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Catholic League President Blames Charlie Hebdo Publisher for Own Death

charlie-hebdo-montage

Catholic League president Bill Donohue rightly condemns the murder of 12 people at the office of French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo:

Killing in response to insult, no matter how gross, must be unequivocally condemned. That is why what happened in Paris cannot be tolerated.

Amen, brother. Alas, there’s a “but” coming:

But neither should we tolerate the kind of intolerance that provoked this violent reaction.

Um, wait a minute. I agree with Donohue that many of the cartoons published by Charlie Hebdo were tasteless and insulting. It’s perfectly reasonable to point that out and debate whether publishing such things is the best way to make one’s point. But the notion that we shouldn’t tolerate free speech that we happen to find offensive in a free society is simply outrageous.

Those who work at this newspaper have a long and disgusting record of going way beyond the mere lampooning of public figures, and this is especially true of their depictions of religious figures. For example, they have shown nuns masturbating and popes wearing condoms. They have also shown Muhammad in pornographic poses.

While some Muslims today object to any depiction of the Prophet, others do not. Moreover, visual representations of him are not proscribed by the Koran. What unites Muslims in their anger against Charlie Hebdo is the vulgar manner in which Muhammad has been portrayed. What they object to is being intentionally insulted over the course of many years. On this aspect, I am in total agreement with them.

While I have no dog in this particular fight, I agree with Donohue’s assessment of why a large number of people would go beyond being insulted or offended and become angry over these particular cartoons. They’re vulgar, childish, and intended to provoke. I happen to think publishing cartoons with those characteristics perfectly permissible in a free society. Similarly, Donohue has every right to point out how vulgar, childish, and provocative they are. Alas, he goes further:

Stephane Charbonnier, the paper’s publisher, was killed today in the slaughter. It is too bad that he didn’t understand the role he played in his tragic death. In 2012, when asked why he insults Muslims, he said, “Muhammad isn’t sacred to me.” Had he not been so narcissistic, he may still be alive.

That sentiment is much more offensive than any cartoon ever published.

To be sure, we have long recognized that even free speech has its limits. We’ve struggled with the notion of “fighting words,” utterances that are so offensive that they naturally provoke violent response. A white man walking up to a group of black men and shouting “nigger” takes his life into his hands. But we’re not talking about that here. Charbonnier published a newspaper. Absent walking into a mosque and handing out copies, there’s no direct provocation to what he did.

Donohue veers back into reason:

Muhammad isn’t sacred to me, either, but it would never occur to me to deliberately insult Muslims by trashing him.

Anti-Catholic artists in this country have provoked me to hold many demonstrations, but never have I counseled violence. This, however, does not empty the issue. Madison was right when he said, “Liberty may be endangered by the abuses of liberty as well as the abuses of power.”

Again, Donohue is counseling good behavior here. We shouldn’t insult billions of people just because we have the freedom to do it. But Donohue misunderstands or is deliberately distorting Madison here. He was counseling against a tyranny of the majority and the need to protect the rights of the minority; he wasn’t arguing that the majority had a duty to be silent, lest they offend the minority.

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About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He earned a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.

Comments

  1. Mikey says:

    I have scoured the great documents that throughout history have defined and codified the basic rights of all human beings.

    I see repeated many times the rights of free speech and a free press and free expression.

    I have yet to find the right to not be offended by the products of those.

    Anyone who thinks there is even the slightest degree of blame that could attach to Charbonnier and his colleagues for their own murders is a pure fool.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 47 Thumb down 1

  2. Mu says:

    Donohue went on that there was a clear lesson in history, if the Jews just honestly converted they had nothing to fear from the Spanish inquisition.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 1

  3. M1EK says:

    I have a lot more respect for the late Christopher Hitchens’ view on this:

    http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/fighting_words/2006/02/cartoon_debate.html

    Religion needs to be insulted. Even (especially) mine and yours.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 24 Thumb down 0

  4. bill says:

    the nyt seems to agree with him, here’s what they tweeted;

    “The weekly Charlie Hebdo has tested limits with its satire, including its latest issue, “guest edited” by Muhammad”

    and then they actually lower the bar with this…..

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/08/world/europe/paris-attack-reflects-a-dangerous-moment-for-europe.html?smprod=nytcore-iphone&smid=nytcore-iphone-share&_r=0

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 19

  5. CB says:

    @bill:

    Yeah, these three guys were clearly acting on behalf of the world’s 1.5 billion muslims, and besides, even if not, its not as though mass marginalization of diaspora groups has ever led to radicalization. Stupid NYT for even mentioning that.

