TODAY'S PAPER
Overcast 64° Good Morning

Inoffensive

Jihadists
Taking offense at Charlie Hebdo for putting another drawing of you-know-who on its latest cover was fine. But it’s hard to square the idea that criminals who are responsible for brutally massacring and enslaving other humans in the name of religion are somehow so very, very sensitive about comic art.

Drawings of Muhammad

Muhammad
Some people simplistically divide the world into “us” vs “them.” Like terrorists for instance.

Free speech

Speech
The statement “I may not agree with what you say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it” is attributed to the French philosopher Voltaire. Until this week, the old saw seemed just a figure of speech, but now it feels chillingly literal. The Parisian killings won’t change the work of cartoonists, but they’ve changed everything else.

Not as it seems

Charlie
I have many moderate, freedom-loving Muslim friends who have expressed to me their abject fear of what could happen to public sentiment in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo murders. Already the #JeSuisCharlie tag is beginning to morph grotesquely into a de facto right-wing French nationalist rallying cry against Muslims. There are 1.6 billion Muslims in the world, almost all of whom have done nothing wrong. It’s extremely important to remember that.

Shoot

Charlie Hebdo
I draw this with a heavy heart over the loss of colleagues in a day of barbarism in Paris. Cartoonists create art that sometimes offends. And readers freely respond, sometimes offensively with calls and letters. That’s a vital part of the sacred compact of sharing ideas and expression that fundamental to our civilization. It has taken us far from the medieval world that some wish to return to.