‘Freedom of speech’ has become so obscured that the slightest joke or opinion needs to be judged and addressed in a violent over exposed way and splashed all over the media.
In recent events, the media has been following the Charlie Hebdo newspaper attack. An incident when freedom of speech might have been stretched too far.
In France, the newspaper Charlie Hebdo is known to print rather provocative or risky cartoons. In most recent issues, targeting Muslims and drawing pictures of Muhammad with ill-mannered messages.
Instead of addressing Charlie Hebdo newspaper and voicing their concerns, two terrorists cowardly took matters into their own hands and went into the news room expressing their anger, killing 12 members of the newspaper staff.
Since this horrific act of terrorism, Charlie Hebdo newspaper decided to release another cartoon addressing the terrorists. The drawing consisted of a tearful Prophet Muhammad, who is holding a sign that read, “Je suis Charile” meaning “I am Charlie.” With the words above him saying, “Tout est pardonne” meaning “All is forgiven.”
Some found the drawing as a way for the reporters of the newspaper to cope and to express their feelings the best way they knew how. Others found the picture demeaning and blatantly offensive while still trying to poke fun of the Muslim prophet after such a tragedy.
The cartoon has become the hot topic of discussion in the media. Newspapers and blogs, such as the New York Time, The Washington Post, Buzzfeed, etc. were deciding what to do with this new found information and how to present it in such a manner they feel comfortable with.
The decision on whether to post the drawing or not resulted in split decisions. Medias wanted to make sure not to diminish their own image in the process. The New York Times decided to address the controversy of the drawing; however, decided not to post the picture. Buzzfeed put up a few previous Charlie Hebdo cartoons on their online news site that addressed Muslims, as well as Charlie Hebdo’s newest controversial cartoon.
Buzzfeed discussed in an article on how other newspapers decided not to take part in displaying the image and why. The ones that decided to steer clear of the drawing called it an ‘editorial decision.’
Is the world so far from peace that cartoons and light hearted remarks are under constant threat of violent retribution and death?
A joke is meant to be joyous, a matter of opinion and something to never be taken seriously. Some people might not get the humor of Charlie Hebdo but no one is forced to view the content. Charlie Hebdo’s cartoons are in good fun in an attempt to address a point in a humorous way and not to be taken seriously. The world has become an overly aggressive place where no one can take humorous jokes anymore.
Zineb El Rhazoui, a surviving columnist at Charlie Hebdo magazine voiced her opinion on the people negatively addressing the cartoons.
“I would tell them it is a drawing and they are not obliged to buy this edition of Charlie Hebdo if they don’t appreciate our work. We are only doing our job, we don’t violate the law. Our friends died because of small drawings, because of a joke, but what happened to us was not a joke,” Rhazoui explains.
Not everyone shares the same opinion on a topic and everyone has a different sense of humor. Bottom line; ignore it and get over it. People are the way they are and rarely change. Others can attempt to change the way people view things but normally end up wasting everyone’s time.