What Freedom?

Photo Credits: Arnold Jeong ex-managing director, Quill
The recent attack on French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo was, in words of the French President Francois Hallande as translated by BBC world radio a ”direct attack on freedom of press.” The killing of four very popular cartoonists including the editor in chief Stephane Charbonnier points out that the assault was carefully thought off, planned and sadly, well executed.

Press all over the world, national and multinational alike, have condemned the attack. One of the interviewee on the radio, who happened to be a journalist himself, called it “war on freedom of speech and on democracy”

He has a point. The jihadists made that all too clear.

In the heat of the moment, it’s hard to think clear and be enraged how these “innocent” cartoonists were massacred at their own headquarters. However, if you step back and look at it, you might want to question if they were actually asking for it. The magazine and the cartoonists have been at the end of extremist’s rage a quite few times now and the presence of policemen guarding the magazines front door explains all too well that the cartoonists were under protection.

But then what’s a hand gun in front of an automatic?

While I am all up for freedom of speech and freedom of press and freedom of other sorts, the fact that press themselves have to state and restate that they have freedom shows insecurity in such belief. It is almost like someone who just blew up his own leg and kept telling himself that it’s OK when quite frankly, it’s not. Time and again and again it has been shown that freedom does come at a price.

Yes, people have the right to say what they want to say, publicize mockery of people and established, well-funded and armed fundamentalist institutions. Yes, they have the right make cartoons of stuff that are ultra-sensitive but what appalls me is why people cannot think sensibly for once. You do have the right to write and express and make cartoons of what you feel is correct but if the people who you intend to mock don’t have the sense of humor (and that they made that clear), what’s the f**king point?

Like how Einstein's clich├ęd quote put it, it’s insanity, isn’t it? Why do the stuff again and again and again and get yourself threatened when all you, in the end, want to do is lead a better life.

As a former student journalist, I condemn the act of terrorizing journalists for doing their job but I equally condemn the act of making fun of individuals or institutions who have absolutely no sense of humor.


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