Twelve people dead in a planned shooting spree is something that needs to be mourned. It doesn’t need to be dissected and analyzed. The perpetrators need to be caught.
And we need to see what’s really happening.
Charlie Hebdo is being called a satirist magazine. Along the lines of what The Onion is. But Charlie Hebdo would only wish it could be The Onion. Scratch at the surface, and really you don’t even need to do that, and you find a magazine filled with racist jargon. Charlie Hebdo likes to bait and they like to make stereotypes that are so far over the top it’s hard not to see it as racist.
Organizations like Charlie Hebdo and political parties like Front National and even the Republican Party in the United States and the Conservative Party here in Canada play right into the playbook of Al-Qaeda. As a point of reference, those organizations and political parties are allies of Al-Qaeda without even knowing it.
By putting forward racist commentary, by trying to push through legislation that targets immigrants, by tightening security and restricting freedoms in the name of security, these right wing organizations are doing Al-Qaeda a big favour.
Al-Qaeda is manipulative, and they have a target; young men. During the recession in North America, it was easy to convince young men of Muslim faith and Middle Eastern ancestry to “join the cause”. There was little faith in the dollar, unemployment was growing as job creation began to stagnate, and there was an incredible feeling of loss and hopelessness for a time among the working class and poorer classes in the United States and Canada. For Al-Qaeda this was easy pickings.
Young men of the Muslim faith were already disenchanted (along with the rest of us) regarding the capabilities of the government and it’s ability to pull us out of the recession. Couple that with the fact that many right wing politicians were finding it safe to publicly say things against Muslims and use a broad brush to paint every Muslim in a bad light, and you’ve suddenly found targets to “join the cause”.
The same can be said in France. An extreme right wing party in Front National that has said disparaging things against Muslims, previous legislation which banned the burka and a racist magazine parading itself as satire under an umbrella of free speech and you’ve got a good recipe for Al-Qaeda to start recruiting.
The right wing media in the west will continue with it’s grand standing against all things Muslim and repeat how evil such a religion is without even mentioning that Islam, Christianity and Judaism all have their roots in the same religion (they are the three Abrahamic religions). Which will only give more fuel for Al-Qaeda to recruit more young men to it’s cause.
But I’m not going to use the phrase “Je suis Charlie” because I’m not going to ally myself with a racist magazine that hides under an umbrella of free speech. I’ll ally myself with the 12 dead, with their families and loved ones.
But not with Charlie Hebdo.