THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 811, March 1, 2015
Live Long. And, Prosper!
Special to L. Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise
Not too long ago a few Islamic extremists took it upon themselves to murder ten staff members of the controversial French newspaper, Charlie Hebdo, for showing an unflattering cartoon of their beloved Muhammad. This wasn't the first time that the paper found itself clashing with radical Muslims for petty insults against their prophet. This time the clash resulted in a blood bath.
There are two things about this incident that really make my blood boil. One of them is the murderous band of cowards who probably wouldn't have the gonads to pull the same thing in a country where people are allowed to pack heat. What infuriates me even more are the people who seem to justify the actions of these nutjobs while blaming the victims. The logic of these people makes me want to punch holes in the wall. They say things along the lines of "These people should have known better than to poke the bear" or they use the old cliché "I'm all for freedom of speech, but you can't yell fire in crowded theater."
I think I will begin with the whole "poking the bear" analogy. A bear is an animal that is ruled by a predatorily instinct to shred its prey. It doesn't have the same ability to use logic and reason as humans do. Those murderous bullies had the ability to use logic and reason, but they refused to use it. Saying that the murder victims brought it on themselves is like telling a rape victim that she deserved what happened to her because she shouldn't have dressed like a slut. As for the part about yelling fire in a crowded theater that is a bad comparison on so many different levels. For one thing I hate that cliché since it is the favorite analogy of every freedom hating statist. Even if I thought the analogy was valid, it is completely asinine to compare something that would only serve to create chaos with a group of journalists exercising their natural right to criticize a group of religious zealots.
My biggest disappointment actually comes from the Catholic Church (something that I thought I would never hear myself say). It's not to say that I haven't I had my share of differences with the church as I have with every other religion, but there have been times when I have sided with them on certain issues (see Missing the Point article). What I expected their representatives to say is "How dare you cowards murder in the name of your prophet. We will never bow to your will." Instead it was more along the lines of "try not to make the Muslims mad." First we have Bill Donohue of The Catholic League, who not only repeated the whole blame the victim mantra, but he also preached about using self-censorship. He wasn't calling for government censorship, but he was basically saying that we should make sure that we don't say things that may offend people (especially radical Muslims). Anybody who would say something that absurd is somebody who has zero understanding of what free speech actually means.
Then we have the big man himself, Pope Benedict XVI. He told his followers that we can't insult other religions without expecting the same blowback that one would get from him if we insulted his mother. To be clear, he basically compared a radical Muslim's reaction to his prophet being insulted to that of punching somebody in the face if that person insulted somebody's mother.
First of all his holiness should understand that there is a big difference between punching somebody in the nose and then mowing him down with an AK-47. Second, from a libertarian prospective that analogy is flawed because we believe in a little thing called the Zero Aggression Principle, which prohibits any initiation of force. This would include punching someone in the face over a petty insult. Once you throw the first punch, you become the aggressor and you forfeit any moral high ground that you may have had.
This isn't the only issue that I have had with this particular pope. On top of bending over backwards to appease a group of psychopaths, he is also a wannabe climatologists who supports the alarmist view of climate change. Not to mention that he hates capitalism, the very thing that has lifted millions of people out of poverty. The same people that he claims to care about, while supporting wealth distribution, the very thing that usually makes people poorer. Now he basically wants to give religion (especially Islam) immunity from criticism. Some would say that it's okay to criticize religion as long as it is done in a nice fluffy way. What they don't realize is that a psychotic fundamentalist isn't going to be able to tell the difference between legitimate criticism and an inflammatory insult. Blaming those journalists for their own deaths, actually distracts from the real issues that were actually responsible. France as well as many other countries in Europe have allowed people from various Islamic nations to immigrate. Unfortunately the bad apples that have followed these immigrants aren't particularly interested in assimilating, but have instead created their own territories where they implement Sharia Law and ban all non-Muslims. Not even police or firemen are welcomed in these territories. Recently the French government blasted Fox News when they reported that police and firemen were prohibited from entering Muslim zones. They said that these zones didn't officially exist and they even threaten to sue Fox News for slander.
Sadly, Fox News recanted their previous statements and apologized, instead of fighting for the actual truth. While there may not be any official Muslim zones, there are definitely territories in Europe that radical Muslims have carved out for themselves, where they show so much hostility towards non-Muslims that even police and firemen are told to enter at their own risk. I'm sorry France, but those zones do exist. It's not Fox News' fault that you guys have managed to live up to your own stereotype by allowing foreign invaders to walk all over you.
What also enabled these raving fanatics were France's gun laws. I find it ironic that this incident inspired Liam Neeson to go on a rant about America's gun laws (for some reason), when it was France's gun laws that not only failed to stop these raving fanatics from obtaining fully automatic AK-47's, but also put those brave journalists at the mercy of those murderous psychopaths. Not even the police were allowed to carry firearms, which also made them easy prey when they had the misfortune to come across the Islamic hit team as they were making their escape.
Before I get any emails accusing me of being an Islamophobe, I realize that these extremists represent only a small portion of Muslims throughout the world. However, you still have to acknowledge that these extremists do exist and that there are enough of them to create designated Muslim zones. The point that I am trying to make is that we should never bow to the will of anything that threatens our freedom, whether the threat is political or religious. While I may not have agreed with everything that Charlie Hebdo had stood for, I can definitely say that those journalists had more courage than any of those politically correct cowards could ever dream of having. I remember seeing all of those moving pictures of protestors holding up signs that said "I am Charlie Hebdo." Personally I think everyone needs to become an infusion of Charlie Hebdo and the snake in the "Don't Thread on Me" flag.
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