied the government’s advice and published crude caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad naked and in sexual poses, the French authorities shut down embassies, cultural centers and schools in about 20 countries.

    “Is it really sensible or intelligent to pour oil on the fire?” asked Laurent Fabius, the foreign minister at the time.

  • Paris terror attack: Who were the victims? (
    Mon Beauf, a title that became part of the French language to describe a Frenchman who was racist, sexist or vulgar.
  • Charlie Hebdo broke taboos as it defied constant threats (

    Week after week, the struggling newspaper amused and horrified, taking pride in offending one and all. This week’s issue was no exception, featuring, among other things, a mock debate about whether Jesus exists.

  • Charlie Hebdo: Daughter’s Instagram post a reminder of the people behind the pencil (
    In a photo and just five short words, a daughter’s Instagram post summed up the raw tragedy at the centre of Wednesday’s terrorist attack in Paris.”Papa est parti pas Wolinski,” read the post, which translates to “Papa has left (is gone), not Wolinski.”
  • Responding To The Paris Attack: Beware The Fatal Error – Analysis (
    By now  the world has been made aware of the tragic killings that took place at the office of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris, France. The fact that we know about this event, and are reporting and writing about it, already means the attackers have won the first round in their terror campaign: this is to publicise their deeds and to strike fear in the hearts of many. Having made this concession, we cannot afford to allow them to gain any further ground.Charlie Hebdo, like its counterpart publication Le Canard enchaîné, happens to be a satirical publication that has lashed out on a range of issues, from racism to political corruption, shady business dealings to abuse of political power. In the course of its work, it has also targeted politicians, celebrities, populist demagogues and religious figures.
  • Paris Charlie Hebdo shootings: victims named (
    Wolinski, 80, was well-known for his tongue-in-cheek spoofs on romance and sexuality, though never refrained from making cynical observations on politics and society.

About Marcus Ampe

Retired dancer, choreographer, choreologist Founder of the Dance impresario office and archive: Danscontact-Dansarchief plus the Association for Bible scholars, the Lifestyle magazines "Stepping Toes" and "From Guestwriters" and creator of the site "Messiah for all". - Gepensioneerd danser, choreograaf, choreoloog. Stichter van Danscontact-Dansarchief plus van de Vereniging voor Bijbelvorsers, de Lifestyle magazines "Stepping Toes" en "From Guestwriters" en maker van de site "Messiah for all".
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8 Responses to Being Charlie 11

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