    And come on, finding out that Donohue is being a jackass is like finding out that the sun came up.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 1

  6. Neil Hudelson says:

    @bill:

    It’s interesting you don’t include a link to the tweet, but judging by the language I’m going to assume they tweeted it before the massacre.

    Can you understand that one can (rightly) judge a cartoon to be vile and disgusting, while simultaneously believing that person/magazine has the right to publish it without violence?

    The cartoons were always incendiary and meant to provoke a reaction. While that, in no way, excuses the killings, let’s not pretend that because of these attacks the cartoons have been transformed into high-brow art.

    Yeah, I read that article. Are you saying a far-right, reactionary movement isn’t burgeoning in Europe? Because there is pretty strong evidence it is.

    I guess what I’m asking is, what is your point?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 37 Thumb down 0

  7. JKB says:

    @CB: its not as though mass marginalization of diaspora groups has ever led to radicalization.

    Well, there was that time in the ghetto in Warsaw…

    The Muslims in Europe are not diaspora. They are immigrants.

    I suspect they are much like emigrants from California and New York to the rest of the US. They leave a place that has become intolerable then work hard to make it just like the hellhole they abandoned.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 22

  8. humanoid.panda says:

    @JKB:

    I suspect they are much like emigrants from California and New York to the rest of the US. They leave a place that has become intolerable then work hard to make it just like the hellhole they abandoned.

    I logged in to make a comment in the spirit of bipartisanship: that Donohue is a asshole with a megaphone, and does not express opinions of anyone by himself, and that is wrong to associate Catholics with him.

    Now you had annoyed me, forced me to write that is that you are a gaping, monumental, moronic, blithering asshole, so your pathetic life has a scintilla more meaning than it had 5 minutes ago.
    Good work!

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 25 Thumb down 10

  9. Muhammad isn’t sacred to me, either, but it would never occur to me to deliberately insult Muslims by trashing him.

    I’m pretty sure the people who attacked Hebdo would consider this a deliberate insult.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  10. CB says:

    @JKB:

    di·as·po·ra noun \dī-ˈas-p(ə-)rə, dē-\
    : a group of people who live outside the area in which they had lived for a long time or in which their ancestors lived
    : people settled far from their ancestral homelands
    : the movement, migration, or scattering of a people away from an established or ancestral homeland

    I would get pithier, but this is way too serious and tragic a subject to get cute, so I’ll just agree with humanoid and call you a blithering idiot.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 4

  11. Dave Schuler says:

    Yes, he went too far. Donohue is a radical, radicalized with respect to anti-religious bigotry, in particular anti-Catholic bigotry.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  12. al-Ameda says:

    Donahue: But neither should we tolerate the kind of intolerance that provoked this violent reaction.

    Donahue is a pathetic self-proclaimed victim of a secular world.

    Leave it to Donahue to insinuate that Catholics are regularly victims of religious intolerance.

    Oh and, by the way, never mind that establishment Catholics like Donahue, through their silence, essentially countenanced what turned out to be the biggest molestation scandal in Catholic Church history.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 5

  13. Pinky says:

    This is why I don’t support Donohue or the Catholic League. He’s a bully – a bully on the losing end against other bullies, and a bully for the side I agree with, but a bully nonetheless.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  14. Franklin says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    Can you understand that one can (rightly) judge a cartoon to be vile and disgusting, while simultaneously believing that person/magazine has the right to publish it without violence?

    I think this perfectly captures my sentiments. It’s similar to the quote that goes something like, “I may not like what you say, but I’ll defend your right to say it.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  15. KM says:

    @JKB:

    not diaspora. They are immigrants.

    If you are going to try and culturally claim a word, at least have the decency to capitalize it like it requires so others understand your intent. The Diaspora has a specific meaning to a specific group, but diaspora can be used correctly synonymously for displaced or migrant peoples. Many of the Jewish Diaspora are immigrants as well to the nations they call home. However, all are away from what their culture dictates as their Homeland and thus are considered diaspora in the truest sense of existing away from where they “belong”.

    If your intent is to point out intention (diaspora as forced migration vs immigration as a choice), I would point out that not every Muslim chose to go – many are refugees seeking a better life that would gladly go home in a heartbeat if they could. If they are forced by circumstance (economic or gunpoint), they still count as diaspora since they were made to leave.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  16. gVOR08 says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    Can you understand that one can (rightly) judge a cartoon to be vile and disgusting, while simultaneously believing that person/magazine has the right to publish it without violence?

