News and Analysis (1/9/15)

The policeman “killed by hooded gunmen on the streets of Paris while he begged for his life, is [a Muslim] originally from Seine-Saint-Denis, a suburb outside of Paris. He had been working for the French police for eight years”:

“How satire is handled is a question of how vulnerable the people in a culture and in power feel…. However, it is one thing to make a joke about a rich man or a powerful man who slips and falls. It is something entirely different and not funny to make a joke about your poor old grandmother slipping and falling”:

“[H]ow does one counter offensive words/images? Had the shooters in Paris actually bothered opening the Qur’an, they would have known about ‘repel evil with something that is lovelier'” — Omid Safi …

… so whence the idea that Islam opposes freedom of expression? Saudi Arabia has spurned pleas from its longstanding US ally to “cancel [its] brutal punishment” for what Amnesty International calls “daring to create a public forum for discussion and peacefully exercising the right to freedom of expression'”:

“Remarkably, a salesman has told how he shook hands with one of the suspects when they arrived at the printing business, thinking he was a police officer because he was heavily armed and dressed in black. The man, named Didier, said the gunmen told him: ‘Go, we don’t kill civilians'” …

… meanwhile, “[p]ressure is mounting on the French authorities to explain how Islamic extremists were allegedly able to carry out the deadly attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, despite being well known to the intelligence services”:

“The saying ‘There is no such thing as a dumb question’ may not apply here”:

“The president’s spokesman has denied that the jobs were formally offered. But a source close to President Ghani said the government should be drawn “not just from the two teams, but from all parties in Afghanistan”:

“I cannot speak for Jesus, but I can quote his teachings and he said, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’… How would he react to me playing Jesus? He wouldn’t judge it…. [P]laying this part highlights his teaching in a very nice way”:

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