Muslim condemnation of Charlie Hebdo killings

Muslims are often criticised for failing to condemn Islam related terrorism and this has happened over the Charlie Hebdo killings. It’s usually based on ignorance, I would guess that critics don’t even bother checking before making accusations of inaction.

It’s actually common for countries to condemn acts of terrorism. Including Muslim countries.

Charlie Hebdo killings condemned by Arab states – but hailed online by extremists

Arab governments and Muslim leaders and organisations across the world have condemned the deadly attack in Paris.

Saudi Arabia called it a “cowardly terrorist attack that was rejected by the true Islamic religion”. The Arab League and Egypt’s al-Azhar university – the leading theological institution in the Sunni Muslim world – also denounced the incident in which masked gunmen shouted “Allahu Akbar” – “god is great ” in Arabic.

Iran, Jordan, Bahrain, Morocco, Algeria and Qatar all issued similar statements.

In New Zealand the Federation of Islamic Associations Condemns Paris Attack:

FIANZCondemns

http://fianz.co.nz/sites/default/files/FIANZ%20Condemns%20Paris%20Attack_0.pdf

And on Twitter: Muslims In New Zealand (12,786 likes):

How A muslim should respond to the haters —

1. Sabr (Patience )
2. Silence 
3. Smile 

Dear Brothers and Sisters — while going to work, masjid, mall or for a walk or anywhere if someone offends you or your family in anyways, please do not take the matter in your hand & respond, instead please call the police. New Zealand police are closely working with us and is giving us full support.

May ALLAH swt make it easy for all of us.

89 likes

Satirical cartoons – where should the line be drawn?

Joe Sacco: On Satire – a response to the Charlie Hebdo attacks

The acclaimed graphic artist and journalist Joe Sacco on the limits of satire – and what it means if Muslims don’t find it funny

In fact when we draw a line, we are often crossing one too. Because lines on paper are a weapon, and satire is meant to cut to the bone. But whose bone? What exactly is the target?

And why?”

For that is going to be far easier than sorting out how we fit in each other’s world.

Innocent until proven a risk should be an inalienable Kiwi principle

It was inevitable that the French killers have been killed. They lived by the gun, died by the gun. A fair enough outcome.

Sad that more innocent people have been killed.

What does this mean for New Zealand? There’s far less risk of anything like this happening here but it’s not zero risk. There should be and will be much discussion about surveillance for protection versus intrusion on privacy.

There will also be ongoing discussion on immigration. There will also be ongoing discussion on immigration. There have been a number of calls to stop immigration of other cultures and religions, and some have even suggested deportation of all Muslims.

It’s worth noting that the Kouachi brothers were born in France.

So should anyone whose parents weren’t born in New Zealand be kicked out of the country just in case there’s a nutter amongst them?

100% protection against terrorism is impossible.

Terrorists want to create mayhem and provoke division. The best way to combat that is to remain calm and cautious, and to not change how we do things in New Zealand as a knee jerk reaction to events in France.

Reacting to the hate and intolerance of terrorists with hate and intolerance allows them to destroy our special way of life.

We need to hold New Zealand values as very precious – our tolerance of different cultures and religions with a relative absence of persecution based on differences.

Innocent until proven a risk should be an unalienable Kiwi principle.

Three suspects killed plus hostage deaths reported

Reports of the Charlie Hebdo killers being holed up in an industrial area just north ot Paris. Possibly in a printing company premises.

DanmartinMention of a heavy exchange of fire, a  high speed car chase, some people may have been killed. Now a siege in Dammartin-en-Goële possibly with hostages.

A huge police operation is under way in a town north-east of Paris as police move in to detain the men suspected of massacring staff at Charlie Hebdo magazine.

Shots were fired earlier as the gunmen hijacked a car.

Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve confirmed the operation in Dammartin-en-Goele, 35 km (22 miles) from Paris.

At least one hostage has been taken at a warehouse in the small town, French media reports suggest.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-30740115

Report: one person killed, several injured in shootout.

Possibly up to ten people held hostage (buit only five employees at printing business).

Official report from the Interior Ministry – there is an operation under way to neutralise the terrorists.

Police deny any deaths today.

And now: Reports now of 2 dead and 20 injured in hostage taking situation in Dammartin-en-Goele

Impossible to know at this stage.

UPDATE: I’ve just got up to news that there has gunfire and explosions at the printworks in Dammarten. It has been announced that it was “the assault to end it” and the terrorists may have been killed.

Unconfirmed reports from French media that Charlie Hebdo gunmen have been killed

#BREAKING Charlie Hebdo gunmen’s hostage freed and safe after police assault

Multiple reports now that both suspects have been killed. Few people will be disappointed with that outcome.

