There is a difference between the cartoonists whose work was published in Charlie Hebdo and the cartoonists whose work was on display at the American Freedom Defense Initiative exhibition in Dallas.
The former's portrayal of Mohammed in cartoon form was as part of a consistent, ongoing, editorial point of view. Critical of all acts of religious extremism, and mocking of religion, whether Judaism, Christianity or Islam – or even atheism. It mocked all in positions of power or influence, and revelled in its free speech to do so.
The AFDI have that last bit in common with Hebdo. But they celebrate the principle of free speech by targeting only what they see as an insidious spread of Islam that will transform the country into something unrecognisable. They attack what they perceive as a threat to free speech, with free speech that has the aim of deeply insulting many Muslims.. It's the equivalent of insulting all Catholics, all Christians even, for the murderous actions of the IRA. Rather than the consistent attitude of Charlie Hebdo to organised religion, the AFDI it is selective and intended to provoke a negative response.
However, that does not mean the AFIA brought this on themselves as some have suggested. There is no defence for anyone bringing a gun to a pencil fight. Celebrating free speech only means anything if it is speech that you don't agree with, otherwise what's the point? It was very easy to defend Charlie Hebdo when you understood what they are all about. It so much harder to defend AFDI. Which is why it is so much more important to do exactly that.
So what else have you been reading on Bleeding Cool this week?
Top Twenty Traffic Of The Week
- 1. No Tattoos For The Joker?
- 2. DC Comics In Ructions Over Gerry Conway's Allegations
- 3. The First Appearance Of Darkseid's Daughter
- 4. Ryan Phillippe In Talks With Marvel/Netflix Over Iron Fist
- 5. How Did The Constantine/NBC Meeting Go Yesterday?
- 6. The Original Title For Dark Knight 3 Was Nixed By Warners
- 7. Will You Be Able To Find A Copy Of Batman #40 Tomorrow?
- 8. Will No One Think About Poor Geoff Johns?
- 9. That Missing First Scene From Avengers: Age Of Ultron
- 10. When Superman Gets Drunk And Naked With Batman
- 11. "Prima Nocta" And That Mid-Credit Frown In The Avengers: Age Of Ultron Movie
- 12. Fantastic Four To End With A Bang, Not A Secret Wars Crossover
- 13. So How Did Tonight's Agents Of SHIELD Tie In With Avengers: Age Of Ultron?
- 14. Neal Adams Talks Gerry Conway, DC Comics And Who Owns What
- 15. Everyone Is A Critic – Is This Too Far?
- 16. Whatever Happened To Donatello? – The Proof
- 17. First Hi-Res Look At Ben Affleck As Batman
- 18. The Six Important Moments From Avengers: Age Of Ultron
- 19. Scarlett Johansson's Stunt Double Becomes A Comic Book Heroine In Her Own Right
- 20. DC's Booster Gold Gets A Brand New Origin From His Creator
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- 1. Cameron Stewart Tells Us 'Every Single Person Is Wrong' About Fight Club 2
- 2. #UnbreakableLoisLane Starts To Trend
- 3. Spotlight On Denver Comic Con: The Uphill Battle Of Making Programming Count
- 4. When Frankenstein Underground #2 Dropped The Mic
- 5. Batman #40 Combo Delayed In USA And Cancelled In UK
- 6. As Close To True Crime As Noir Can Get – Bryce Carlson Talks HIT 1957
- 7. Reviewing Fifty Free Comic Book Day Titles, Part One
- 8. And Part Two
- 9. Home From A Free Comic Book Day In London
- 10. Outrunning The Dawn – Kieron Gillen Talks His FCBD Book Mercury Heat