Thursday, February 23, 2006

French Bravery

According to this article by Theodore Dalrymple in City Journal the Frence press is showing more gumption in standing up to Islamic fanatics than the American Media, who continue to remind me of Bob Hope in his old movies where he would pretend to be brave, but end up hiding behind the skirts of his leading lady.

Check this out:
This time, the French have put the British and Americans to shame. From the outset of the crisis over the Danish caricatures, they have vigorously defended the right of free expression, unlike the British and Americans, whose pretence that they “understand” Muslim outrage has fooled no one and given the fanatics the (correct) impression of weakness and lack of conviction—and thus encouraged them.

Two French satirical weeklies with Voltairean aplomb, Le Canard Enchaîné and Charlie Hebdo, have published a series of cartoons mocking the Islamists and their beliefs as they deserve, with a courage and frankness almost entirely missing from the British and American media.

Charlie Hebdo’s front page, for example, has Muhammad, grimacing with his hands over his eyes, saying: “It’s hard being loved by all these idiots.” On the next page, Muhammad looks at the Danish cartoons and says, “It’s the first time the Danes have made me laugh.”

[ . . . ]

A Muslim association tried in the French courts to have Charlie Hebdo banned, but the courts firmly rejected the request, and the edition sold out quickly. The two papers have inflicted a humiliation on the Islamists, in the best possible way, by exposing their intellectual nullity to withering scorn. No one can accuse the two papers, either, of racism, xenophobia, or any of the other crimes of lèse-PC, since they criticize and mock everyone (who deserves it) without fear or favor.

Go read the whole thing and offer up a cheer to the French publications: Le Canard Enchaîné and Charile Hebdo. It makes me wonder what Bill Gaines and Al Feldstein would have done during this whole mess if they were still at the helm of MAD Magazine.

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