Earlier today, 12 journalists at the French satirical magazine Charlie Hepbo, were murdered by terrorists angry that the publication had mocked their religion.
Salman Rushdie released the following statement, which seems perfectly apt:
Religion, a mediaeval form of unreason, when combined with modern weaponry becomes a real threat to our freedoms. This religious totalitarianism has caused a deadly mutation in the heart of Islam and we see the tragic consequences in Paris today. I stand with Charlie Hebdo, as we all must, to defend the art of satire, which has always been a force for liberty and against tyranny, dishonesty and stupidity. ‘Respect for religion’ has become a code phrase meaning ‘fear of religion.’ Religions, like all other ideas, deserve criticism, satire, and, yes, our fearless disrespect.
His words may offend and affront some of my Muslim friends. Nonetheless, he’s right. Freedom of expression demands no less.