Bernd Matthies was certainly not in top form when one year ago he wrote in the German newspaper, Tagesspiegel, that there may be an element of truth in the accusation that the slain editor of Charlie Hebdo, Stephane Charbonnier, was a stubborn blockhead who steered his editorial staff to their deaths. To start off the New Year fresh, the Tagesspiegel republished that article on January 2, 2016 at 15:37 pm, nearly a year after the murders. How tasteful. Reason enough to respond again.
Bernd Matthies explains, that the magazine editors „contributed to the escalation“ by reacting against „any protest, any threat and finally the 2011 arson attack with even sharper ridicule“.
This accusation resembles the charm of a dirt bag who remarks that women instigate rape by not dressing more modestly. Or as the ideological killers of Charlie Hebdo see it: women must be veiled and covered in public! However, Bernd Matthies takes the cake with this statement:
„The brutal attack would most likely not have happened if Charbonnier had decided rather to focus his satirical attacks on the French government, on Marine Le Pen or other powerful key policy makers.“
It goes without saying that Marine Le Pen was mocked by Charlie Hebdo more than Mohammed ever was ridiculed – as proved by this image -, which illustrates the fact that criticizing Marine Le Pen is not nearly as dangerous as criticizing Mohammed. Bernd Matthies is thus insinuating that Islam is worse than the National Front. In other words, Charlie Hebdo was slaughtered by terrorist defenders of “moral values” for less satirical attention. Bernd Matthies concludes, that those who „decide not to infringe on existing religious feelings are far from being foes of freedom of the press. They can indeed be friends of reason.“
So, those who bow down to killers are deemed reasonable. Fascists who just burned down a refugee center would love that kind of coddling. A neo-Nazi from Heidenau couldn’t have formulated it better:
„Whoever decides not to infringe on existing German nationalist feelings is far from being a foe of freedom of the press. That person can indeed be a friend of reason.“
The right to ridicule is a human right, especially when directed against the powerful. With more than 1.6 billion Muslims in the world and several countries with Sharia-based laws, Islam is one of the most powerful ideologies in the world! Criticism – even stinging mockery, especially in regard to the brutal and inhuman crimes committed in the name of this religion, even on the part of Islamic governments, is practically a downright obligation! Kurt Tucholsky wrote:
„The satirist is an offended idealist: he wants the world to be good, but it’s bad, and so he runs up against the bad.”
Nearly one hundred years later, Bernd Matthies explains that the idealism of idealists can be reason for murder, claiming the idealism which “Charlie Hebdo promoted was perhaps false“. To paraphrase a response in the sense of Kurt Tucholsky:
When Charlie Hebdo makes a good joke, half of Germany sits on the sofa and along with no less Islam, takes it badly. Satire seems to be a thoroughly negative thing. It says: „No!“ A satire that promotes the subscription of war bonds is not humorous. Satire bites, laughs, whistles and beats the foot soldier’s drum against everything that is stagnant and unresponsive. Does Charlie Hebdo exaggerate? Charlie Hebdo must exaggerate; satire is, in its deepest nature, unjust. It inflates the truth. But deep in the typical German there is the unfortunate habit to act not as an individual, but to think and present oneself in a social class, as a lobbyist, and woe, should you step on the toes of one of these collective interest groups whose conceitedness swells into delusions of grandeur. The German satirist dances between classes, confessions, local institutions and occupational groups a perpetual egg dance. It is certainly a graceful dance, but can get somewhat tiresome. True satire cleanses the blood, and those with healthy blood also have a clear complexion. What is satire allowed to do? Everything.
That’s why I quote Stéphane Charbonnier, who was murdered on January 7, 2015 along with many other journalists at Charlie Hebdo, because according to Bernd Matthies, they were foolish idealists.
Laugh, For God’s Sake.
Paint a glorious Muhammad, you die.
Draw a funny Muhammad, you die.
Scribble an ignoble Muhammad, you die.
Make a crappy film about Muhammad, you die.
Resist against the religious terror, you die.
Lick the fundamentalists‘ ass, you die.
Take an obscurantist for an idiot, you die.
Try to debate an obscurantist, you die.
There is nothing to negotiate with fascists.
The liberty to laugh without any reserve has been given to us already by law, the systematic violence of the extremists gives it to us, too.
Thanks a lot, you assholes.
– Stéphane Charbonnier (1967- 2015)
Dear Charb, thank you for your idealism, your courage and your sense of humor. If only you were still alive. Rest in peace, you asshole!
(Translation: William Wires)