Well, what there is to say about the massacre yesterday at the offices of Charlie Hebdo, the French satirical magazine that has been publishing it’s particular brand of provocative satire — “very French,” I am told — since 1970.
The first thing that I note is that this incident is at the heart of what this blog is about: the intersection between politics and religion. And it could not intersect more badly than it did yesterday in Paris.
Second, it’s hard to know who has less of a sense of humor: Islamic fanatics or the North Korean elite. The North Koreans, at least, only responded with a cyber-war, and one where they apparently left a messy trail of clues leading right to their doorstep. The militant Islamic brothers involved in this slaughter — Said and Cherif Kouachi (and their 18 year old accomplice Mourad Hamyd, who has already turned himself in) — took it well beyond just cyber-warfare. They got into the real thing.
Apparently they were shouting “Allahu Akbar” (God is Great) after their acts, but it should be beyond dispute that their God is not great. He is the same God as Yahweh, the war God of the Israelites, who became the God of Abraham, the God of Jesus, and eventually the God of Mohammad. This is a jealous and petty God, a God obsessed with being worshiped because he was afraid of the pantheon of Pagan Gods who had been in competition with him before he became the God of the “chosen people” in the time of Moses. And apparently he REALLY can’t take a joke. A couple of provocative cartoons is too much for this God to take.
Cartoonists? Seriously? This is a “victory” for Islam, to gun down some cartoonists?
The more one reads about God, the more one knows about this God, the God of Abraham, the God of the Jewish, Christian and Muslim religions, the question for me doesn’t become why we don’t worship this petty, nasty, insecure God. The question for me becomes, why anyone would.
He’s despicable. As are the sociopathic nut jobs who committed this crime in his name. They have achieved something, alright. They will galvanize the French public in their anti-Muslim sentiment and drive an even bigger wedge between the Western and Eastern worlds. “God” help us all!