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Catholic League Facing Criticism For Blaming Charlie Hebdo For Terrorist Attack

Lost in much of the coverage of the terrorist attack on the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo is that the publication targeted religions other than Islam for ridicule. One of the religions that faced some of the most mockery was Christianity, especially the Catholic Church.

So perhaps it should be all that shocking that Bill Donohue of the Catholic League reacted to the news that cartoonists for Charlie Hebdo had been killed with thinly veiled satisfaction. Saying the paper had a “disgusting record” Donohue issued a press release on behalf of the Catholic League saying Muslims had the right to be angry with the cartoonists.

What unites Muslims in their anger against Charlie Hebdo is the vulgar manner in which Muhammad has been portrayed. What they object to is being intentionally insulted over the course of many years. On this aspect, I am in total agreement with them.

Stephane Charbonnier, the paper’s publisher, was killed today in the slaughter. It is too bad that he didn’t understand the role he played in his tragic death. In 2012, when asked why he insults Muslims, he said, “Muhammad isn’t sacred to me.” Had he not been so narcissistic, he may still be alive. Muhammad isn’t sacred to me, either, but it would never occur to me to deliberately insult Muslims by trashing him.

The response to Donohue’s statement has been overwhelming negative. Reasons for offense vary from the timing, the near-gleeful tone, blaming the victim for the crime, and making a false moral equivalence between killing someone and insulting someone.

Donohue’s animus for the paper is no mystery, Charlie Hebdo often criticized the Catholic Church for its behavior related to pedophile priests – a criticism that usually took the form of graphic depictions of priests and other religious figures of the church including different Popes. The paper also depicted and mocked Jesus Christ at various times.

What Donohue actually wants to see happen in the aftermath of the terrorist attack in Paris is never made explicit but it is by no means a stretch to infer that Donohue wants to see critics of religion and those that publish their criticism to self-censor when it comes to words or images that might be offensive. He’s already getting his wish.

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Catholic League Facing Criticism For Blaming Charlie Hebdo For Terrorist Attack

Lost in much of the coverage of the terrorist attack on the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo is that the publication targeted religions other than Islam for ridicule. One of the religions that faced some of the most mockery was Christianity, especially the Catholic Church.

So perhaps it should be all that shocking that Bill Donohue of the Catholic League reacted to the news that cartoonists for Charlie Hebdo had been killed with thinly veiled satisfaction. Saying the paper had a “disgusting record” Donohue issued a press release on behalf of the Catholic League saying Muslims had the right to be angry with the cartoonists.

What unites Muslims in their anger against Charlie Hebdo is the vulgar manner in which Muhammad has been portrayed. What they object to is being intentionally insulted over the course of many years. On this aspect, I am in total agreement with them.

Stephane Charbonnier, the paper’s publisher, was killed today in the slaughter. It is too bad that he didn’t understand the role he played in his tragic death. In 2012, when asked why he insults Muslims, he said, “Muhammad isn’t sacred to me.” Had he not been so narcissistic, he may still be alive. Muhammad isn’t sacred to me, either, but it would never occur to me to deliberately insult Muslims by trashing him.

The response to Donohue’s statement has been overwhelming negative. Reasons for offense vary from the timing, the near-gleeful tone, blaming the victim for the crime, and making a false moral equivalence between killing someone and insulting someone.

Donohue’s animus for the paper is no mystery,  Charlie Hebdo often criticized the Catholic Church for its behavior related to pedophile priests – a  criticism that usually took the form of graphic depictions of priests and other religious figures of the church including different Popes. The paper also depicted and mocked Jesus Christ at various times.

What Donohue actually wants to see happen in the aftermath of the terrorist attack in Paris is never made explicit but it is by no means a stretch to infer that Donohue wants to see critics of religion and those that publish their criticism to self-censor when it comes to words or images that might be offensive. He’s already getting his wish.

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Dan Wright

Dan Wright

Daniel Wright is a longtime blogger and currently writes for Shadowproof. He lives in New Jersey, by choice.