Je ne suis pas Charlie Hebdo (I am not Charlie Hebdo)

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The Paris Unity March -- author asks about consequences of satircal "attacks" on Islam by Charlie Hebdo

While millions gather across the world to condemn the senseless violence which have left at least 17 people dead in Paris, it may be prudent to pay close attention to the reaction to this terrorist act.

As a journalist, I am always concerned about how things are "spun," not so much from the right-wing, but how the liberal press reacts to events that surpass their knowledge of history.

Immediately following the attacks, the entirety of Islam was faulted and condemned after some of the press labeled the killers as "Islamic terrorists," as though the religion is to blame for the murders of the people who worked at Charlie Hebdo, neglecting the history of the region which has seen the systemic de-stabilizing of the region beginning with the Crusades to the colonization of northern Africa and the so-called Middle East, to George W. Bush's foray into Iraq and Afghanistan.

The chickens are coming home to roost.

How many of us remember Franz Fanon, The Battle of Algiers and France's brutal suppression of the Arab population and the promotion of Islamophobia? It is France which has tried to ban Islamic dress codes while driving the Muslim population from living in Paris proper.

And while the media has framed the assault on Charlie Hebdo as an attack on free speech and has described the magazine as "satirical" and attacking "all religions" equally, upon closer examination you will see there is no equivocation of their satire of religious groups.

By all accounts, the satircal "attacks" on Islam by Charlie Hebdo far outweighs their attacks on Christianity and Judaism. In fact, one reporter was fired from the magazine because he would not apologize for what was considered an anti-Semitic remark. So much for free speech at the irreverent and irrelevant magazine.

Meanwhile, here at home, Fox News, as usual, has tried to link the deaths to President Obama and is "shocked, I say, shocked" by the attack on the fundamental right of free speech.

However, when it comes to the rights of Black people to protest, to assemble and free speech, not a mumbling word is said. Fox's solution is, of course, to step up surveillance and to militarize the situation while attacking Islam as a whole.

This is a significant historical moment. The sentiment of the masses of people is the condemnation of terrorism as a losing strategy, while the sentiment of the ruling classes is for more suppression of those who question their authority.

And it is their control of the media that is aiding and abetting this suppression by "manufacturing consent"; by taking the murders out of historical context to justify their intrusion into our lives and the militarization of our policing efforts.


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