Some Reflections on Satirizing Religion at Charlie Hebdo

I sure wish the West wasn’t strutting its stuff by magazines that make satire of someone else’s sincerely held beliefs as their claim to fame. I understand the dynamics and appreciate Charlie Hebdo’s insistence on satirizing Islam in light of fatwas. But I can’t go there and feel good about what I become in that process.

This doesn’t mean we do not satirize Islam in intelligent and appropriate ways. But the gratuity of it all does not sit well with me. I have read Salmon Rushdie’s “Satanic Verses,” which also earned him a fatwa. I thought it was appropriate and proportional.

In general, I am not bothered by the attempts of many in the secular West to disparage my faith. It just passes me by. Let them have their say and make their claims. I think Muslims should let it be. But intentionally taunting a religion doesn’t seem to have much rational value and in general leads to no good place. Is this how the West values its liberty? Many very sincere and peaceful Muslims who reject idolatry are unnecessarily scandalized and pained.

BTW, Charlie Hebdo recently had fired a journalist for anti-Semitism. And it is against the law in France to deny the Holocaust. Hebdo does have limits. They just don’t seem to apply to Muslims.

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