And at the same time there has been an incident at a supermarket in Paris where there is also a hostage. And there have just been several loud explosions there.

Explosions and gunfire heard at scene of hostage-taking at kosher supermarket in eastern Pari

BREAKING Several hostages freed at Jewish supermarket in Paris: AFP

A report that the supermarket hostage taker was demanding the Dammarten building not be stormed. Reports now that the hostage taker has been killed.

Charlie Hebdo hunt: Police storm two hostage sites

French police have stormed two hostage sites in Paris and north of the city.

Gunshots and explosions have been heard at a printworks warehouse in Dammartin-en-Goele, where two suspects in the Charlie Hebdo shootings were holding at least one hostage.

French media are reporting that the two suspects, brothers Cherif and Said Kouachi, have been killed.

Explosions and gunfire could also be heard at at a kosher supermarket in eastern Paris, at Porte de Vincennes.

A gunman there was thought to be holding several hostages. Reports suggest he is linked to the Charlie Hebdo suspects.

Hostages could be seen coming out from the Hypercacher supermarket

Hostages leaving supermarket

The hostage at the printworks warehouse has also been freed, while a police officer at the scene was injured, AFP news agency said.

#BREAKING Killed Charlie Hebdo suspects came out firing on security forces: source Agence France-Presse

That sounds like a virtual suicide closure.

BBC News tweets: Seems like it is all over. 2 and a half days of chaos in Paris and surrounds. 15 civilians/police dead. 3 suspects dead.

AFP reports that one police officer was injured in the assault on the siege site in Dammartin-en-Goele.

And BBC reports of possible injuries or casualties from the supermarket.

Police quoted as saying the Dammerten hostage has been freed and the suspects (Cherif and Said Kouachi) have been killed.

Apparently a 26 year old woman is “still on the run”.

The supermarket hostage taker is now reported to being the killer of the policewoman in Montrouge (Paris) yesterday. Apparently the policewoman had been on the job for thirteen days.

Reuters report that at least four hostages at supermarket may have been killed. One BBC report says five killed.

BBC: how are governments going to deal with extremists going to the Middle East, getting trained, and returning to Europe with intent to wreak havoc?

And: Why did the French authorities not have a closer watch on the three killers? That may depend on how many suspicious people there are. It takes a lot of resources to keep watch on potential nutters.

Journalist risk has just increased

The Charlie Hebdo massacre has again highlighted that being a journalist can be a vrry risk occupation. Washington Post looks at this in Charlie Hebdo killings highlight the increasing targeting of journalists.

Perhaps the most unusual thing about the slayings of 10 journalists in Paris on Wednesday was that they occurred in Paris. Journalists are hunted and attacked regularly, though almost never in cosmopolitan Western capitals where free speech is a given.

Being a reporter may not be as dangerous as being a soldier, police officer, firefighter or coal miner — although it’s hard to know for sure, given uncertainty over how many people actually are journalists. But in many places, even outside war zones, carrying a notebook or a camera is a life-threatening proposition.

Journalists are killed for myriad reasons: for reporting about official corruption or organized crime, or simply for saying something unpopular. Sometimes, merely associating with the wrong sources can get a reporter killed

Charlie Hebdo journalists and cartoonists were provocative over a number of years and knew they were taking risks. Many other journalists at risk are just trying to inform the public.

In all, some 60 journalists were killed on the job worldwide in 2014, and 70 in 2013, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists, an international organization based in New York. The group says the past three years have been the worst since it began compiling figures on journalists’ deaths in 1992.

Even that grim tally might understate the problem: The organization is still investigating 18 reporters’ deaths in 2014 to determine whether they were work-related.

Being killed is obviously a major issue but the threat of being killed can have a major effect on what journalists may risk investigating.

The striking thing about these fatalities is that they mostly were not the result of accidents or falling bombs and errant crossfire in war zones. In two-thirds of the cases, journalists died the way those killed at the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo did Wednesday: They were targeted because they were journalists.

That is something that has changed.

Several observers suggest that the death rate for journalists has been rising as the tools to bypass the traditional media have developed apace. In short, journalists are more expendable.

“People in conflict zones used to consider reporters as something like the Red Cross or Red Crescent Society — neutral noncombatants,” said Gene Policinski, chief operating officer of the Newseum Institute, the educational arm of the Newseum in Washington.

Warring factions “needed reporters to get their story out,” he said. “If no one reported their side of the story, it didn’t get out.”

