After the recent completely tragic murders I looked at a good number of Charlie Hebdo covers on Google images, and found racist stereotyping to be pretty consistent. I might add that Muslims seem to be the target of ridicule by Charlie Hebdo more than others are, though thats purely based on the sample from Google images and not a statistical survey. Sure, Charlie Hebdo does satirise almost everyone, but the way this is done in the case of Muslim people is using repeated images of Muslims that are practically from the colonial era, the equivalent of using gollywogs to depict people of African descent. If those were to be used to supposedly satirise Africans, most would agree that would be appalling. Just as if Germans used Jewish stereotypes in the process of satirising Jews, which I do not think would be tolerated either.
In all these cases we are talking also of a historical context of human degradation and abuse of those being satirised in a racist way, which adds a level of pain probably of the kind where salt is aggressively being rubbed into the wound. I won’t labour this argument as there is too much to read about this already, but all this leads to me saying DO condemn murder but DON’T be Charlie!
Other articles that also say condemn murder but don’t be Charlie:
Interestingly, of the following list the most lucid and critical is the first one, by the progressive Jewish Rabbi Michael Lerner of Beyt Tikkun Synagogue in Berkeley – really worth the read:
[Note: the black and white ‘featured’ image above is a still from the excellent film “Battle Of Algiers”]