    Yes, that.

    I see a number of media outlets are publishing the Danish cartoons as a display of solidarity w/ Hebdo. The CBC has said they won’t publish them. When they first came out, the CBC felt they had every right to publish them but chose not to, as they would be offensive to a part of their audience. They’re saying the actions of a few fanatics don’t change this. I would defend the right of those who do publish, but I think CBC is doing the right thing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  17. Pinky says:

    Standing up to bullies sometimes requires taking symbolic actions that one wouldn’t normally do. The crowds in the streets across France weren’t planning to be there anyway; they went out to demonstrate that they weren’t going to be cowed. One could argue that that’s not the role of a journalist, but I think it can be, sometimes.

    Note that I’m not saying that standing up to bullies requires retaliation (it can, but that’s not what I’m talking about here).

    There’s one other consideration, whether an outlet’s standards begin to interfere with the communication of the story. Is it sufficient to describe the offending pictures, or is it necessary to show them as well? There are different kinds of pictures of Muhammad out there, and in this case it may be more explanatory to show just how far out-there this magazine went.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  18. Rafer Janders says:

    @JKB:

    The Muslims in Europe are not diaspora. They are immigrants.

    Words. Learn what they mean. Know how to use them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 3

  19. Dave Schuler says:

    @Mikey:

    I agree you with the sentiments in your comment and upvoted it accordingly. However, in that comment the word “great” is carrying a lot of weight. There are plenty of documents, statements of human rights, that could be interpreted as asserting a right not to be offended by the speech of others.

    Take, for example, the Cairo Declaration, particularly Articles 17 and 22. Ideas of what constitute rights are not universal but mediated by culture. Even closely related cultures differ on this subject. Matters that we in the United States consider to be governed by inviolable rights are not seen in the same light in the United Kingdom or even in Canada let alone all over the world.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  20. gVOR08 says:

    @Dave Schuler: Pretty awful from our point of view. I happen to be reading some stuff about the Puritans in New England. Substitute “Bible” for “Shari’ah”, and they’d have had no problem with these articles. Things do evolve. Took us a couple hundred years.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  21. Kylopod says:

    Rape is terrible, but if she only hadn’t been dressed like that….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 2

  22. Mu says:

    The other disgusting attitude shown in the last day was how quick the European media started to change the narrative from “how sad 12 people died in an attack on freedom of the press” to “beware this will give (insert local right wing party here) a boost”. The Spiegel (leading German news weekly) took all of 3 h.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 3

  23. lounsbury says:

    @JKB:
    how charming yet more utterly uninformed ignorance.

    The Muslims in Europe are not diaspora. They are immigrants.

    I suspect they are much like emigrants from California and New York to the rest of the US. They leave a place that has become intolerable then work hard to make it just like the hellhole they abandoned.

    As it happens the vast majority of European Muslims are in fact diaspora and not immigrants, being 2nd, 3rd and even 4th generation (it is a less-than-charming bit of French racism that a certain kind of Frenchie refers to native born citizens of the ‘wrong’ religion as ‘immigrants’).

    Leaving aside your general racist and low-brow anti-immigrant prejudicial comments.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 4

  24. lounsbury says:

    @KM:
    As a point of fact the majority of European Muslims are neither immigrants NOR refugees, but native born citizens under law – this particularly the case of the French, and British communities.

    There are few political points more insidious and sinister than the demarche of denial of birthright citizenship because a community happens not to be of the right skin colour and/or religion.

    Europe walked that dark path once and American comment on this is really quite naive in re the worries about extreme right parties hijacking.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 3

  25. Dave Schuler says:

    In Germany more than half of their resident Turkish population are non-citizens. Under German law to be a citizen at least one parent must be a German citizen or you must become naturalized. That’s true regardless of where you were born.

    You certainly know more about the situation in France than I do, Lounsbury, but to the best of my knowledge not everyone born in metropolitan France is a French citizen. Those with non-citizen parents must request French nationality when reaching adulthood. I do know that Algerian Jews are born French citizens under French law. I do not know if the same is the case with Algerian Muslims. I would hope that you would enlighten me.

    I do know that there are many born in France of sub-Saharan ancestry who remain non-citizens despite several generations of French birth.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  26. Mikey says:

    @Dave Schuler:

    I agree you with the sentiments in your comment and upvoted it accordingly. However, in that comment the word “great” is carrying a lot of weight.

