When intolerance clashes with intolerance, violence ensues

Following yesterday’s terrorist attack against the satirical magazine “Charlie Hebdo”, we are witnessing some rather cynical attempts to sacralize the victims and to instrumentalize their death. But though we do not hesitate to condemn the attack (as we would condemn any such act, no matter by whom and against whom it is committed), we are wondering whether having been murdered is really so meritorious as to confer an aura of sanctity to the four caricaturists and their work.

The following has been posted on the website of the European Humanist Federation, a group that wants to “build a secular Europe for all” (including, as it appears for those who do not want this brand of “secularism”…):

In the face of the horror and the hatred, we feel deeply saddened but also a profound anger.
We strongly condemn this ferocious attack against freedom of expression and freedom at all and express our deep solidarity to those who continuously and bravely defended our core democratic values with their drawings and words.

With all the defenders of democracy and fundamental liberties, we offer our sincere condolences to the relatives and families of the victims.

Satirizing and mocking religion is sacred. In face of violence, we call everyone to use their words, drawings and voice to defeat obscurantism.

Pierre Galand
President of the European Humanist Federation

Henri Bartholomeeusen
President of the Centre d’Action Laïque (Be)

Quite interesting: the same group that falls into a fit of spittle-flecked hysteria when a crucifix or a nativity scene is exhibited in a public place or when a prayer is said in a class room considers this to be the expression of “our core democratic values”:

This is what EHF views as a brave expression of “our core values”…

Is this really conducive to a peaceful co-existence of people with different world-views and beliefs??

The tolerance EHF are advocating is obviously rather lop-sided: there must be tolerance for any kind of pornography or vulgarity in conjunction with religious themes, but there can be no tolerance for religious world-views. It all follows a pattern’ doesn’t it? And their main conclusion, printed in fat letters, is of course that “satirizing and mocking religion is sacred”. In other words, trampling on what is sacred to other people is what is sacred to EHF. Could there be any better self-exhibition of that group’s fundamental intolerance and spitefulness?

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