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Open Letter: On Blasphemy, Islamophobia, and the True Enemies of Free Expression

Open Letter On Blasphemy Islamophobia and the True Enemies of Free Expression An impassioned defense of the freedom of speech from St phane Charbonnier a journalist murdered for his convictionsOn January two gunmen stormed the offices of the French satirical newspape

  • Title: Open Letter: On Blasphemy, Islamophobia, and the True Enemies of Free Expression
  • Author: Charb Adam Gopnik
  • ISBN: 9780316311335
  • Page: 375
  • Format: Hardcover
  • An impassioned defense of the freedom of speech, from St phane Charbonnier, a journalist murdered for his convictionsOn January 7, 2015, two gunmen stormed the offices of the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo They took the lives of twelve men and women, but they called for one man by name Charb Known by his pen name, St phane Charbonnier was editor in chief ofAn impassioned defense of the freedom of speech, from St phane Charbonnier, a journalist murdered for his convictionsOn January 7, 2015, two gunmen stormed the offices of the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo They took the lives of twelve men and women, but they called for one man by name Charb Known by his pen name, St phane Charbonnier was editor in chief of Charlie Hebdo, an outspoken critic of religious fundamentalism, and a renowned political cartoonist in his own right In the past, he had received death threats and had even earned a place on Al Qaeda s Most Wanted List On January 7 it seemed that Charb s enemies had finally succeeded in silencing him But in a twist of fate befitting Charb s defiant nature, it was soon revealed that he had finished a book just two days before his murder on the very issues at the heart of the attacks blasphemy, Islamophobia, and the necessary courage of satirists Here, published for the first time in English, is Charb s final work A searing criticism of hypocrisy and racism, and a rousing, eloquent defense of free speech, Open Letter shows Charb s words to be as powerful and provocative as his art This is an essential book about race, religion, the voice of ethnic minorities and majorities in a pluralistic society, and above all, the right to free expression and the surprising challenges being leveled at it in our fraught and dangerous time.

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      Published :2019-01-14T20:41:22+00:00

    1 thought on “Open Letter: On Blasphemy, Islamophobia, and the True Enemies of Free Expression

    1. This little book - as the title says, really just a long letter - is the last thing Charb wrote before he and several of his colleagues at Charlie Hebdo were murdered by Saïd and Chérif Kouachi on Jan 7, 2015. Note to other ardent jihadists: if the Kouachi brothers hadn't committed this despicable crime, I would never have read Lettres aux escrocs de l'islamophobie qui font le jeu des racistes and I wouldn't be writing about it now. Remember, the martydom thing works both ways.I was not partic [...]

    2. I have a six-year-old nephew who’s a little master of inversing concepts or orders: When his teacher calls him “you’re doing this and that wrong and I have to fly away some of your stars” he comes and unsticks those starts from his board and gives them to his sister (who’s a year smaller) saying that he doesn’t need them at all. Or when his mother tells him that you should work harder to memorize the new poem he totally inverts all the verbs (view spoiler)[ Once a Mr. rabbit/ [didn [...]

    3. Free speech is the subject of this book and my review.The author is Charb (Stéphane Charbonnier), one of the Charlie Hebdo satirists who died in the January 2015 terrorist attacks on the magazine. This little monograph-sized book of his thoughts on freedom of expression was published posthumously. I really bought it for the introduction by Adam Gopnik, though. Gopnik is an author and New Yorker writer who can often articulate difficult positions in defense of liberal democracy to my satisfactio [...]

    4. "Ceux qui accusent les dessinateurs de Charlie Hebdo d'islamophobie chaque fois qu'un personnage porte une barbe ne sont pas seulement malhonnête ou de mauvaise foi gratuitement, ils montrent leur soutien à l'islam dit radical. Lorsqu'on dessine un vieux qui commet un acte pédophile, on ne jette pas l'opprobre sur tous les vieux, on ne laisse pas entendre que tous les vieux sont pédophiles (ni l'inverse). ""Il serait temps d'en finir avec ce paternalisme dégueulasse de l'intellectuel blanc [...]

