Following the ISIS-led terrorist attacks on French satirical publication Charlie Hebdo last year, there was a slight awkwardness to the groundswell of support. The #JeSuisCharlie hashtags and impassioned missives on the importance of free speech and political humor just barely covered an uncomfortable truth: Charlie Hebdo kind of sucked. When their humor wasn’t outright offensive, it was just juvenile. Nevertheless, offensive and juvenile humor is just as worthy of protection as Shakespearean poetry, so the world rallied.
But last week, Charlie Hebdo made a serious withdrawal from the trove of goodwill they’d spent the past year mustering with an editorial titled “How Did We End Up Here?” that confirmed the suspicions of its harshest critics. Charlie Hebo’s cartoons depicting the Islamic prophet Muhammad and various well-known Muslims in degrading, humiliating situations isn’t just some kind of fancy French satire that other countries just don’t get. No, Charlie Hebdo just really believes that extremist terrorism is “the end of a philosophical line” for Islam.
The editorial itself puts the spotlight on various non-extremist Muslims to show how even they, though seemingly innocent, contribute to attacks like the one in Brussels from last month. For example, in discussing famed Muslim professor Tariq Ramadan, the editorial said:
Tariq Ramadan is never going to grab a Kalashnikov with which to shoot journalists at an editorial meeting. Nor will he ever cook up a bomb to be used in an airport concourse. Others will be doing all that kind of stuff. It will not be his role. His task, under cover of debate, is to dissuade people from criticising his religion in any way.
Ramadan, it bears noting, condemned the attacks on Charlie Hebdo.
The editorial also discusses a “local baker” who, even though he’s “likeable and always has a ready smile for all his customers,” nevertheless contributes in his own way to extremist terrorism by not selling any pork at his bakery. And Charlie Hebdo‘s editorial proclaims that “this veiled woman. She is an admirable woman” who is also unknowingly contributing to extremist terrorism by wearing the burqa. And so on. These regular, innocent Muslims are, to quote the editorial, “the tip of the iceberg” and terrorism can’t happen “without everyone’s contribution.”
The article was widely condemned across the Internet.
Charlie Hebdo, to be fair, also blames terrorism on Muslim bakers who don’t include ham in their sandwiches. Wish I were joking.
— Max Fisher (@Max_Fisher) April 2, 2016
Wow: this Charlie Hedbo editorial. It’s pretty horrible. https://t.co/Avl6yoAX2I
— Soledad O’Brien (@soledadobrien) April 3, 2016
Nigerian-American writer Teju Cole took to Facebook to write a terrifically reasoned critique which is worth reading in full, but said in part that it was:
“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.”
Jason is the cofounder of the iconic non-profit Invisible Children which was founded to increase awareness of the horrendous activities of the LRA in Central Africa. Jason was also the director of the iconic Kony 2012 film that took the world by storm. In this two-part interview Jason and Branden talk about what it means to create a movement, what Jason experienced during his breakdown and subsequent recovery, and Jason’s experience in the world of theater.
Aharon Rabinowitz is the head of marketing for Red Giant based in New York City. During our conversation, we discussed the importance of work life balance, his start as a production intern at Sesame Street and why artist’s feel personally offended when you reject their work.
United gets their cheap on, fake news, and Trump hired who?
Welcome to Episode IV. This week, Dan spends some time with his favorite singer/songwriter, Matthew Perryman Jones. Matthew and Dan talk about panic attacks, growing up in Atlanta, the way music is informed by pain and suffering and the way music gives freedom.
If you have spent any time watching television in the last decade you have most likely heard one of Mattew’s songs on shows like Grey’s Anatomy, Pretty Little Liars, One Tree Hill and many others. His insightful writing and voice have drawn comparisons to Leonard Cohen and Jeff Buckley, and he is on the short list of songwriters who skillfully weave the deeply philosophical and the vivid utterly human without ever losing sight of either.
To get his new album Cold Answer, (which features the three songs from him you heard on this episode), visit MPJmusic.com.
Branden sits down with writer and speaker Tyler Huckabee days after Donald Trump was elected President of the United States to talk about empathy, justice, listening, and where we go from here.
Special Election Edition, President Trump to legalized weed and everything in between.
This week we reflect on the election and discuss our strategies for staying sane.
Luca and Ilenia are the founders of Illo, a studio based in Turin, Italy. During our conversation, we discussed their self-driving video bot named Algo, how Illo was formed and how they’ve crafted a unique office culture.
This week we discuss Beyonce’s night at the CMAs, last minute election plans and how SNL might save us all.
We appreciate everyone sticking with us through this long hiatus but are planning our return even as we speak, with a bunch of new goodies and an updated format. In the meantime, here’s a brief primer on Marvel’s Sorcerer Supreme, Doctor Strange — just so you can go into the movie knowing what you’re getting yourself into.