I have been following the news about the massacre of 12 people in the french satirical newspaper “Charlie Hebdo” in Paris two days ago. We are now being told that the terrorists who committed this horror have been killed after being holed up in some small town north of Paris. Allegedly, they were offended by the graphic cartoons depicting Mohammed and followers in unflattering ways. We know this because the Charlie Hebdo office has endured many threats and was fire-bombed in 2011. Unflattering might be an understatement. I have not seen the cartoons, only heard descriptions by journalists who debate the ethics of publishing offensive and possibly xenophobic material.
If the cartoons satirize religion and not an ethnic group, then I say satirize away. I imagine that god, in my version of god, would strongly encourage that all religions need a good shake-up on a regular basis. That goes for politics, which is very much like religion. You can never have enough freedom of expression, analysis, debate and and especially satire when it comes to these denizens of power.
I was in Paris a few months ago with my daughter. Viva la France. Viva liberte.