In response to the Charlie Hebdo terror attacks

Published January 16th, 2015 by Bobby Henderson


The P.A.S.T.A Foundation wrote this article in response to the Charlie Hebdo attacks titled In Defense of Religious Satire. I like it, a lot of great points in here:

As the world continues to reel from the vicious terrorist attack that left 12 dead at the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, for some in the West the inevitable finger pointing and blame game has already begun. In one corner, right-wing blowhards attempt to smear the entire Muslim faith of over 1 billion people with the heinous acts of two fanatics. While in another corner, politically-correct ninnies minimize the horrible killing of these writers and cartoonists by referencing the paper’s history of “xenophobia, racism, sexism, and homophobia” and claiming the publication somehow “provoked” the violence from Islamic extremists.

Both of these reactions are an affront to civil society. We cannot blame the whole of the followers of Islam for the actions of a group of marginalized individuals. Painting with this broad-brush point of view is a major contributor to the ease with which an entire society can label Muslims as “the other”. It’s this mentality that helps support military imperialism and the wholesale torture and killing of people in far off countries. The second mind-set, one that would explain away the barbaric nature of these killings by limiting freedom of speech, takes away one of our most potent defenses against fanaticism on all sides of the spectrum: Humor and Satire.

[read the rest here on J.T. Eberhard’s1 Patheos blog.]

What do I think about the Charlie Hebdo terror attacks and the aftermath?

I’ve been trying to stay out of it until the noise dies down. I hear a lot of voices saying what’s obvious and true: this was a sad, terrible act done by some extremists; this is a predictable outcome of blind, extreme faith; the few extreme members don’t represent the whole of any group.

One thing I believe: it is the groups who feel their beliefs are above criticism who are in need of being deflated a bit with humorous satire. This idea that some beliefs can’t be questioned is a cancer. But let’s please try to confront it in a positive way.

There was a great interview on NPR this week with a man who has reversed his radical views and is now fighting against the underlying causes of extremism. He makes the point that in Islam there is a core belief, even amongst many moderate members, that the prophet Muhhammad can not be criticized or joked about, and that this is at odds with modern democratic society where we demand the right to poke at our institutions/leaders/beliefs. Definitely worth listening to if you’ve got 30mins. Here’s the link: How Orwell’s Animal Farm Led A Radical Muslim to Moderation.

1. Side note — Early FSM people may remember J.T. Eberhard from the Missouri Pastafarians group. I was always a fan of his — one of my favorite things he did was building a box-fort in the middle of campus as a statement about religious discrimination.

199 Responses to “In response to the Charlie Hebdo terror attacks”

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  1. Captain Birdseye says:

    ’18-year-old arrested in Dover, for planting the bomb’.
    He won’t see daylight for a while.

  2. patroller says:

    FSM members, do you want to know the truth about the Captain? It’s a fascinating back story.

    Disabled toilet.

    • Keith says:

      No: Not interested.

    • Apprentice Frederic says:

      The truth? From patroller? Really? DFTFT

  3. kekka's master says:

    I am walking towards Kekka’s abode. Does anyone want to let him know?

    • Apprentice Frederic says:

      No, but we’ll be putting banana peels in your Master-er-ship’s path….Kekka is your equal and then some, pal….1

    • Captain Birdseye says:

      First blackmail, now stalking. I suspect Doubleday has a fat file which will be dumped on him in court.

    • Mr. Hankey says:

      I recommend that Kekka reports that threat to the Australian Federal Police.

      • Apprentice Frederic says:

        Mr. H., Aussies just might be entitled to a loftier position than ‘Merkin cousins – social media and it’s (mis-)use getting long overdue attention. But we do agree in the present instance, FWIW. Hope AFP use their metaphorical truncheons…

        • Captain Birdseye says:

          AF, the AFP have a department that deals with Internet crime. Web postings are regarded as if made on a telephone and data is shared with UN countries. I understand they track and record information (proxies are worthless) and use a points system to determine when to prosecute pests. A few every week are jailed in Australia and Britain.

        • Apprentice Frederic says:

          Cap’n B., how interesting – material for much thought (and, for me, learning) and discussion; thanks. As noted, this “free speech/free press” issue is only now surfacing and prompting revisitation of things thought to be long settled…..

        • Captain Birdseye says:

          I don’t think the Internet should be a consequence-free zone any less than the telephone system is. Freedom of Speech does not apply on private property, which includes blogs.

        • Apprentice Frederic says:

          Cap’n B., Free speech much extolled here, but lies and outright calumny much practised – and the administration seems to want laughing at Trump jokes to be made a felony. Something like your sensible view needed badly.

        • Captain Birdseye says:

          AF, lying should be encouraged; believing is the problem.
          What, no political satire? I’m not sure if the USA has a workable definition of ‘obscene’. For example, a WBC parade would be charged with obscenity in Europe.

        • Apprentice Frederic says:


        • Apprentice Frederic says:

          Oh – Westboro – you’re surely right.

  4. Kekka says:

    Did you just assume my gender?

  5. Kekka says:

    Mr Hankey, I’ll just report it to my speargun and uncle with pig farm…

    • Mr. Hankey says:

      Kekka, unless I’m mistakenly imagining an oinking scene from Delivence, the AFP is easier and Britain tracks and prosecutes stalkers.
      How’s bubs?

      • Kekka says:

        Bubs is good, just getting him to sleep now.

        • Kekka says:

          Nope, no sleep. Dear FSM, just go to sleep child!

        • Captain Birdseye says:

          Kekka, try some of the famous classical lullabies, they’re almost as good as rum.

        • Captain Birdseye says:

          … and if they work, try them on the baby.

  6. Keith says:

    On Saturday 23rd of September I”ll be joining in the world record attempt at Port Adelaide for the most pirates at one gathering. Is any other Pastafarian from the Adelaide area going? I know it is not likely to break the record but it should be fun.

    • Captain Birdseye says:

      Try holding it on a treasure ship off the coast of Somalia.

      • Keith says:

        But they aren’t true pirates. i think we had established that some time ago.

    • Rasputin says:

      Good luck, Keith!

      • Keith says:

        Thanks, Rasputin! And a Yo ho ho and a big Arrrh! to everyone!

  7. Kekka says:


  8. Kekka says:

    Happy talk likes pirate day!

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