Mass Media Responses to Je Suis Charlie

I have been scanning the blog postings, newspaper articles, televised news etc  and below are a series of links to articles that will be potentially productive in the wake of the tragedy in France. Of particular interest is a interesting short text by Richard Seymour “On Charlie Hebdo” and how we should fear the coming Islamophobic backlash in Jacobin online.

Link to the text is here:

“Many journalists at the offices of Charlie Hebdo have been murdered by bampots brandishing what appear to be machine guns at close range. It is too soon to have a complete, coherent political narrative of these killings. All one can have at this point are the correct but platitudinous points about there being no justification for this, that all attacks on journalists are abhorrent, that freedom of speech must be defended to the last drop of blood, and so on. If you really need that sermon, you’re in the wrong place.

However, there is a wider narrative that is emerging in the rush to judgment, as news media attempt to stitch together details — at first entirely circumstantial— into an explanatory story. The assumption is that the killers are members of some sort of Islamist group, possibly linked to Islamic State, and are exacting political retribution for the publication’s regular satirical attacks on Islam by executing its journalists. And about that, I do have something beyond the obvious to say, just as a starting point.”


Prime example of what what Seymour is attempting to counter in Simon Heffer’s article “France, a land tormented by its history as hostility between native and increasing Muslim population grows” in the Daily Mail. (8 Jan 2015)

Excerpt that links the burqa to militancy in france:

“In 2009, President Nicolas Sarkozy said the burqa was not welcome in France, as it was a symbol of female subservience. His opponents on the Left took a similarly tough position.

The attitude of the wider French public also hardened against Muslims. A survey in 2013 found that only 26 per cent felt that Islam was compatible with French society.

Added to this incendiary mood was the decision of the current president, Francois Hollande, to bomb Islamist militant positions in northern Mali (another former French colony) to drive out al-Qaeda-linked groups.”

A interesting article that revisits how we should read such images from the canadian press

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