Robert Crumb on the Charlie Hedbo attacks.

From the New York Observer:

I’m not going to make a career out of baiting some fucking religious fanatics, you know, by insulting their prophet. I wouldn’t do that. That seems crazy. But then, after they got killed, I just had to draw that cartoon, you know, showing the Prophet. The cartoon I drew shows me, myself, holding up a cartoon that I’ve just drawn. A crude drawing of an ass that’s labeled “The Hairy Ass of Muhammed.” [Laughs.]

You did what?!

Yeah, I sent that to Liberation, so we’ll see what happens. You know, that’s the most I’ve stuck my neck out for a long time…

I've got my differences with the man (mostly for his reasons for leaving the U.S.). But much respect to him for living up to the phrase "Je suis Charlie" in the most accurate way possible.

Do read the whole thing

Late addition before publishing:

Apparently, the cartoon has been released:


"Beneath this mask there is more than flesh. Beneath this mask there is an idea! And ideas are bulletproof."

In a post in 2008, I made note of how harassment of critics made it necessary for those protesting Scientology to protest as Anonymous, the hacker collective who has chosen their public visage to be a Guy Fawkes mask (as depicted in the comic V for Vendetta).

All those reasons increase tenfold when such harassment escalates into assassinations, as Islamic facists have done to the staff of Charlie Hedbo.

So, I find it appropriate on several levels that Anonymous is now engaging the Islamic facist movement. Not only in that the anonymity protects its members. But that a comic book character, is now the avenger of the artists and publishers of comics killed in this attack.

Je suis Charlie (Screw 'em if they can't take a joke)

Imagine the offices of Mad Magazine or The Onion being stormed by gunmen, killing off many of their most biting satirists. This is effectively what happened in France this week, when the popular comedy newspaper, Charlie Hebdo lost many of their top cartoonists, in such an attack.

An excellent primer on Charlie Hebdo, and its criticism of Islamic extremism, has been published at Vox. It is a must read to understand what's going on.

Links to other coverage:

I find the following excerpt of commentary at the Independent by Mike Harris to be especially important:

Cartoon by The Independent's Dave Brown

Cartoon by The Independent's Dave Brown

Time and time again in the coverage of the attack on Charlie Hebdo, words have prefaced the description of the magazine: “controversial”, “poisonous”, “offensive”. It’s as if to say, if only their cartoonists had held their pens and their writers had held their tongues. If only they’d been a bit more cautious this may not have happened. Perhaps. Few have put their neck out and said - I defend the right to insult. We want the illusion of freedom, but many are all too willing to cast aside those who push at its boundaries.

In a globalised world, where ideas can be distributed from Paris to Fallujah in real-time, we can no longer protect people from ideas they do not like, even if we wanted to. We cannot but help insult the religious. Our way of life is an insult. Should gay couples not Instagram their wedding in case it insults those wed to religious orthodoxy? Should atheists hold their tongue to avoid insulting religious prophets? Do I have to be polite to the English Defence League or the vile Al Muhajiroun? Take a step back. There is no way way you can avoid offending those who wish to develop a global caliphate.

There can be no negotiation between liberal democracy and totalitarian theocracy. It does Europe’s beleaguered minorities no favours to suggest there is. We cannot filter out every offensive tweet, or insulting Facebook post. To suggest we can merely inflames the sense that free speech is always to the detriment of minority groups.