In the wake of the Paris attacks, some very important questions have a risen. Many surrounding security and how nations can better protect themselves against such atrocities. However, there are many issues that have gone totally under the radar. For me, questions on social and moral responsibilities have totally been ignored and the masses have been swept up by the emotional uproar to the point that Charlie Hebdo’s moral transgressions have been overlooked.
While I too, I’m tempted to defy those extremists elements in society, that attempt to hold the world hostage, I can not justify the manner in which Charlie Hebdo went about it. There are obvious differences between freedom of speech and freedom to offend. Charlie Hebdo perpetuates the latter rather then the former.
Freedom of speech is one of the most noble of human liberties, however Charlie Hebdo and others like them aren’t virtuous defenders or martyrs for the cause. They, in fact, are savage rapists of the right extended to them. They have taken a social obligation – to question and criticise governments and to speak out against injustices without fear of reprisal – and have reduced it to mocking and offending others. They’ve taken a noble right and trivialised it by using it as a tool for bulling. As someone who champions freedom of speech, I am offended by the misuse of this fundamental right and so should all the believers and defenders of freedom of speech. Aligning ourselves with Charlie Hebdo and their abhorrent views is not the only way to protest nor is it the only way to denounce murder.
As much as I detest their views, nevertheless, I support their right to voice/pen and publish those views freely and without fear. However, I do not believe that valuable and often limited public resources, such as police protection and escort, should be extended to those who simply want to offend. I would feel very differently if the criticism was constructive and/or challenged ideologies that are counterintuitive to social equalities, as this is pivotal to social progression, but that’s not the case. And, even if their publications were not offensive, they are pointless, to say the least, and to provide them with constant police protection while they sit on their intellectual high-ground and offend those they perceive to be intellectually and morally inferior, is not oly ridicules but a misspending of tax payers money.
These are only my humble opinions and they are not intended to offend. However, if you’re offended – offended enough to want to hurt me that is – you should know that, my opinions are negotiatible and are subject to change.