    Yeah, I suppose it is, although it was put there more out of passion than analysis. And “throughout history” probably only really means “the last couple hundred years” in the context of the protection of free speech.

    Ideas of what constitute rights are not universal but mediated by culture. Even closely related cultures differ on this subject.

    No doubt about that at all. I think America and France do share a common level of high dedication to the principle of the protection of free expression, but you’re right, in other places they don’t.

    The wheels of progress too often turn slowly.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  27. Poster says:

    @Neil Hudelson: LOL. Does he have a point, ever? All he writes on this site is self-righteous outrage because people don’t agree with leftist totalitarianism.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 8

  28. Mikey says:

    “It’s very hard. We are all suffering, with grief, with fear, but we will do it anyway because stupidity will not win,” he said.

    Charlie Hebdo will come out next week, despite bloodbath

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  29. Poster says:

    @lounsbury: No. They CHOSE to leave their homes and come to the West. Why? How many Islamic immigrants to France have jobs? And the UK, Germany, and the rest of Europe faces the same problem of welfare colonization. Yes, yes, I know, to deny that the welfare state attracts the very people who have no intention of fitting into society cannot be stated, as these poor immigrants, diaspora, or whatever, are clearly suffering through no fault of their own, because RACISM. Again, no. Look closely at the attitudes and beliefs of Muslims in Europe, and see for yourself how little they acculturate to their new homes. They hold to jihadist views for one reason and one reason alone — because their faith commands them to — and their faith commands them to conquer through blood. That’s the history of Islam, and that’s the present of Islam — eternal war against the kuffir.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 17

  30. Edison Carter says:

    It takes one religious fanatic, to know another, especially their warped sense of what should be, coupled with delusional, and self denial projection.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  31. Poster says:

    @Mu: The left fears consequences of its own actions. That they fear losing power to the right more than they fear losing free expression (or any other freedom) is the synopsis of the history of the left.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 16

  32. lounsbury says:

    @Dave Schuler:
    I’m afraid you’re simply mistaken, being decieved by anecdote.

    The right to citizenship is automatic, and one can make the declaration as one wishes.

    Per French national statistics institut (c. 2008 but not particularly likely to have changed in a significant fashion):

    5 % des descendants de deux parents immigrés n’ont pas la nationalité française. 25 % d’entre eux ont fait une demande de nationalité (en cours pour 22 %, refusée pour 3 %) et 35 % n’en ont pas fait, mais ont l’intention de la faire.

    Ainsi, seuls 2 % des descendants de deux parents immigrés n’ont pas la nationalité française et ne souhaitent pas la demander.

    This states very simply that only 5% of children of immigrant parents (both parents immigrants / non citizens proper, not per se differentiating birth in France or not) have not acquired French naitonality. Of that 5%, 25% have made the request, 35% intend to do so, and only 2% have not either made the request

    This statistic is mixing, I would note, those who have right of birth by virtue of birth in French territories with those who do not as such.

    Rather evidently the potential number of non-citizens born with the right to citizenship is at best miniscule and a non-factor.

    As to the Algerian question, no Muslim Algerians under the Department did not have automatic citizenship, although classes such as the Harkis and others in French service obtained it.

    The German juris sangi is rather the exception in its application.

    Regardless, the vast majority of Euro Muslims are certainly diaspora and native born regardless of specific national citizenship quirks.

    (BTW the French nationality law does not condition citizenship to declaration, declaration is faculative: Article 21-7
    Modifié par Loi n°98-170 du 16 mars 1998 – art. 2 JORF 17 mars 1998 en vigueur le 1er septembre 1998

    Tout enfant né en France de parents étrangers acquiert la nationalité française à sa majorité si, à cette date, il a en France sa résidence et s’il a eu sa résidence habituelle en France pendant une période continue ou discontinue d’au moins cinq ans, depuis l’âge de onze ans[All children born in France of foreign parents acquire French nationality at their majority if at this date he is resident in France and he has had his habitual residence for a period, continuously or non-continuously for at least five years since the age of 11 years.] )

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  33. Poster says:

    @gVOR08: LOL. No. The first amendment to the Constitution was intended as a check on Federal power. The states had the power to set up state churches and did so. If you didn’t like it, you could move to another state. That in no way contradicts the principles that forbade the establishment of a national church (again, see first amendment); that the Puritans wished to have a small-s state church is not the same as an Islamic declaration of the right not be offended, for in Islam, all government and religion are inseparable — there could be no state exemptions. Every state would have to conform under Islam. Not so under the federal system.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 9

  34. CB says:

    “All generalizations are dangerous, even this one.”

