First of all I want to express my sympathy and condolences to the families of the 12 who were massacred. In particular I want to express my condolences to the family of the policeman who was executed in cold blood.
Charbo knew that his life was at risk and he continued to thumb his nose at the Islamic extremists. The magazine, Charlie Hedbo had some of the best cartoonists in the world. This was the one magazine that had been willing to show images of Mohammed the pedophile, butcher, and extremist. A lot of those cartoons are in fact quite funny and that includes one cartoon which should have had me feeling very offended.
Charlie Hebdo magazine is all about lampooning people on the political stage. The fact that the cartoonists had not been afraid to publish in my view is to their credit. They stood up to the extremists within Islam but they lost their lives because they stood up to the intimidation. (this is one of the messages in the Hunger Games, that is standing up to intimidation).
Why should a cartoonist’s expression of Mohammed be considered as blasphemous anyway? The claim is that this butcher, thief and pedophile was a prophet of God, but nowhere in the history of the world is a real prophet of God anything like Mohammed. Prophets such as Isaiah, Jeremiah, Nathan, John the Baptist, Ezekiel and others did not go around demanding that people either convert to a religion or die by the sword. No, they were interpreters of their time, and some of their words apply to events at other times. This is why the words of Isaiah are applied to the birth of Jesus Christ. Mohammed was an ordinary man but Jesus is the Son of God.
I want to pay tribute to the men and women who stood up to the attempts at intimidation. I pay tribute even though these men and women do not equate to my own politics. For me, it is about the fact that Chabo was prepared to continue publishing the cartoons because he wanted to stand up to the fanatics since he would rather die standing up than being forced to kneel on the ground. (at least as Christians we are not forced to kneel but do so willingly as we adore the person of Jesus Christ – and if we cannot kneel because of arthritis then that is ok too).
The cartoonists of the world have been responding to the massacre of so many of their own community by publishing their own images. Some of those images are funny but some make a very strong point. The Australian press has published some of those images.
As a conservative voice, I am joining with those who are willing to say “Je suis Charlie”. I am standing up for the freedom of expression and the right to freedom of speech. Even if a cartoon offends my sensibilities I believe that the cartoonist has a right to express an opinion, and I can decide to ignore that particular cartoon.