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Charlie Hebdo: Informational terrorism

10.11.2015 15:23

Valeriy Asrian

French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo has done yet another scandalous thing, which by its cynicism and immorality surpassed all previous samples of unattractive creativity of this French magazine with long-ago tarnished reputation. The crash of the Russian airliner in the sky over Egypt, which killed more than 220 people, shocked millions of people around the world. But this tragedy has caused quite a different reaction, within Charlie Hebdo's office becoming subject to ridicule and bullying.

Its not the first time this magazine "jokes" about the victims of tragedies and disasters. This summer, after the discovery of the first fragments of the missing Malaysian jet in the Indian Ocean Charlie Hebdo artists published a cartoon  showing body parts of flight attendants and pilots of the disappeared Boeing. And in September, the staff of the magazine again provoked a scandal by posting a caricature of a drowned Syrian boy, which, according to many, has clearly overstepped the bounds of what is permitted. However, the main principle, followed by the magazine has long been clear: everything that generates income is moral, even mockery of human grief, if it can be a means of gain.

"Charly Ebdo's recent cartoons" - are another example of immoral self-promotion and shameless money making from others' misfortunes and tragedies," - said the head of the international committee of the Federation Council of the Russian Federation Konstantin Kosachev. "You can not expand the boundaries of what is permitted, by breaking the limits beyond which lies unacceptable disregard for moral values, indifference to suffering and blatant journalist rudeness," - he stressed.

Vladimir Putin's press secretary, Dmitry Peskov sticks to the same opinion. He said that "the publication of cartoons about the Russian airliner crash in Egypt by Charlie Hebdo has no relation to democracy, nor to self-expression." "In our country, such things are called by a very capacious word - blasphemy" - said Peskov.

Peskov also commented on the sharp criticism of caricatures by Russian deputies. "The State Duma expresses opinions of our legislators ... such a strong reaction of the State Duma suggests, an absolutely emotional and essential rejection of such pranks. Such magazines as Charlie Hebdo, are absolutely out of place in our social system, our multi-national, multi-religious country," - he said, noting that he's not "to judge the morals of the French, as its  probably their care."

But it seems that the country that gave the world its great humanists and enlighteners of the eighteenth century - Rousseau, Voltaire, Montesquieu - doesn't care much. And the harsh lessons do not teach them anything. After all, as recently as January of this year, the editorial office of Charlie Hebdo was attacked after publishing cartoons of Prophet Mohammed. Two intruders broke into the office and opened fire. 12 people were killed, including two policemen.

Shortly after the attack on the journalists a hashtag #JeSuisCharlie became popular in social networks. The slogan became extremely popular: it appeared on the front pages of French publications, homepages, Facebook prifiles, shop windows and on clothes. French President Francois Hollande and other European leaders took to the streets of Paris, decorated with #JeSuisCharlie icons. Would they say that now, after such blasphemous prank by Charlie Hebdo?"

Thankfully there are no such people in Russia. And Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Maria Zakharova, commenting on the publication of immoral cartoons related to the collapse of the Russian aircraft A321 in Egypt, wrote on his page in Facebook: #JeNeSuisPasCharlie (I'm not Charlie).

"Know why am I not Charlie?"- She said. - Because, in my opinion, they are fooling us and themselves by claiming that their humor is not taboo. If it was so, then the caricature of the Syrian dead child could be understood (not accepted, but understood.) But on one condition only - if the day after the terrorist attack in Charlie editorial office they would have released an issue with a caricature on their fallen comrades." "In this case, those journalists' work would remain a dangerous provocation, but at least it would be seen by the rest world," - said the representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry.

It's impossible to see at least a semblance of an ideology from Charlie for the simple reason that they do not have any. No "philosophy" in our sense of the word, and most importantly, there is no morale. And, as the editor in chief of Charlie Hebdo Gérard Bear admitted, the concept of "blasphemy" is unknown to the tabloid. In an interview with the Russian service of Radio France Internationale (RFI) radio station Bear said he did not understand the reasons for criticism, voiced in Russia after the publication of this edition of the caricatures for the Russian plane crash victims in Egypt.

"I just don't understand. We are a secular, democratic and atheistic newspaper. The concept of blasphemy is irrelevant for us. We comment on the news, just as  other magazines do," - said Bear. He claims that the scandalous pictures were not published to make fun of the victims. "There are no caricature characters in this cartoons. We are just commenting on the event and share our view on it. And we do it every week."

Such a common, everyday and even routine work, and there is nothing special in it, nor offensive to someone. So noone should be offended by this "innocent prank" of this "secular" magazine Mr. Bear is convinced. And the French Foreign Ministry spokesman Romain Nadal, apparently thinks the same. Commenting on the publication of Russian airliner caricatures in Charlie Hebdo, he stated that "in France, journalists are free to express their opinion, and the French authorities have nothing to do with them." It seems unlikely that he would have made such a statement, if any French satirical magazine had allowed itself "to mock" with "funny" cartoons over the murder of John F. Kennedy or the memorable attack on New York twin-towers on Sept. 11, 2001. Well, because at this time Russians became the victim of the tragedy, French authorities can, in the apt words of the head of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, hide behind the fig leaf of democracy.

Thinking about all this, you come to a sad but obvious conclusion: we do not understand the logic and moral principles nor journalists (meanwhile, are they truly journalists, or would it be more correct to name them "information terrorists?") from Charlie Hebdo, or those who think their dirty, shameful job is some kind of "freedom of expression". After all, following their logic, we must recognize that nothing is sacred, permissiveness has no boundaries and one can sneer at anything, especially if it is profitable.

An idea comes to mind: maybe James Cameron, who shot "Titanic" was supposed to make this ocean liner's death not a catastrophe-film, a tragedy, but an easy, fun comedy, humoristically showing as hundreds of people drowned in the icy waters of the Atlantic in agony, screaming for help? That would be "Charlie Hebdo style" - which doesn't seem wrong and reprehensible neither with the editor in chief of this odious publication, nor the French Foreign Ministry spokesman, who, in fact, has taken this hediousness under protection.