Well, It Happened Again

I was going to make this a blogpost about potential negative consequences of plundering Egyptian gold.

I can’t do that now.

Which isn’t that bad, all things considered, because this morning, 12 people died for being satirists or defending satirists. One of them, an injured cop, was killed not because he presented a threat or had actually committed the horrible crime of satire, but because his killer wanted him dead.

Said killers, by the way, were Muslims, who were going after the satirists because they satirized Islamic things.

The outpouring of support for those attacked is gratifying, from both the sane and those who bear the responsibility of keeping the citizenry safe. There is spine in the West yet. Also, the willingness of local Muslim groups to speak against such events is, shall we say, a relief.

What is not gratifying is the responses I’ve seen by those who bear no responsibility, and are using this event as hobbyhorse fodder. There are those who would make it an issue about Obama and whatnot, before the bodies have finished cooling all the way.

Hang that.

The man may not share your vision for what makes America great, but both of you agree that this sort of thing should not be borne. Get out and take your politics with you. Come back later, and we’ll talk, because you might be trying to deal in root causes (albeit poorly). But this is not the time to do so.


There are also those who believe that the satirists at least sort of had it coming.

“That said, caricature and satire ARE NOT the right ways to argue against the claims of Islam or any other religion. We may have the freedom to use those tools, but the flippant exercise of that freedom does not make our message effective.” (Source: comments section of this article)

Hang that.

This isn’t about communications methods or constructive engagement. This is about people responding to their religion being satirized by shooting the satirists. You want to talk about the messaging problems the West has talking with Islam, fine, you might be trying to get to root causes, albeit poorly. But now is not the time to do so.

Now is the time for France to mourn its dead, for the writers to toast the memory of their fallen brethren, and for all to resolve opposition to the mentality required to kill a man for satirizing your faith, or members therein.

As something of a writer, therefore, I propose a toast to the people who, despite having been firebombed, did as they thought was proper. To the satirists!

‘Til next time,

Lowell Van Ness


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