    – A. Dumas

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  35. Poster says:

    @Edison Carter: Only true if all religions produce the exact same result, because they all teach the same things. However, if you look at what individual religions teach and what is actually done in their name, you will see quite a few differences. For example, many things are done in the name of Christ, which have no backing in the Christian scriptures. Islam does not fare so well, as its scriptures (the Koran and the Hadith, principally) require unending war against the kuffir. This is especially true if you understand how to read the Koran — e.g. the principal of abrogation. Verses written later in Mohammed’s life abrogate earlier verses he wrote. So the verse of the sword cancels out the verses that urge peace with Jews and Christians. All Islamic scholars understand this principle and it has been used since the beginning of Islam.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 12

  36. lounsbury says:

    @Poster:

    No. They CHOSE to leave their homes and come to the West.

    Immigrants proper? Why what news…. it is the very definition of the word. How very surprising.

    How many Islamic immigrants to France have jobs?

    Immigrants? The majority although the French do not collect religious affiliate statistics as such.

    And the UK, Germany, and the rest of Europe faces the same problem of welfare colonization

    .

    In the imagination of the neo-fascist scum.

    Look closely at the attitudes and beliefs of Muslims in Europe, and see for yourself how little they acculturate to their new homes.

    Mere assertion by a bigot scum, real life polling rather shows something entirely different.

    eternal war against the kuffir.

    Eternal war against small agricultural settlements? Seems rather pointless.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  37. Mu says:

    @Dave Schuler:
    Algeria was on oversea department of France, it’s citizens had French passports. As such, many emigrated to the mainland after Algerian independence. The problem with the Turks in Germany is that most cannot take German citizenship without dropping their Turkish passport. And they can’t do that without fulfilling their military obligation (or buying out of it for a lot of money).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  38. Dave Schuler says:

    @lounsbury:

    Thank you. That’s very helpful.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  39. lounsbury says:

    @Mu:
    Re Algeria: I am afraid this is incomplete. One of the key points of contention which led to the Algerian war for independence was the ‘subject’ rather than full citizen status of the majority of the Algerian Muslims. That being said, modern French citizen law does convey citizenship to children of parents born in Algeria prior to independence (1962).

    Regardless, this dreary conversation is heading precisely in the most tedious Bigot Brigade direction.

    Juan Cole, who I am not terribly fond of as such has a wise comment attaching these actions by the Takfiri movement – Al Qaeda and similar – to a deliberate action (which he nicely connects to the Stalinists) to drive a wedge between French / Euro Muslims and wider society, as in their overwhelming majority, French muslims have not been open to extremism or political Islam.

    Al-Qaeda wants to mentally colonize French Muslims, but faces a wall of disinterest. But if it can get non-Muslim French to be beastly to ethnic Muslims on the grounds that they are Muslims, it can start creating a common political identity around grievance against discrimination.

    This tactic is similar to the one used by Stalinists in the early 20th century. [who called it sharpening the contradictions] …. “Sharpening the contradictions” is the strategy of sociopaths and totalitarians, aimed at unmooring people from their ordinary insouciance and preying on them, mobilizing their energies and wealth for the perverted purposes of a self-styled great leader.

    The only effective response to this manipulative strategy (as Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani tried to tell the Iraqi Shiites a decade ago) is to resist the impulse to blame an entire group for the actions of a few and to refuse to carry out identity-politics reprisals.

    This is precisely right.

    It is in this context no accident these two scumbags executed in cold blood the badly wounded Muslim French police officer.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  40. Scott says:

    @lounsbury:

    The only effective response to this manipulative strategy (as Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani tried to tell the Iraqi Shiites a decade ago) is to resist the impulse to blame an entire group for the actions of a few and to refuse to carry out identity-politics reprisals.

    Cole also mentioned that most Muslim-heritage folks are also secular and have been for a couple of generations. Yes, many people seem to want to place all into a radical Islamic identity. Keep it up and they will succeed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  41. Mikey says:

    @Mu: Germany ended the military service obligation in mid-2011. Like the U. S. there is still a legal framework but it is not currently in use.

    (Or were you referring to a Turkish military obligation?)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  42. Ebenezer_Arvigenius says:

    @Mikey: He’s talking about the Turkish one.

