[January 9, 2015
“This struggle will not be won by arms” – A legacy of Charlie Hebdo (Dangerous Drawings)
In February 2006 “Charlie Hebdo” was among the few papers, which avowed “Je suis Jyllands-Posten” and courageously decided to reprint the excommunicated Muhammad cartoons of the Danish journal. A month later the cartoon magazine published the much disputed manifest of twelve noted writers against Islamism, among them Salman Rushdie and Philippe Val, the former chief editor of “Charlie Hebdo”.
The bottom line: Zero tolerance towards any kind of totalitarism. Here is the text in full:
“After having overcome fascism, Nazism, and Stalinism, the world now faces a new global totalitarian threat: Islamism.
We, writers, journalists, intellectuals, call for resistance to religious totalitarianism and for the promotion of freedom, equal opportunity and secular values for all.
Recent events, prompted by the publication of drawings of Muhammad in European newspapers, have revealed the necessity of the struggle for these universal values.
This struggle will not be won by arms, but in the ideological field.
It is not a clash of civilisations nor an antagonism between West and East that we are witnessing, but a global struggle that confronts democrats and theocrats.
Like all totalitarian ideologies, Islamism is nurtured by fear and frustration.
Preachers of hatred play on these feelings to build the forces with which they can impose a world where liberty is crushed and inequality reigns.
But we say this, loud and clear: nothing, not even despair, justifies choosing darkness, totalitarianism and hatred.
Islamism is a reactionary ideology that kills equality, freedom and secularism wherever it is present.
Its victory can only lead to a world of injustice and domination: men over women, fundamentalists over others.
On the contrary, we must ensure access to universal rights for the oppressed or those discriminated against.
We reject the cultural relativism which implies an acceptance that men and women of Muslim culture are deprived of the right to equality, freedom and secularism in the name of the respect for certain cultures and traditions.
We refuse to renounce our critical spirit out of fear of being accused of Islamophobia, a wretched concept that confuses criticism of Islam as a religion and stigmatisation of those who believe in it.
We defend the universality of the freedom of expression, so that a critical spirit can exist in every continent, towards each and every maltreatment and dogma.
We appeal to democrats and free spirits in every country that our century may be one of light and not dark.”
Signed by: Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Chahla Chafiq, Caroline Fourest, Bernard-Henri Levy, Irshad Manji, Mehdi Mozaffari, Maryam Namazie, Taslima Nasreen, Salman Rushdie, Antoine Sfeir, Philippe Val,Ibn Warraq
(Source: BBC NEWS)
“One can laugh at everything, but not with everyone” (Charlie Hebdo-Cartoon reprinted by English Pen)
A Plea for disrespect
“Religion, a mediaeval form of unreason, when combined with modern weaponry becomes a real threat to our freedoms. This religious totalitarianism has caused a deadly mutation in the heart of Islam and we see the tragic consequences in Paris today. I stand with Charlie Hebdo, as we all must, to defend the art of satire, which has always been a force for liberty and against tyranny, dishonesty and stupidity. ‘Respect for religion’ has become a code phrase meaning ‘fear of religion.’ Religions, like all other ideas, deserve criticism, satire, and, yes, our fearless disrespect.”
Salman Rushdie, January 7, 2015 (Source: English Pen)