Thursday, January 8, 2015

To those who will kill cartoonists

Attacking cartoonists with guns? Really? I didn’t want to write about this, but it keeps reentering my brain space. It’s too stupid. I’m glad others have called the slaughter of staff at Charlie Hebdo heinous and barbaric. It is those things. It’s also dumb and counterproductive and I wish I could explain that to extremists before they’re gunned down.

I understand the Quran says those who insult Islam shall be seized and slain without mercy. (33:61) Aside from the fact that it was 1,000 years ago and the world was different –  and skipping over the fact that these morons forgot to seize before the slaying – you’ve still got to define the insult. That is neither easy, nor full proof. Satire is both irreverent AND elevating. Any celebrity will tell you, you know you’ve made when you’re being made fun of.

What did the extremists accomplish? Killing, in the end, leaves you not with new converts, but new enemies. So it’s not a good growth strategy. As far as image goes, gunning down unarmed jokesters makes you look pathetic. “We have avenged the Prophet,” they shouted. What arrogance. To think Muhammad ever needed the help of these cowards.

They made hate out of people who made jokes.

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