Monday, April 04, 2016

Intolerant Bastards

I've really got to stop reading tweets by those middle class reactionary 'liberals' I hate so much - it really isn't good for my blood pressure.  On the other hand, reading them does help reassure me that I haven't yet turned into a complete knee-jerk reactionary myself.  But to get to the point, I know that you are now wondering exactly what has got me riled up with regard to these middle class twitter twats this time?  Well, we're back to that old favourite Charlie Hebdo and the contention by some of these middle class reactionaries that the satirical magazine is actually a horrible anti-Muslim organ, spreading hate speak. (Implicit in this view is that they had that terrorist attack on them coming, as they were clearly asking for it).  These were the people who completely missed the point of the whole 'Je Suis Charlie' thing, refusing to participate because of the magazine's alleged anti-Muslim rhetoric - the point, of course, being that you didn't have to like, or even approve of, anything Charlie Hebdo published, it was a a matter of showing solidarity and acknowledging that deadly violence isn't a reasonable response to being offended by something.

Anyway, after seeing Charlie Hebdo trending again yesterday evening, I investigated, to find the usual suspects denouncing a blog post by the magazine, alleging that in it Charlie Hebdo came out in its true colours as a Muslim-hating rag and crowing about how they had all told us so.  Except, of course, that it was nothing of  the sort.  Reading the post in question revealed that it was actually a call for the reassertion of secularism in civil society, with religion and its symbols, (all religions, not just Islam), confined to the private sphere.  The article tried to make the argument that it has been the failure of us secularists to press for religion to be more firmly contained like this, instead allowing ever greater public displays of the religious symbols and practices in the name of 'tolerance', which had allowed the growth of radical religious-inspired terror organisations in Western societies.  Which isn't a rabidly Muslim-hating stance.  It's a perfectly legitimate argument.  Not one that I entirely buy - the reality is that a series of increasingly disastrous political and military interventions by both the West and the USSR/Russia in various Muslim countries since the end of World War Two have been the real cause of the rise of radical Islam, with many in the Muslim world perceiving these interventions as attempts to impose alien values and political and social structures on their societies.  The failure to maintain the secular nature of our own societies might have facilitated the rise of Islamic radicalism within our own borders, but it isn't the root cause of what we're seeing now.

Although I don't actually agree with the opinions expressed in the Charlie Hebdo article,  I don't feel the need to misrepresent it in order to justify denouncing the publication as anti-Muslim.  People are allowed to have opinions which differ from our own.  But you wouldn't know that from following the social media utterances of these self-styled 'liberals'.  I find it deeply ironic that people who spend so much time making pronouncements about 'tolerance' show so little of it themselves whenever they encounter dissenting opinions.



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