Not really a lot can be said about this that’s not already been said. How exactly these three Jihadi’s thought, that by killing a bunch of cartoonists, they were striking a blow for Islam (rather than providing the French National Front with some excellent PR material), is difficult to fathom.
However, as the widowed partner of the editor has pointed out, this could have been prevented, had the police or authorities taken the matter a bit more seriously. Furthermore, to all the journalists sticking pencils in the air and saying Je Suis Charlie, ya and why was Charlie Hebdo singled out for attack? Because the rest of the journalistic community were too chickshit scared to respond to the death threats against Jyllands-Posten and didn’t join them in re-printing the cartoons of Muhammad. So all this pen waving and sloganeering is really just an empty gesture.
To me the obvious response is a show of solitary. Too give the two fingered salute to these Wahabbists. Every media outlet in the Western world should either post the cartoons of Muhammad from 2005, or perhaps the more recent Muhammad cartoons from Charlie Hebdo.
Of course, I suspect the chances of this are pretty low, already several of the UK media outlets have actually mentioned that they weren’t going to publish the cartoons. Like I said, an empty gesture. One is reminded of the bit from Germany during the 1930’s first they came for the Jews and I said nothing because I wasn’t Jewish, then they came for the trade unionists and I said nothing because I wasn’t a trade unionists….
And incidentally, to any Muslims who say they are offended by images of Muhammad, well two points. Firstly, its far from clear that publishing images of Muhammad is actually offensive (or even insulting him), there are many from history, published by Arab scholars (why don’t the Jihadi’s work on a time machine so they can go back and blow up these guys? :))) or more recently from Iran. Also, the gist of why Islam discourages images of the prophet, is because this represents Idolatry. In essence, you’re supposed to be praying to Allah, not to Muhammad (who is merely the messenger). And of course murdering journalists (or blowing up mosques, or murdering Muslim women & children, as Isis regularly get up too) while screaming prayers to Muhammad, is about as insulting and anti-Muslim a thing you can do.
In short, Muslim’s have got bigger fish to fry right now than a few cheese munching cartoonists. As I see it, what’s going on in the world right now is that there has effectively been a Schism within Islam between Saudi Wahhabism and the traditional more tolerant brand of Islam practised by most.
And if of course you are a Wahhabist, and you dislike this western concept of “free speech“, perhaps you should consider immigration to Saudi Arabia. You’ll love it there, no offensive cartoons, no women drivers, women all forced to go around practically wearing a tent (even if it means preventing kids from leaving a burning school because they have no veil on), no free speech…although you might want to keep you’re opinions to yourself…and I mean don’t even type them into anything electronic or share them with friends or relatives…unless you want to disappear into some hole in the desert some night. And keep in mind that while the Saudi authorities like to pay others to launch terrorists attacks abroad, they get a bit stropy if any Jihadi’s bring their work home with them.
The lone gunmen
A more worrying line of debate is to ask the question of who is behind this. While I know they police are chasing two of three suspects, the attackers seem a little too well equipped and the attack a little too well planned for what we normally expect from the amateur wannabe jihadi’s. I’m reminded of how it seems eerily similar to the attacks carried out in the cold war by professional terrorists, such as Abu Nidal or Carlos the Jackal, often acting under the pay of various Middle East regimes.
Take the matter of the weapons used. Needless to say, getting ones hands on a AK-47…or a rocket launcher, ain’t exactly easy in the West, this ain’t Texas! Even in the seedier parts of Paris asking for such weapons is going to get you more than a raised eyebrow in response. There are certainly criminals who will sell such weapons (or so my friends from Liverpool tell me ;D). But they generally wouldn’t sell to Jihadi’s, as terrorists will of course inevitably use such weapons in a way all but guaranteed to draw the attention of the authorities, leading to an awful lot of heat being brought down on our villain, the sort of attention underworld types usually try to avoid (just ask Ched Evans!).
Now, I’m sure you throw enough money at some underworld villain, they’d sell you their first born kid and/or grandmother. However that’s my point. The sort of money and resources they’d need to pull this off, suggests someone was picking up the tab or helped smuggle guns into the country. Which suggests we’re dealing with a bit more than our lone gunmen. And the fact that Charlie Hebdo had published a cartoon of the leader of ISIS just a few hours before the attack does perhaps point the blame in a certain direction. although as always, I’d defer judgement until all the facts are in.
But sufficient to say, its very likely that if it turns out that the leadership of an Arab state (or those protected by such a state) were involved in this incident, then this could well represent an act of war, against not just France, but all its NATO allies. In short, I won’t be surprised if the oil price starts creeping up again soon.
Speaking of which…
And least we forget the only reason why the Saudi’s, a corrupt feudal despotism, is in a position to export terrorism, is because of its other great export oil. Getting the world off oil, through greater energy conservation, improved public transport (96% of UK’s oil is consumed powered transport), encouraging alternative fuelled vehicles and renewables. This would, in the long term, strike a much harder blow against Whabbism than waving pens in the air…or smart bombing the crap out off some impoverished third world state.