This is not an excuse it’s offered to show what made Cherif Kouachi and his brother do such a terrorist type attack on the soul of France. It like most things that deal with the Middle East, has a history and Cherif Kouachi’s history began with Abu Ghraib; you know that awful part of American history we’d much rather forget and which has been sanitized by media because it was so inhumane and dastardly. The pictures revealed weren’t even the tip of the iceberg; there were some far more brutal that dealt with rape and bestiality of prisoners…..men, women and children. In fact they are so bad that the Obama administration has refused to release the remaining ones for fear they would inflame public passions and spark an international outcry. Abu Ghraib is something we want to forget but the people of Iraq…..God bless them and those who went there like Cherif Kouachi aren’t probably going to forget anytime soon. Oh forgive, no doubt, American largesse will make them but those like Cherif who aren’t likely to partake in the purchased conspiracy of silence aren’t going to.
We have this illusion that we, America can do no wrong…that we are the beacon of light for civilization and if we do anything criminal it’s for a greater good or could never equal what others far more barbaric and uncivilized than us could do. We’re good at setting up false equivalences, but Kouachi no doubt heard it all when he was in Mesopotamia in 2011 and he seethed. We’ve written about France a lot here on the pages of Miscellany101 and how it’s false claims of liberty and equality are nothing more than sticks they used to beat secularism into their subjects…..Christian, Muslim or Jewish. For Muslims however there has been a steady eroding of rights to practice their religion, especially for women, like nothing seen since the days surrounding World War II. That fact no doubt also had a lot to do with Cherif’s destructive anger; unemployed and living with or knowing women who might have felt hampered by their government to practice their religion was enough to make him teeter on the edge….until he saw these..
As you can see they vary in obscenity and many of you depending on your daily diet of murder, mayhem and pornography probably don’t find any of them offensive. I remember back in the day when the crucifix was submerged in a bottle of what was said to be urine and many people in government were up in arms about that and wanted to cut funding to the arts. No, it’s not the same thing as what happened in France, not even close, but it underscores the fact that people are entitled to have their religious figures, symbols respected. Now lest you think I’m trying to make excuses, I tweeted before even seeing these cartoons ‘Did they have the right to publish the cartoons? Yes. Are they offensive? Yes! Should Muslims protest and create acts of violence? No!’…..and quite frankly I stand by that position but before you go off all high and mighty about the right to free speech, think about what you would do if someone willfully posted pictures of your beloved family member for all the world to see and claim to do it in the name of freedom of speech…..