No longer, he said. Militant and terrorist groups are as adept at using social media as the savviest teenager. Rather than conduits for spreading the word, he said, reporters have become mere bargaining chips to be ransomed for cash — or worse. “Now,” Policinski said, “having a journalist [around] is intrusive.”

Journalist casualties are not just colateral damage, they are expendable tools being used in wars and in terrorism.

“These are murders, not accidents,” Joel Simon, the CPJ’s executive director, said in an interview. “Journalists die because they wrote or broadcast something that offended powerful figures in a particular society.”

And they often don’t get much protection from states.

The CPJ maintains an “impunity index” of how often journalists’ deaths go unpunished. Although the figures vary by nation, about 90 percent of journalist deaths are never prosecuted. Iraq has been the worst offender for six years running, with a 100 percent impunity rate.

The Charlie Hebdo killings will just add to the pressures on journalists in trying to keep the public informed.

It’s essential that the free democratic world maintains an effective press. THis has just become harder.

“Capitulated to the mongrel bastards”

In Ugly reactions at Kiwiblog I linked to contentious Charlie Hebdo cartoons but chose not to show the cartoons myself because I don’t like offensively provocative satire and I don’t fully understand the French context.

The right to choose what one publishes is at least as important as the right to free speech and freedom of the press.

But a comment at Kiwiblog sees things differently. IGM:

DPF: I must endorse Fletch, it is good to see you have intestinal fortitude, unlike Pete George, who has capitulated to the mongrel bastards.

I think that’s a mongrel bastard accusation IGM.  Your attitude and intolerance is as bad in it’s own way as that of the terrorists. All you lack is their physical violence.

Presland: On Freedom of Speech and Tolerance and Powers of Surveillance

I don’t always see things the same as Greg Presland but he has a very good post at The Standard: On Freedom of Speech and Tolerance and Powers of Surveillance

I was shocked to wake up and read about the killing of staff at Charlie Hebdo and also the killing of two police officers, one of who, Ahmed Merabet, was reportedly of Muslim background.

We should suspend full judgment on what has happened until we have more facts.  Leaping to judgment has previously been shown to be a mistake.  Early speculation about the Sydney Siege was shown to be incorrect, not to mention damaging.

The report from one of the survivors suggests that the killers may have been French born adherents of the Muslim faith and Charlie Hebdo’s caricatures of the prophet Mohammed was clearly the cause of the attack which appears to have been well planned.  There are reports that the attackers claimed to be from Al-Qaeda in Yemen.  Suspects have been identified.

It is not as if acts of terrorism are unknown, it is just that acts of terrorism involving Muslims appear to receive extra coverage.  For instance the recent firebombing of NAACP offices in Colorado received little local coverage although admittedly no one was killed.  The killing of seven journalists during the recent Israeli attacks on Palestine received little coverage.  But any “Muslim” involvement seems to make the event that much more newsworthy.

There are three implications for our society from these events:

  1. Loss of Freedom of speech
  2. A break down of tolerance
  3. A push by the State to further increase the powers of surveillance.

As to the first there will be a chilling effect on the media.  But we need to protect their right to publish information, even upsetting information.  Satire has to be at the front of the list of what needs to be protected.

And murder is never an acceptable response to taking offence.

Some have suggested there should be a mass publishing of the offending cartoons.  But I do not know why.  I agree with Stephanie Rodgers that in terms of quality they are poor.  And why exercise the right of free speech just to offend?  While we should have the utmost right to say something this does not mean that we should use it to intentionally upset.

That’s a very good point that I agree with. I don’t like some of the Charlie Hebdo cartoons, I think they get too offensive and provocative (and I don’t understand much about the French context). But they have a right to publish them as I have a choice to support the right but not republish their cartoons.

The “break down of tolerance” has been happening for a while.  Attacks by the extremist fringe of a particular society are said to be justification for condemning that society as a whole.  This is as nutty as blaming Christianity for the actions of the Klu Klux Klan.  But if we allow tolerance to break down then the terrorists are winning.  The best thing we can do is reach out to the various Muslim Communities to show that all we have interesting cultural differences there is so much that we share in common.

Accepting differences and promoting the good in different cultures and religions (and non-religion) is important, and far less dangerous than intolerance, abuse and provocation.

Finally, as for increased surveillance it is a given that the governments’ particularly the right wing varieties, will use this event to push for even further powers of surveillance.  But the question whether increased powers will ever improve things, let alone justify the loss of personal freedom, is never properly answered during these bouts of power grabbing.  After all the actions of a lone gunman in Sydney who pretty well published his nuttiness to the world via Facebook were not stopped.  Allowing even further powers of intrusion into our lives will help how?