    It used to be that fulfilling your German military service obligation would cancel out your Turkish one. However, since Germany discontinued that, young Turks with double citizenship or those that want to make use of their right to become Germans must first discharge their obligatory military service in Turky (even if they have never been to the country) or pay about 6.000 € to buy themselves out.

    So the problem is not on the German side (German citizenship is basically offered like sweets to all Turks born in Germany) but on the Turkish side. In the last 20 years they have made about 1.2 billion € out of that and are therefore quite unwilling to let it go.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  43. Mikey says:

    @Ebenezer_Arvigenius: Thanks for the info! That’s very interesting. 6K Euro is a fat chunk of change.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  44. Inhumans99 says:

    I am a Catholic, and this guy does not speak for all Catholics, so unless he is parroting tasteless words spoken by the Pope, he can go pound sand. What’s that you say, the Pope would never say something so dumb…well, that explains that even on Earth 2 he would have no chance of becoming the Pope, and thank God for that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  45. Tyrell says:

    Headline from CNN: American attack just one airline ticket away !

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 6

  46. humanoid.panda says:

    @Tyrell: Coward.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  47. gVOR08 says:

    @Poster: I wasn’t thinking about 1st Amendment. I’m saying the Puritans would have been quite comfortable with:

    In contribution to the efforts of mankind to assert human rights, to protect man from exploitation and persecution, and to affirm his freedom and right to a dignified life in accordance with the Islamic Shari’ah the Bible.

    17 (a) Everyone shall have the right to live in a clean environment, away from vice and moral corruption, that would favour a healthy ethical development of his person and it is incumbent upon the State and society in general to afford that right.

    22 (a) Everyone shall have the right to express his opinion freely in such manner as would not be contrary to the principles of the Shari’ah Bible.
    1.. Everyone shall have the right to advocate what is right, and propagate what is good, and warn against what is wrong and evil according to the norms of Islamic Shari’ah the Bible.

    24 All the rights and freedoms stipulated in this Declaration are subject to the Islamic Shari’ah the Bible.

    25 The Islamic Shari’ah Bible is the only source of reference for the explanation or clarification of any of the articles of this Declaration.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  48. Pinky says:

    @gVOR08: D’oh! The Puritans moved here to get away from a combined church and state. They tended toward small utopian commonwealths. They were hardly like you’re implying them to be.

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  49. gVOR08 says:

    @Pinky: Now I see the confusion. I didn’t say they’d adopt this as a federal constitution. Or force it on others. I’m saying that within their communities, they pretty much lived by, and magistrates enforced, rules very much like these. You were free to do what you wished, as long as you completely conformed to statutes and norms based entirely on their interpretation of the Bible.

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  50. Pinky says:

    @gVOR08: I think you’re undervaluing the importance of “if you don’t like it, you can leave”. That wasn’t such an outrageous stand when a brand-new continent had just opened up. The Puritans were more than willing to depart from their homeland in pursuit of religious freedom, independence from the state-sponsored faith. Some Puritans split off and formed different colonies after disagreements in North America. The idea of small communities of religious outcasts is very different from the idea of sharia.

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  51. Liberal With Attitude says:

    What the Hebdo attack and the rise of the Tea Party has forced us to do is confront what actions liberal democracy can or should take when confronted with groups that are illiberal.

    Lets stipulate that the majority of Muslims are peaceful and content to live in a secular society.
    But that’s like saying the majority of Americans don’t belong to the Tea Party and favor legal abortion. The illiberal forces can often gain power and overpower the liberal ones, as in Mississippi.
    Or even, since liberal democracy is by design “open source”, it can be redesigned to suit whatever group can command the majority- even with a Constitution.

    The balance of power is shifting away from America and Europe, towards cultures that don’t have the cultural history of Locke, Jefferson and the civil rights movement.
    In the future, liberal democracies will have to compete as equals with China and other societies.

    All of which means to me that engagement and dialogue with the Muslim world where their sacred taboos are shown respect is preferable to sneering condescension.

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  52. michael reynolds says:

    @Liberal With Attitude:

    You should have more confidence. The fascists were going to bury the democracies. The communists were going to bury the democracies. And here we are, still.

    We’re two for two. Chin up. We’re tougher than we look.

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  53. Liberal With Attitude says:

    @michael reynolds:
    Oh, I wasn’t clear.
    I do have a lot of optimism. I believe liberal democracy and culture has a natural strength and attraction- its why even “Muslim” nations like Turkey enjoy it to some degree.

