Today from Salon, which is usually slavish in its efforts to fete and appease Islamist extremists, comes news that a British Islamic organization decided to name Charlie Hebdo as their Islamophobe of the Year. You may recognize Charlie Hebdo as the Parisian magazine which was subject to the tender mercies of Islamic extremism earlier this year.
The organization’s chairman’s chutzpah is matched only by his humorlessness — the sneering humorlessness that is so oddly characteristic of Islamic extremism. In his remarks on his “award,” he unwittingly made a good point that begs a huge question: “The reality is that this is a satirical thing and if people think Muslims should be on the receiving end of satire, then why cannot Muslims give it, too?” (bolding mine)
Yes, yes, a thousand times yes. Why don’t Muslims satirize Westerners right back?
After all, white people are (to put it mildly) low-hanging fruit when you need somebody to make fun of. Just ask Dave Chappelle. Or even Louis CK. If this Islamic group, or any other, wants to make a comedy magazine, website or standup routine making fun of Western white people, have them give me a call: I can provide them with enough anecdotes just from my own life to give them material for a decade.
What’s more, I would welcome it. To live in a multicultural society, where all humans have a natural inclination towards racism and bigotry, we need an escape valve to air our grievances at each other, and humor is the most obvious example. White people need to be called out on their bullshit, and a funny bit does it better than a hundred overly serious op-eds.
But humor is an alien concept to extremists, Islamic or otherwise, as is self-reflection. So to this Islamic man, being on the receiving end of satire is literally the same thing as being on the receiving end of a bullet, as the above quote makes clear. Because he literally cannot comprehend comedy, and because he takes himself and his religion way too seriously, Massoud Shadjareh really feels that making fun of Islam (as opposed to Christianity, which the magazine made fun of too) is a capital offense and that the artists and writers at Charlie Hebdo deserved to die.
Now, there is a French Islamic “comedian” named Dieudonné, but the scare quotes are well-deserved: he is mostly known for anti-Semitic and anti-West rants that don’t even attempt to be jokes. Like a Nazi Germany comedy magazine, he mistakes sneering for being funny, and is incapable of understanding that hate is wholly incompatible with humor. Because of this, he and Shadjareh both see Charlie Hebdo as hate speech because they truly cannot perceive it as anything else. Their souls are just that benighted.
And no, comparing Dieudonné with Nazi “humorists” does not count as Godwinning for the simple fact that Dieudonné is literally a Nazi sympathizer. He invented a salute known as the “quenelle,” which is a barely-disguised Nazi salute (the real thing being banned as hate speech) which he and his many followers use to taunt Jews. It even found use with Neo-Nazis. Dieudonné of course denies the quenelle’s meanings, probably because of European hate-speech laws, but as a New Yorker article notes, it’s hard to take his denials seriously when he also makes “jokes” about the gas chambers.
Islamic extremism is fundamentally in opposition to Western society and cannot coexist with it peacefully. Don’t take my word for it — they tell us this themselves every day. Note that this is as opposed to Christianity, which went through the Reformation and Counter-reformation, as well as the Enlightenment, to make it (mostly) compatible with secular society… as well as more amenable to humor. I’m guessing that previously, the Spanish learned not to make too many stabs at humor when Torquemada was in earshot.
Reformation is also possible with Islam, as Ataturk demonstrated — but as today’s rulers in Turkey make plain, Muslim extremists seem interested in going the other way, towards further and further ignorant religious zealotry, always offended by something and always raging at the Jews, rejecting secularism with every fiber of their beings. And it will get worse every single year until Europe is swallowed whole into a new Dark Ages. There is no stopping it, but we don’t have to aid and abet it the way the sniveling PC crowd does, and kudos to Salon for allowing the occasional breach from their usual editorial stance to decry the encroaching night.