That’s a very good question that we need to keep examining. We can never be 100% secure, nor 100% private. Finding a reasonable and reelatively safe balance will be an ongoing challenge.

Ironies and Goebbelism at Whale Oil

Yesterday morning Cameron Slater posted Islam terror comes to Paris: 12 dead in attack on newspaper – it is mostly quoting a news report but Slater comments:

This is global civil war.

We are being put into a position where we have to defend the freedoms we take for granted.

New Zealand can, and must, prevent this by acting proactively.

At this stage, a change in immigration policy should be enough.

It would not be enough, it wouldn’t address the problems at all.

Spanish Bride (Slater’s wife) commented:

Cartoonists and Journalists the world over MUST come out in solidarity. Our Media talk and write about Press Freedom, well now they need to fight for it. They must stop cuddling the religion of ‘ peace ‘ and call it out for what it is. They are waging not only a physical war against us but a propaganda war through Youtube, twitter and facebook. Our Media need to fight back by spreading the message that we are all under attack and we will NOT back down. This is world war three and I type that with a heavy heart. Appeasement does not work. I will continue my posts telling the truth about Islam and I will not be frightened into submission.

And later:

I felt compelled to make this image this morning after reading this article. Harry Potter fans will know what I am getting at.

SpanishBride-Merkel

And then Pete:

[MOD] Just a note, the main stream media vultures are circling Whaleoil and the comments for some juicy “sound” bites. Please keep your comments polite and well reasoned.

All they need is one “and one Whaleoil commenter wrote”…

You have a standard to uphold here. Please help out.

All the media need is “Cameron and Juana wrote…”

There’s further irony. Richard McGrath:

When will we stop pussyfooting around with Muslims? Tear down all mosques in New Zealand and place all Muslims into prison camps. We are now at war with these death cult worshippers and are behaving like Neville Chamberlain when the Churchill approach is needed.

Pete replied:

[MOD] I have left this up so it can be openly debated. The writer, however, is on a commenting holiday for incitement. I’ve taken note of the people who upvoted this over-the-top comment, and they will be on a short commenting leash.

Slater started the inciting and got predictable content.

But it’s chilling to see Pete warn that upvoting at Whale Oil risks getting “on a short commenting leash”.

Whale Oil not only strictly controls comment content (via warnings, deletes and bans) but also monitors upticking and uses that as a threat to be very careful what comments are supported.

Comment control plus comment approval control.

This sort of Goebbelism is about as far from the free speech principles of Charlie Hebdo as you can get.

Ugly reactions at Kiwiblog

Comments at Kiwiblog are dominated by intolerance of 1.6 biliion people because of abhorrent actions of a small number of supposed Muslims.

The posts are fine. David Farrar has two posts on the Charlie Hebdo murders. This morning he posted some of the controversial cartoons – The cartoons that 12 were killed for -and commented:

It is important not to reward the terrorists by self-censorship. Only if their actions lead to the cartoons getting more widely published, might they stop.

Huffington Post has the full set.

I don’t like derogatory and deliberately offensive cartoons and don’t fully understand the French cartoons and their context so won’t post them here.

Yesterday Farrar posted A murderous attack on free speech where he links to an early report on the atrocity and comments:

This is basically religious fascism – killing people who do not subscribe to their religious tenets. These killings will have a chilling impact on media around the world – who will self-censor in fear of similar executions.

What would be a great response is for every media outlet in the western world to publish images of Mohammad, to send a signal that the more you use terror to try and create censorship, the more it will backfire.

So he has followed up on that. Reasonable posts. But there is a large and ugly reaction to Muslims in the comments. Farrar suports free speech as a basic principle so allows people to express whatever they like, but a lot of it isn’t pretty.

A typcial comment from EAD

@ DPF – publishing cartoons is not going to cut the mustard and our PC media hasn’t got the balls to do such a thing anyway less they “cause offence”.

This is what years of PC culture does – instead of fighting these bastards and kicking them out of OUR countries, we make excuses for their bad behavior and keep letting them in.

Instead of expressing disgust in this barbaric behavior, we launch “twitter campaigns” to express sorrow or make sure Muslims feel safe #I’llridewithyou.

Currently 40 likes, 4 dislikes.

Unity:

We should take very serious note. We certainly won’t be immune to these ‘people?’. They should be confined to Muslim countries as they not only don’t fit in with our culture but they easily take offence which leads to tragic consequences in all too many cases. As far as I’m concerned I don’t want them in our country as they are not all peaceful as they try to make us believe.

25 likes, 4 dislikes

I posted a media link and said:

The France attacks won’t help the tensions and growing intolrance thoughout Europe.

Attacking and ostracising innocent Muslims is not dissimilar to terrorists attacking people. Both show a lack of tolerance of others.