    But I sense a lot of triumphalism in the commentary around the intertubes- the idea that the illiberal forces can simply be vanquished without compromise. I also see a lot of false dichotomy, as if we have only the choice of triumph over conservative religion or capitulation to a Sharia Law/ Handmaid’s Tale world.

    There is a reason why conservatism enjoys popularity, even within the proletariat who should be liberalism’s base. The appeals to sanctity, patriotism, purity and all the things Jonathan Haidt talks about are resilient and important.
    We would do well to engage with (gulp) Sarah Palin’s fans, Erick Erickson’s base, and see how many can be peeled off and compromised with as allies, and which ones must be confronted as opponents.

    I worry that Hebdo and the more abrasive representatives of “free speech” only drive more liberal religionists away from us, rather than make converts.

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  54. Mikey says:

    @Liberal With Attitude:

    I worry that Hebdo and the more abrasive representatives of “free speech” only drive more liberal religionists away from us, rather than make converts.

    And yet the more abrasive representatives of free speech are absolutely necessary. It’s easy to protect gumdrops-and-unicorn-farts speech. The true test of a society’s devotion to the principle of free expression only comes when it is called upon to protect speech that offends.

    Without Charlie Hebdo, “freedom of expression” is meaningless and worthless.

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  55. gVOR08 says:

    @Pinky: My point was that the @Dave Schuler: mentioned a couple of articles in the Cairo Declaration that most of us would object to strenuously. I observed that the New England Puritans of the 17th and 18th centuries would have had no problem with those rules as long as the Bible, and the rules they derived from the Bible were pencilled in replacing the Koran and Shariah. The Puritans had rules similar to the articles mentioned. Do you disagree?

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  56. Gustopher says:

    @gVOR08:

    When they first came out, the CBC felt they had every right to publish them but chose not to, as they would be offensive to a part of their audience. They’re saying the actions of a few fanatics don’t change this. I would defend the right of those who do publish, but I think CBC is doing the right thing.

    I think the CBC is making a mistake here — the cartoons are newsworthy, and provide the context to the murders. They are more newsworthy now, after the actions of a few fanatics, than they were before.

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  57. Pinky says:

    @gVOR08: Very much so. Sharia isn’t analogous to the Bible; it’s analogous to Western political, religious, and legal tradition. That’s not a nitpick. If you want to sub in “Bible” for “Koran”, you have to sub in all of Western tradition up through the 1600’s in place of sharia. That includes the Magna Carta, English common law, the Renaissance, Saint Francis of Assisi, et cetera. There’s no corresponding footprint in the Islamic world. As I noted, the context of small New World settlements is completely different from an ummah. Local, voluntary associations are different from a worldwide mandatory order. To force equivalence between the Puritans approach to the Bible and the Muslim world’s approach to sharia, you’d have to broaden them to the point of meaninglessness. I mean, the Giants have the same kind of relationship to the NFL and the players’ union, if you broaden it enough.

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  58. Paul Hooson says:

    Unfortunately, some of the highly sexualized cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in pornographic poses reminded me more of hate speech than anything. – Some of the same sort of hate speech cartoons the world witnessed during the Hitler-era of Jews and others. – This publication seemed bent on provocation, despite past problems including arson and requiring a bodyguard. – As much as I support free speech, even for obscenity, this publication seemed to egg on a confrontation, and now lives with the horrible consequences.

    I’m a big fan of the satire magazines, like MAD, CRACKED, SICK, CRAZY, PHOOEY, NATIONAL LAMPOON and all the others. But, these magazines never stooped to the crass level of these obscene attacks on a prophet that tens of millions hold in high regard like this. – I’m personally a Jew, but I believe that Muslim prophets are entitled to respectful treatment. This publication clearly wanted to provoke something. The lesson here is not to provoke a fight if you’re not willing to live with the consequences. Free speech is hardly totally free…Many times saying anything you want to say may come with some costs…

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  59. Wr says:

    @Poster: Oh, look, one of our regular right wing losers has decided we’ll take him more seriously if he pretends to be someone new. Don’t know which one of our resident genocidal creeps it is. But then I don’t really care…

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  60. grumpy realist says:

    @Pinky: Um, have you read any American history? The Puritans were pretty nasty in how they treated people they considered heretics. My roommate at college was descended from people the Puritans had chased out of Massachusetts. (she said this fact was great for shutting up people who loudly boasted of their “came over on the Mayflower” heritage.

    (History, how does it work?)

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  61. gVOR08 says:

    @Scott:

    Keep it up and they will succeed.

    That’s what I fear, that ignorant voters and pandering politicians will turn “clash of civilizations” into a self fulfilling prophecy.

