Je Suis Charlie, but I Am Vigilant

January 13, 2015 § 2 Comments

(This text has initially been written for the French-speaking Mozilla Community. Most members of the community haven’t had a chance to review or sign it yet.)


I am Charlie. Some of us grew up with Cabu’s children cartoons or Wolinkski’s willies. Some of us laughed at Charb’s cover pages, others much less, and yet others had never even heard of Charlie Hebdo. Despite our differences, from the bottom of our heart, we are with those who defend Free Speech, the right to discuss, draw, make laugh or cringe.

I am a Cop. Some among us work directly with law enforcement, or ensure the online safety of individuals or organizations. Some of us make their voice heard when legal or executive powers around the world decide that security, convenience or economic interests matter more than the rights of users. All, we salute the police officers murdered or wounded these last few days as they attempted to save innocents.

I am Jew, or Muslim, or Anything else. Some among us are Jew, or Muslim, or Christian, or anything else, and, frankly, most of us don’t care who is what. All, we are horrified that, in the 21st century, extremists may still decide to murder innocents, solely because they might be Jew, and because they had decided to go the grocery store. All, we are appalled that, in the 21st century, extremists may still decide to attack innocents, just because they might be Muslems, through threats, physical violence or through their places of cult. All, we are shocked whenever opportunists praise murders or violence, or call for hatred or the ones or the others.

I am Collateral. Before we are the Mozilla Community, we are a community of individuals. Any one of us could have been at the front desk of this building, or on the path of that car, hostage or collateral kill of the assassins. Our minute of silence is for the anonymous ones, too.

I am Vigilant. Some of us believe that strong and immediate measures must be taken. Others prefer to wait until the emotion has passed before we can think of an appropriate response. All, we wait to see how the attacks of January 7th and January 9th 2015 will change our society. All, we remain vigilant, to make sure that, on top of the blood of the dead, our society does not choose to sacrifice Human Rights, Free Speech and Privacy, in the name of a securitarian ideology or opportunistic economical interests.

I am the French-speaking Mozilla Community.

Text edited by myself. List of signatures of the French version.


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§ 2 Responses to Je Suis Charlie, but I Am Vigilant

  • don says:

    I wonder, what your actions were while France and the USA and other Europeans were bombing Libya for 7 months in 2011? Or the France helping the despicable and disgusting American government occupy Afghanistan for 13 years. I wonder how often did the puerile cartoon daily mock that bombing?

    Probably not at all. And to be quite honest, Charlie Hebdo did not dare mock and make fun of Jews in thh same general or even specific way, because the French state practices censorship for the Jews but not Muslims.

    In short there is no challenge to the unnecessary murderous actions of the French state or of Jews. If I am wrong, as I am not a reader of that cartoon, them please correct me.

    • yoric says:

      Well, it is quite clear that you haven’t been reading Charlie Hebdo, and that you don’t know French law.

      If you believe that Charlie picked on Muslims, you have been sorely misinformed, possibly on purpose. Charlie Hebdo has been mocking the actions of the French government since its founding. Some of the murdered cartoonists have been mocking these actions at least since the 60s, in the time of the war in Algeria. They mocked everything that they felt needed derision, which included successive governments, the army, extremists from all major religions, religions themselves and religion in general. If you do not believe me, please feel free to search for the archive of Charlie cartoons, you can certainly find at least the front pages easily on the web, these days.

      The French state, despite its faults, does not apply different laws to Jews and Muslims. Free speech guarantees, among other things, that you can mock any religion, as much as you want. The only laws that limit free speech, if I recall correctly, are laws on hatred and defamation. The former forbids from preaching hatred, calling for violent action or praising violent actions against a person or a group, regardless of origin or religion. The second forbids from accusing someone in public without proof. Both Jews and Muslims are entitled to free speech and protection through the laws on hatred and defamation.

      Unfortunately, the recent string of murders have made it easy for people who actually hate Muslims to disguise hate speech or defamation as anti-terrorist speech. You can thank the murderers for that.

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