most of the political leaders who led the “free speech parade” in Paris (pictured above) had long records of suppressing free speech, and few of these new free speech crusaders uttered a word as the free speech rights of Muslims have been assaulted and eroded throughout the West in the name of the war on terror. What was driving this love of Charlie Hebdo was approval of the content of its cartoons: specifically, glee that it was attacking, mocking, and angering Muslims, one of the most marginalized, vulnerable, and despised groups in the West.
The proof of this was delivered yesterday. Charlie Hebdo published a characteristically vile cartoon depicting drowning victims of Hurricane Harvey in Houston as being neo-Nazis, with the banner that declared “God Exists”: because, needless to say, white people in Texas love Hitler, and it’s thus a form of divine justice if they drown.
That led to a virtually unanimous tidal wave of condemnation of Charlie Hebdo, including from many quarters that, just two years ago, were sanctifying the same magazine for its identical mockery of Muslims. Yesterday’s assault on white sensibilities also led many people to suddenly rediscover the principle that one can simultaneously defend a person’s free speech rights while expressing revulsion for the content of their speech.