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  62. gVOR08 says:

    @Pinky:

    you have to sub in all of Western tradition up through the 1600’s in place of sharia

    No. I only have to sub in the traditions that the Puritans actually used. Which was pretty much just the Bible.

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  63. gVOR08 says:

    @Paul Hooson:

    Free speech is hardly totally free…Many times saying anything you want to say may come with some costs…

    True. And Donohue had the beginnings of a reasonable point until he let his anger at Hebdo for anti-Catholic cartoons overwhelm him. Even Rush Limbaugh, while making a fortune with what he says, had to pay the small price of not being allowed to buy into an NFL team.

    None of which should be proposed in mitigation of murder.

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  64. Pinky says:

    @Wr: There are millions of people who could come up with exactly the same thing that you, me, or Poster have. Why would you think that Poster could only be one of our regulars? That seems to reflect an insularity, a belief that there are only a few people in the whole world who could possibly disagree with you. I assure you, the world will little note nor long remember any of our online “contributions”, because we’re all deathly boring and predictable.

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  65. bill says:

    @CB: maybe not all, but muslims support terrorists more than they don’t. heck, bill mahar doesn’t even refute that.

    @Neil Hudelson: https://twitter.com/nytimesworld/status/552825228733464576

    you’re welcome, 20 seconds of my life i’ll never get back. here’s a clue ;
    left click- outline, right click, “search google”.

    the point is frances’ appeasement of them- i won’t even delve into the “gun free” paris stuff as that’s lost on people like you. and they don’t like jews either- tough call for you now?

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  66. gVOR08 says:

    @bill: Bill Maher’s job is to be funny, which he is. He is not an expert on the Middle East or on Muslim populations in Europe and the US. Which is good, because he sucks at that.

    You job is to write on-topic, well researched, and well reasoned blog comments that will explain the modern US conservative point of view to a broader audience.

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  67. lounsbury says:

    @bill: No, Muslims do not support terrorism more than they don’t you ignorant provincial.

    There is no bloody “appeasement” of anything Muslim in France (the country that bans hidjabs, niqabs and any manner of ‘religious’ clothing with a Muslim anle) – a profoundly ignorant, unlearned misuse of the phrase by someone who evidently is a Know Nothing capable of merely parroting the various party political blather you have heard.

    Of course what is really meant by “appeasement” by the gutter bigots pimping this idea is a formalized ethno-religious repression and discrimination, with newly spun justifications but looking absolutely the same in discourse and in operation as the anti-semitic discourse of the late 19th and early 20th c against another Abrahamic minority – the same assertions of non-integration…. it is quite stunning how the rhetoric is recycled by the illiberal bigots.

    (Nor is Paris or France “gun free” – regurgitating in an ignorant provincial’s fashion the latest pub talk and domestic political agit prop from gutter publications makes you look even stupider than normal)

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  68. CB says:

    @bill:

    Appeasement? By the same France that’s been fighting Islamists in Mali for the better part of a year, with not insignificant loss of life? Yeah, OK, guy.

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  69. gVOR08 says:

    @lounsbury: You do keep insisting on bringing facts into an internet argument, don’t you. I am appreciating that you’re sharing your obvious expertise.

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  70. James Joyner says:

    @Wr: S/he’s linking his name to an anonymous, Red State-type blog. S/he’s posted here using the same name and IP a handful of times going back to August.

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  71. Paul Hooson says:

    @gVOR08: I’m no fan of Donohue. He’s a known critic of pornography in general, even if that pornography is not irreverent to religion.

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  72. Cal American says:

    Does Mr. Donohue hold himself to the same standard?

    Does he excuse a fatal attack on himself if someone decides his views are “intolerable”?

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  73. Samy says:

    Seem like evil intended media terrorism Vs Evil reactionary terrorist, nothing more nothing less.If intentionally and knowingly insulting most sacred personalities to 1.5billion muslims then its not shocking at least 5 to 10 extremist ouf of billion will react in such a way.Freedom of speech comes with responsibility, just like freedom of extreme filth comes back in extremism. As you sow, so shall you reap.You have a kid, who get bullied and mocked, end up shooting in school because teachers and students didn’t stop the injustice when it was happening,same way such a irresponsible behavior in exercising unnecessary freedom of speech + majority public supporting it will bring back similar results as school shooting.If your freedom of speech stops at Anti-semitism or Anti-Gay, it should stop at hurting quarter of this world population for greater Good.

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