Travis Skaalgard

Cartoons making fun of religion, pointing out problematic things within it: Fine

Racist cartoons and cartoons designed specifically to offend ethnic minorities: Bad

Beheading people for insulting your religion: Far Worse




The terrorist attacks are clearly bad, and nothing justifies that. But at the same time, “free speech” is not an excuse for being racist and hurting the feelings of hundreds of millions of muslims. Even worse that this is coming from a country which has colonised many Arabic countries, and murdered countless Muslims (especially in Africa).

Here is the “satirical” Charlie Hebdo magazine, saying that a dead refugee baby would have grown up to be a rapist (wiki link for those who dont remember, nsfw pic)


I agree. Both terrorism and racism are unjustifiable. I don’t think they’re equally bad, but we shouldn’t have to accept one to condemn the other.

I live in France and I am a professor. There are lots of Muslims in France. There are lots of racists and bigots too. Charlie Hebdo pushes freedom of speech a little too far BUT I have never seen anyone actually purchase or read it. I don’t know who their target market is except grandmas on Facebook.

If Facebook and social media weren’t around to share the cartoons nobody would ever talk about Charlie Hebdo. The media makes an effort to translate bad caricatures into shocking news stories and fan the flames. France believes in assimilation, not diversity, and everywhere you go you can find communities of low-income earners whose children go to the worst schools and who don’t have access to things like parks or mosques so they get they rely on each other and social media which we all know leads radical forms of religion.

The cartoon was not a good idea and they knew it would get them publicity.


I live in Belgium and did not know about this difference between pushing diversity or assimilation. That’s sad…


Personally I think one tends to draw overly large conclusions from things like this. I don’t pretend that the situation isn’t complex, but in the case of this murder (which is criminal and unjustified), we’re talking about a small number of individuals involved in unusual circumstances that led to this. You couldn’t possibly take this story and then go on to draw conclusions about masses of people like “Muslims” or “French people”, and so on. I’ve seen in Muslim communities worldwide, people thousands of miles away in other countries fretting about the implications of what happened in France, but honestly I don’t see what it has to do with them at all.

Somehow I feel all of this is ultimately some twisted, nasty result of colonialism. Should Muslims living in other parts of the world really care what someone in France does? Or about a cartoon? This is all about unequel power relationships.


What is there to think? Violence is something that an immature child or medically unstable person resorts to.

Pictures of whatever it may be, should not be taken offensively.


I understand your point but I don’t think we should think that EVERYBODY will. Some people are most sensible to some topics and we should care about that. Also, hiding racism behind “humor” is very disgusting.

It’s like those people making a racist statement, if you react on the wrong way, they just tell you it’s a joke.

I think it all depends on what the author has in its mind. If the humor is a reflection of what he think (and maybe don’t want to say it), it’s bad.

But if it is to point out a problem by making it ridiculous, that’s OK. I think people can quickly spot the difference.


not in agreement with that characterisation but the 2nd point is not far off from arguments video game and movie makers use.

Video games do not cause violence – but makers do need to think about it There is no compelling evidence that games cause real-life bloodshed, but the industry must address its attitude to guns and conflict, or risk being drowned out by fearmongers

Charlie Hebdo was, and continues to be, a complete win for freedom of speech in Western democracies.

Freedom of Speech means all speech, outside of that which constitutes slander, libel, or assault. You have the freedom to be offended by what someone says… but every other world religion has become tolerant towards those who lob insults at their faith, it is high time that the those who subscribe to Islam get with the 21st century and laugh a little.

A loosely moderated place to ask open ended questions

If your post is

  1. Open ended
  2. Not offensive

it’s welcome here!

  • 0 users online
  • 57 users / day
  • 117 users / week
  • 253 users / month
  • 438 users / 6 months
  • 1411 subscribers
  • 387 Posts
  • Modlog