The complex debate on Freedom of Speech sparked off by the Slaughter of the Satirists in Paris notwithstanding, Muslim societies need not seize upon the many instances of the West’s double-standards some (Western) commentators have cited to bring perspective and a sense of proportion into a runaway and feverish celebration of the nuts and bolts of liberty. Whether uttered in outrage and indignation, or in apologetic solidarity with victims in whose bullet-riddled forms one may tragically belatedly see a betrayal of the tenets and ideals mistakenly associated with “noble” and “lofty” “missions” and “movements,” the words of a French philosopher said to be dominating the cyber world these days may be dramatic in content but are a poor match for the earthy wisdom of some unsung wit: you cannot right a wrong by committing yet another wrong.
But among the stray questions bound to be troubling many minds would be why the Paris magazine, acute and perceptive as satirists usually are, even bothered with lines and curves when flesh-and-blood blasphemy sits astride the Muslim world, sometimes donned in clerical garb and sometimes in battle-gear reminiscent of its glories of blood and state. News from the Muslim world is too eloquent a critique on beliefs and doctrines warped and twisted out of shape by motivated and sponsored scholarship, faulty research, and ulterior intentions – occasioned almost without fail by the most ungodly of pursuits in humankind, that of power over others – to warrant further ridicule.
Perhaps, the bursts of misplaced and misdirected mirth could have been somewhat averted had the Muslim world divined in time the seeds of destruction sown in its midst, nearly everywhere on the globe, and risen to question and challenge their propagators rather than unhesitatingly swallow the bilge being offered for salvation. Reverence would not have come under ridicule had interlopers not been given a free run.