Sunday, January 18, 2015

A Room of My Own: More Than Ever, This Land of "Freedom of Expression"

If you don't stand for something you will fall for anything. Malcolm X

Men and women, the young and old, line up in the early-morning darkness at a newsstand, waiting to buy the first issue of Charlie Hebdo since the terrorist attacks. On its new cover, the bearded Prophet sheds a single tear and holds up a sign saying,  “I am Charlie.” Above the cartoon on a green background is the headline, “All is forgiven.”

side by side
#Muslim and #JeSuisCharlie
on my screen
Never Forget scrawled in red
on a Paris mosque

Note: Below is excerpted from the Wikipedia entry, "Never Forget:"

The phrase "never forget" is a commemorative political slogan that originated after the Holocaust. It is widely used to encourage remembrance for national and international tragedies.

And the following is my haiku written in response to the Paris terrorist attacks,  which was first published here on January 7:

One of the things a cartoonist is for is to say the unsayable, speak the unspeakable and ask difficult questions -- paraphrasing Salman Rushdie


1 comment:

  1. Below is excerpted from Doreen Carvajal and Alan Cowell's New York Times article, titled "French Rein In Speech Backing Acts of Terror:"

    Recent court cases in Paris have raised accusations of a double standard on free speech with some pointing to a divide between cartoonists and statements made by Muslim supporters of the gunmen....

    ...The most prominent case now pending in the French courts is that of Dieudonné M’bala M’bala, a provocative humorist who has been a longtime symbol in France of the battle between free speech and public safety. With nearly 40 previous arrests on suspicion of violating antihate laws, for statements usually directed at Jews, he was again arrested on Wednesday, this time for condoning terrorism.

    He faces trial in early February in connection with a Facebook message he posted, declaring, “Tonight, as far as I’m concerned, I feel like Charlie Coulibaly.” It was a reference to the popular slogan of solidarity for the murdered Charlie Hebdo cartoonists — “Je suis Charlie” — and one of the attackers, Amedy Coulibaly, who killed a policewoman and later four people in a kosher supermarket last Friday.

    For more in-depth comments on the Paris terrorist attacks, see "Is the Charlie Hebdo attack a threat to democracy?" (Sunday Edition, CBC, Jan. 11), and "Circus of Hypocrisy": Jeremy Scahill on How World Leaders at Paris March Oppose Press Freedom (DemocarcyNow!, Jan. 12,