    5. There are a few words that irk me as much as the word "Islamophobia." One of them is the US right-wing usage of the word "libertarian," which they stole from leftists. Then there is this vapid, semantically bankrupt term "Islamophobia, " which conflates Islam with Muslims. A person can very well be afraid or critical of the doctrine of Islam without being prejudiced against Muslims. I know this has probably been repeated on this site a hundred times but it's worth repeating. You'd be surprised h [...]

    6. A very short yet powerful book about the freedom of speech. Written by Charb who was called by name and executed in the Charlie Hebdo attack in 2015 for his criticism of religion and politics. With his disscussion on the problems of Islamophobia, racism, discrimination, and blasphemy this is a must read book!

    7. I feel like I need to write this review in English to give a bit of insight into the mind of the man who was the editor-in-chief of Charlie Hebdo, born Stéphane Charbonnier but commonly known as Charb. He was the principal target of the newspaper and had been living under police protection for eight years before indeed loosing his life at the hands of those he refused to yield to. This letter was completed two days before the attack on Charlie Hebdo's staff. Addressing the "frauds of islamophob [...]

    8. Livre courageux qui mérite d'être lu largement, car les extraits qui en ont été publiés dans la presse n'en donnent qu'une image très partielle. Si l'auteur dénonce à juste titre l'instrumentalisation du mot "islamophobie" — ce sur quoi la plupart des critiques se sont concentrés — il est aussi extrêmement sévère envers l'image de l'islam renvoyée par les médias, qu'il décrit comme une "caricature" qui a pour effet bien prévisible d'attiser la haine de l'Islam. Sur ce point, [...]

    9. A must-read for anyone interested in the debate between free speech and blasphemy, and how it has been playing out with Islam in France in particular. The author, sadly killed by idiots 2 days after completing this book, makes a compelling case for free speech and against blasphemy laws, often with keen wit and a sense of the absurd, in fact sometimes reminding me of the late great George Carlin. He explains how many of the cartoons have been intentionally misrepresented to whip up reaction. He [...]

    10. We all need to take a step back from the abyss and try to understand each other. While I do not agree with everything said in this book I do think that we need to hear each other out is the only way to survive in a world where violence is too often the first (and only) solution considered.

    11. completed two days before he was murdered in the january 2015 charlie hebdo attack in paris, open letter: on blasphemy, islamophobia, and the true enemies of free expression is an essay commentary on free speech, racism, and intellectual hypocrisy from french cartoonist, journalist, and editor-in-chief charb (stéphane charbonnier). emphatic, impassioned, and resolute, open letter sharply criticizes those that capitalize (and profit) upon the idea of islamophobia (a word that charb deftly decons [...]

    12. A searing critique of the manufacturers of Islamophobia and anti-Islamophobia. A much more sophisticated and nuanced argument than I expected from a man who sadly paid with his life. A must read in this odd & ironic political climate in the West.

    13. "به عقاید دیگران احترام بگذارید"به نظر من جمله بالا یک سوتفاهم ناشی از استدلال اشتباه، ترجمه بد و یا یک سواستفاده عمدی بوده که توسط فرهنگ مسلط به ما آموزش داده شده.(حداقل به شکلی که امروز میبینم از این گزاره استفاده میشه) نامه سرگشاده "شارب"، سردبیر مجله شارلی ابدو که دو روز قبل [...]

    14. In defense of freedom of expression.The late editor of the French satirical magazine "Charlie Hebdo" was murdered a year ago by terrorists who were offended by the magazine's constant satirical cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed. Before his murdered Charb wrote this short and brilliant manifesto defending the most important right a person has, and that is free speech. The enemies of free expression aren't Muslims but the minority of extremists who appoint themselves (without anyone's consent) to s [...]

