Lots of people say "I don't like Muslims!" I take issue with plenty to be found in so-called Islamic culture. There's far too much misogyny, too much weight given over to conspiracy theories about Israel and 9-11, too much exploitation, too much racism on the Saudi peninsula, too much genocide in Africa. And the world is getting too long-in-the-tooth now for cultural relativism that allows for any kind of that shit.
Islam gets the same respect and disrespect as any other religion.
But this point has been made:
sharing racist political cartoons from increasingly-fascist-xenophobic europe in "solidarity" is like posting rape jokes for free speechHat tip to the inestimable Ming Holden for retweeting it.
— Naan Partisan (@ElSangito) January 8, 2015
Would world leaders turn up in Paris if radical feminists had killed satirists over rape cartoons? Although they threw themselves under horses back in the day, feminists don't behave like that.
Anyway, these arsehole plonkers aren't Muslim or Islamic.
If I was being told What Not to Wear in France, I'd feel marginalised and oppressed, and next, the world leaders show up to say: Je suis Charlie. In Europe, more trouble has been caused in the last half century by ETA and the IRA than this "clash of cultures" ever has.
The cartoons targeting the sensibilities of a substantial ethnic minority aren't that funny or clever. They play on old tropes about paradise and pubescent girls. It's a needless and glib challenging of a shadow of a glimmer of a conspiracy theory associated with a beliefs system, needless and glib like this post. In a world where there are late-lamented kings who hoped for a day when women are ready to drive, I'm willing to fight for the cartoonists' right to draw the pictures.
I don't want to offend with my own fatwa-worthy stuff. And it's very easy to be imaginative about how somebody can get caught up in a culture that's perceived as polar to one's own, for example, and to paint broad strokes in a society where fatally bad things can actually happen. Like setting a story in antebellum Mississippi, or 1930s Germany, it's easy.
So if you "don't like Muslims", you don't want to be hiding Arabs and Pakistanis in your attic a few years from now, when we all fear they'll be sent off to holiday camps in Cuba and Tirana via Shannon Airport. You open the attic door and poke your head up and they're all in there kneeling down, having their pray.
Are you meant to interrupt them to ask if they want ketchup on their breakfast rolls? And instead they ask for ten olive and halloumi pittas. They don't sell that stuff where I get my breakfast rolls. Flatbread is hassle. Worse, they try to teach you about Islam, but you're not interested in an attic conversion. But I'm nobody's Charlie. Are you Charlie?