This was my response to “je suis charlie” a year ago after the Charlie Hebdo shooting in France.
I find these calls for “freedom of expression” and “freedom to offend” so hollow and hypocritical. All these people pining for blasphemous cartoons to be published have nothing to lose because they are either not religious or are a religious minority and feel the pressure to conform to the dictates of the secular establishment. If these people were real “freedom of expression” purists, instead of going for the easy target, they would advocate for the dissemination of something that really offends them, things that go against mainstream liberal secular values.
You want to know what is really blasphemous in this post-religious age? Let’s see cartoons that denigrate women or their intelligence, cartoons lampooning the disabled, cartoons from the Westboro Baptist Church, anti-gay cartoons, cartoons that depict the President and other elected officials as pedophiles and sexual deviants, cartoons that mock military personnel as cowards, cartoons that insult the memory of Katrina victims, etc.
How willing are people to see these kinds of cartoons in the NYT or Newsweek? Of course, I am not really advocating for such filth because I am consistent and don’t buy into hollow liberal ideology and empty slogans like “freedom to offend,” etc. But, my point is, until you are willing to see something that you find truly vulgar and utterly despicable plastered everywhere for you, your children, and your family to see, don’t tell me “je suis charlie” or whatever.