News and Analysis (1/11/15)

From the ninth century al-Jahiz and the 13th century Mullah Nasreddin to today’s Azhar Usman (of the “Axis of Evil” Comedy tour fame),  Muslim satirists have an honorable history, but they target themselves and the powerful, not the helpless, the oppressed, or the sacred symbols of minorities …

… “While one can defend the right of satirists, government officials, and philosophers to espouse such beliefs, … in the case of cultural production, context always matters. Destructive policies cannot be pursued successfully without the vocabulary and imagery of racism and hatred of the other”:

“I feel an immense sadness but above all anger…. [W]hen we’re in disagreement we respond to art with art, to wit with wit. We never respond to a drawing with blood. No! Never. These victims are martyrs, and I shall pray for them with all my heart” — Imam Hassen Chalghoumi:

“Charlie Hebdo has a right to publish whatever it wants[, even] … images … reinforcing racial and religious hierarchies. In a country where women’s headgear is legislated, religious expression is curtailed and a former prime minister calls minorities ‘scum,’ what Hebdo does seems like bullying”:

“[H]e ushered about 15 people into the basement room after the gunman burst into the shop. He then turned off the power and the lights” but when he left the basement “he was placed in handcuffs “for an hour and a half, … but eventually … help[ed] the authorities plan … liberate the hostages”:

“I will persevere even harder to learn more about my faith so I can counter misunderstanding and discrimination in a positive manner, the way Prophet Mohammed did it'”:

“Palestinians also gathered in Hebron in the West Bank on Saturday, the Jerusalem Post reports. ‘This is a stand alongside the French people, who usually stand by the Palestinians,’ said Anwar Abu Aisha, head of the Hebron-France Association for Cultural Exchanges” …

… and “Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said what he called ‘takfiri terrorist groups’ had insulted Islam more than “even those who have attacked the messenger of God through books depicting the Prophet or making films depicting the Prophet or drawing cartoons of the Prophet'”:

“Bertelsmann Stiftung[‘s] in-depth study on Muslims in Germany … found that while the vast majority of the country’s 4 million Muslims identify with German democracy, the population at large regards them with suspicion…. 61 percent of Germans don’t believe Islam is compatible with life in the West”:

“The judge said she was struck that Mustafa referred to the kidnappings without remorse, saying, ‘We didn’t know it would be that bad.’ She said it was as if ‘you were remarking on a day that had rain when you thought there would be sunshine'”:

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