Je suis Charlie

January 9, 2015

In reaction to the January 7th terrorist attack on CharlieHebdo in Paris, Transit electronic signs displayed their support

transit sign in a British train, Paris' velib (with a screen displaying a CharlieHebdo cartoon involving a bike), bus a Lyon Tram, a French commuter train, and a tram stop in Grenoble

Other less urban mode was also using their screen to pay tribute to the victims:

Nice airport

motorway and train station in Thionville


2 Responses to “Je suis Charlie”

  1. Rico Says:

    I am of mixed feelings about this. It is important to protect freedom of speech, but with freedom of speech comes a responsibility to respect others….Something that seems to be happening less and less. I like ‘Je suis Charlie,’ but I don’t support reprinting the cartoons.

    • Voony Says:

      It is a bit beyond the focus of this blog but since you have opened the floor, here is my opinion:

      In our western societies, we are free to believe or not in some dogmas (freedom of conscience). That entails we are also free to believe that some dogmas are stupid too…and we are free to express those views. (freedom of expression): That is a very core tenet of our Western societies.

      There is no doubt that the exercise of those rights can generate some views, and way to express them, gratuitously offending (CharlieHebdo was certainly doing that). I guess we, the people, accept it as a small price to pay for our liberties.

      Nevertheless, France like Canada, has defamation and hate speech laws: to clarify:
      – An opinion on a religion is free to be expressed, as offending it can be, because it concerns a belief people are free to worship or not.
      -The below Asterix cartoon, happily retweeted, express an “opinion” regarding a group of people based on who they are (identified by their babouche sleepers), and not what they do: It could have hard time with the French hate speech laws. In the current context, law or not, this cartoon is probably inappropriate.

      Regarding the debate to reprint them or not in the debate, I think the issues the editorial rooms are facing

      (1) Make a symbolic statement (“our freedom of press, our reporting/editorial line, will be not constrained by religious belief”) but in strong and unequivocal terms.
      (2) Provide comprehensive information (the said cartoons are at the core of the story!)
      (3) Not offend people’s religious belief.

      The right tradeoff could be different according to the media considered (print, tv or internet), but it appears that most English speaking Canadian media think (3) trumps both (1) and (2). That is their editorial choice and I have no opinion on that… as long as taxpayer money is not involved

      I would just note that in 2006 (the first cartoon affair), the Monde’s cartoonist Plantu had brillantly addressed point (1)

      and in 2015, the Berliner Zeitung, has brilliantly addressed point (1) and (2)

      In case of, the 2 last links contain pictures of the prophet Muhammad

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