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Ján Tiliki
NSK
Recent Activity
I was hoping you’d post something about this, although I was also hoping it would decisively clarify things for me and it hasn’t. My attention was brought to Charlie’s bomb via a Facebook post by Teju Cole that came across my feed. Teju wrote that: “Now, the people of Charlie—who in my view were simultaneously the victims of a terrifying, unspeakable crime, and the producers of an antic and gross publication (nothing wrong with that) that was at the same time deeply prejudiced—finally step away from the mask of ‘it's satire and you don't get it’ to state clearly that Muslims, all of them, no matter how integrated, are the enemy. “Historical analogy can be tiresome and too easy, but sometimes it's the sharpest thinking tool around. Reading this extraordinary editorial by Charlie, it's hard not to recall the vicious development of ‘the Jewish question’ in Europe and the horrifying persecution it resulted in. Charlie's logic is frighteningly similar: that there are no innocent Muslims, that ‘something must be done’ about these people, regardless of their likeability, their peacefulness, or their personal repudiation of violence. Such categorization of an entire community as an insidious poison is a move we have seen before.” “Read the piece yourself—don't just react,” he urged. “Read the piece and think through who you wish to be in relation to the kinds of arguments it presents.” So I did. I saw no clearly stated claim that “Muslims, all of them, no matter how integrated, are the enemy.” I saw no logic presented according to which “there are no innocent Muslims” and “that ‘something must be done’ about these people.” But I wasn’t left with a clear and certain sense of what it was that the author (Riss, as I now know) was really saying. I looked for commentary, and found that others shared my lack of certainty about what’s really being said or meant with this editorial. A blog post at “Harry’s Place” says that “[w]hile some frame it as a piece about the dangers of accommodationism others interpret it as an attack on all Muslims as potential fifth columnists.” One commenter said: “I thought the editorial was either poorly written or poorly translated (my French is not good enough to know). An editorial should not be like poetry open to many interpretations… An editorial is an essay that is a statement of opinion. I came away from it scratching my head, and wondering what the opinion of the author was. To me, that is not good writing, or it is a bad translation.” Another said: “Isn't it saying that none of these Muslims is personally guilty of trying to undermine French culture? They're just doing their thing, and in doing so shifting the ground.” I'm still not sure what to think.
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Apr 10, 2016