6 likes, 45 dislikes

A response from EAD included:

You can take your tolerance and shove it where the sun don’t shine. While you’re at it, I suggest you read Classics and in particular Aristotle who had this to say on tolerance:

“Tolerance and apathy are the last virtues of a dying society”

39 likes, 4 dislikes

A response from IGM:

PG: Get your head out of your arse . . . you are the type these scumbags gain their support from.

24 likes, 5 dislikes

They are more likely to react against the likes of IGM than get any support from me – I don’t support terrorists at all.

MT_Tinman:

Maybe it’s time for the West to take some drastic measures:

Ban ALL immigration of muslims.
Export ALL non-citizen muslims, be they tourists, refugees, visitors or immigrants.
License ALL practicing muslim citizens.
Ban preaching of religious seperatism (of any kind).
Start treating anyone convicted of terrorism-type offenses the way they treat their victims (public death and dismemberment).
Ban ALL trade with any country overtly (or proven to be covertly) supporting islam in any form.

Now that ME oil is no longer able to hold the world to ransom, if the West as a group plus China take these measures I suspect the actual threat of islam will rather quickly fade.

16 likes, 7 dislikes

Dave Mann:

What would be a great response is for every media outlet in the western world to publish images of Mohammad, to send a signal that the more you use terror to try and create censorship, the more it will backfire.

Yes, that would indeed be a good prong to use in a two-pronged response. The other prong should be for the West, led by France, to nuke the whole area of Iraq and Syria which is currently held by these animals. Pour encourager les autres.

11 likes, 5 dislikes

mikenmild responded to that:

Ah, the first call for millions of deaths as an appropriate response. How about tracking down the actual killers and their supporters and financiers?

10 likes, 21 dislikes

That’s just some examples from the first couple of hours in a long thread.

It’s not all ugly reactive and intolerant.

Nigel Kearney shows some decency and commonsense and gets some support for it:

Splitting people into groups and setting them against each other is a leftist strategy. I prefer to judge people as individuals, irrespective of good or bad acts that have been done by others of the same race, gender, religion or whatever.

We aren’t going to protect ourselves from this kind of thuggery by deporting the guy who runs my local dairy.

14 likes, 3 dislikes

Late in the thread UrbanNeocolonialist commented:

To all those who would recommend war on Islam as the answer; would this be strictly an enlightened bomb them from afar war? Kill all the children babies and other non combatants and let Allah sort them out? Or would you be putting your life on the front line? would you be pushing your families and friends to be on the front lines? You know, a money-where-your-mouth is approach rather than frivolously spending other people’s lives.

War is not a toy you play with. Innocent people die both directly and indirectly from impoverishment, it creates injustices and animosities that are passed on for 50-100 years (during which time some of those aggrieved will get nukes) and lets the worst of humanity – the thugs and psychos – off the leash to wreck havoc (eg see Balkans, Rwanda, Taliban, Iraq …). It costs insane amounts of money both immediately and for the next generation or two as the human and material wreckage is managed, and is in sum the deadly fucking serious use-as-a-last-resort-only stick.

I know this is mostly internet chest beating and you are probably not serious, but for any that are: don’t be fucking idiotic.

Scott Hamilton:

‘I gave a definition of integrate I gave a definition of integrate and spelled out the reasons why it was impossible for
muslims to integrate into any western society’

I can’t find that definition in this thread, cricko. You’ve simply repeated that Muslims are awful for NZ and always will be, and that we should boot the devils out. As Kimbo pointed out, you’re recycling the same sort of generalisations we used to hear about Irish and Chinese.

Nor do I get a sense that you are familiar with any of the various quite different ideological currents and ethnic and linguistic groups that make up the Muslim community in NZ. How on earth can NZ’s sizeable community of Ahmadiyya Muslims, for example, which is outspoken in its rejection of jihadism and active in inter-faith activities, be considered a terrorist threat?

‘My points are self evident to most people Scott’

I think your grasp of NZ public opinion is about as sure as your grasp of Muslim opinion.

So it’s not all awful. And the anti-Muslim segment of Kiwiblog represents only a small part of New Zealand society. But it’s a window into an ugly and intolerant segment of our socety.

David Farrar supports the right of cartoons to offend. He also supports the right of commenters to offend. That’s fine. It doesn’t hurt to see that we we do ugly in New Zealand.

Fortunately in the main New Zealand is one of the most tolerant societies in the world.

On Charlie Hebdo … artists will not be cowed

YesterdayTodayTomorrow

(attributed online to Banksy but it’s the work of French cartoonist Lucille Clerc)