Critical Inquiry shares the universal outrage felt by decent people all over the globe (including 99% of Muslims, the Palestinian movement known as Hamas, and the broad range of political opinion in the U.S. and abroad. Two things we DO NOT SHARE: 1) the timorous response that blames the victims and the satirists themselves for having offended radical Muslims. They deserve to be offended. Their actions invite universal condemnation, and are inexcusable. 2) the right wing reaction that tries to use this terrible event as an excuse for even more erosion of civil liberties, more calls for police and state surveillance of whole populations, and more expressions of hatred for Islam, as if these acts were somehow a natural outgrowth of this great religion. They are not, and the completely betray the spirit of Mohammed.We also want to commend cartoonists and intellectuals like Joe Sacco and Robert Crumb and Slavoj Zizek, who have taken up the only real armor against fanaticism and violence, namely the great tools of satire. Long live the right to offend, and to be funny! We offer the following links to these artists and writers, and welcome our readers to suggest more.
W. J. T. Mitchell, Editorhttp://www.theguardian.com/world/ng-interactive/2015/jan/09/joe-sacco-on-satire-a-response-to-the-attacks2/3/15 UPDATE: To continue the discussion of the Charlie Hebdo affair, we recommend the following essay by Alain Badiou http://www.versobooks.com/blogs/1833-the-red-flag-and-the-tricolore-by-alain-badiou