Satire is a sort of glass, wherein beholders do generally discover everybody’s face but their own.
– Jonathan Swift
Another day that shocks the world. The assault in France on the Charlie Hebdo office was all over the news today and understandably. Another attack in the heart of Europe. The comparisons with Utoya where soon made ofcourse. After having just read the book of Asne Seierstad on Breivik, the events hit me hard.
In fact, I just received an e-mail from Asne Seierstad, who I wrote to thank her for the book, when I picked up the news on TV. Men shooting and shouting things in what seems Arabic? Hard to say, I don’t know these languages very well. The acts are like a shard of ice in the heart though.
A police officer is gunned down with what seem to be assault rifles. He is on the ground, writhing in pain. When one of the shooters approaches him in a rapid stride, he shouts something to the man and holds up his hand in a gesture of futile defence. Without even slowing down the gun is raised on the run and the officer is shot in his head. Another dead to avange the prophet Muhammed, who was mocked in a cartoon by the Charlie Hebdo magazine.
The magazine had actually been assaulted before, which only made the resolve stronger of the editors to say what they felt they should say in the voice of satire. Excersising one of the basic rights that we value so dearly in the western world. Sure, they went pretty far and we know that the muslim community (pardon the generalization) is not too understanding of what satire actually is. Still, you don’t see this coming. Or did we? It clearly hurts, regarding the massive respons to the hashtag #JeSuisCharlie.
The officer was shot in the head for a drawing, for a funny drawing of the prophet of Islam. So where 11 other people, amont them editor Charb and other well known writers for the magazine. Why? To avenge their God, apparently. “We have avenged our prophet!”. Now, I’m familiar with the bible and I’m told the Quoran has similarities. If there is a God, which I’ll gladly leave to everyone to decide for themselves (this is also a right), then God is in the view of these religions an omnipotent God.
If God is omnipotent, then I think he can avenge himself pretty easily on this puny human cartoonist. If God is omnipotent and vengeful, he knows what to do about it. This is after all the God that drowned everyone, so he knows how to do some ‘avenging’. God does not need anyone to do his avenging for him, which is the actual core message to take from all those holy books. You know what God can’t do? Make you love another, feel pity for another and make you forgive. That is the only thing he (again, hypothetically) can’t do for you.
I find myself thinking that the sword needs to be fought with the sword sometimes. It’s hard to see any good in this world as it is. I feel so sorry for the people left behind after these murders, so sorry for the families and children, friends and all around them who now face these holes. I also pity the gunmen, whose hearts are filled with hate. A hate I doubt they understand.
I hope in time they’ll find forgivenes, that we find forgivenes, because hate only feeds hate. That we find enough compassion to grant everyone the freedom to speak, believe and do what they will.
I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it. – Voltaire (attributed)