    15. * Based on a reading of an ARCDoes God needs defending from mere mortals when according to the religious texts we will get our judgement upon our death?What is too sacred? Is something that is sacred have to be automatically sacred to all? These and other things are address in this tiny book, the last work by Charb, the late editor of Charlie Hebdo. When I heard that this book will be release in 2016, I knew I had to read it and I'm glad I did because it filled my expectation. Whether I agree wi [...]

    16. Charb pulls no punches in his scathingly witty condemnation of religious fundamentalism, the media, politicians, racists, and the far-right. This manifesto on the necessity of free speech, liberal values, and the freedom of expression, driven home by his assassination just days after its completion, is truly a thing of beauty.

    17. Reading Charb’s posthumous letter on public transportation in Massachusetts during the 2016 election year is an unexpectedly social experience. I haven’t been asked about my current book choice since curiosity made me want to know what drew people to Ayn Rand, her novels, and objectivism. Her relationship with Alan Greenspan always intrigued me; though, that dialogue is an entirely different book review. Although it takes less than an hour to read, Open Letter will force you to examine many [...]

    18. "'Sacred' texts are only sacred to those who believe in them." This was a powerful book. Though a slender text, it's heavy, and I found myself re-reading sections to tease apart the snark from the poignancy. He makes a careful distinction between religion and racism that was really tough for me to wrap my brain around. Ultimately the thought exercise gave me a better understanding of where the Charlie Hebdo satirists were coming from. But it's still murky water for me. I do think Islamophobia is [...]

    19. Este texto foi concluído em 05/01/2015, dois dias antes do ataque terrorista contra o Charlie Hebdo, no qual Charb perdeu a vida.É com esta nota de pesar que o editor abre este pequeno livro que é na verdade um manifesto pela liberdade de expressão.Charb começa explorando o uso indevido do termo «islamofobia» que, segundo ele, visa defender uma abstração – a religião islãmica – e não os muçulmanos como indivíduos. Charb prossegue acusando a mídia jornalística de explorar o te [...]

    20. A brief but striking reminder of the true stakes in the battle over free expression. Just days after penning this missive, Charlie Hebdo editor-in-chief Stéphane Charbonnier was gunned down for the his refusal to follow Islamic blasphemy law as interpreted by a handful of attackers. While the letter delves into some aspects of French politics with which I'm unfamiliar, the overall thrust of Charb's argument is undeniable: All ideas are fair game. And criticizing them does not automatically amou [...]

    21. Stephane Charbonnier wrote this book shortly before he was killed by Muslim fundamentalists who not not tolrate Charbonnier's fondness for freedom of speech and for saterical cartoons targeting the absurdity of religious fundamentalism and intolerance that plague our world. He first wanted to make it clear that the term Islamophobia is not used correctly in the discourse on our relationship with Islam. The term means fear of Islam not hatred of Islam as it is currently misconstrued. He goes on t [...]

    22. The book is a powerful defense of free expression, and contains much information on the nature of French politics and the style of satire used in Charlie Hebdo. The author pulls no punches in his criticism of religion, but it is abundantly clear that the magazine is strongly anti-racist, and the frustration with having anti-racist or anti-fanaticism material protested as racist is palpable. It is gut-wrenching at times to think that there will be another attack in addition to the ones he describ [...]

    23. I found this one by chance on the library website. I was intrigued, even before I learned about the author. Stéphane Charbonnier was a journalist, artist, and the editor of the French newspaper Charlie Hebdo. He turned in the manuscript for this a couple of days before he and the rest of the newspaper staff were murdered last January. Mr. Charbonnier was an outspoken critic of religion, and religious extremism, but he was no racist, and this book describes his feelings on the subject in a heart [...]

    24. Not the best or clearest book I've ever read, which is why I gave it four stars. I still gave it a high rating, as I believe it's worth reading with important viewpoints worth considering.There seems to be a tendency to conflate honest/fair criticism with racism/sexism(and the list goes on) going on today. With it comes a tendency to hold some subjects so sacred, they can't be constructively discussed on an objective(much less subjective) level. This book brings up a number of incidents providin [...]

    25. He is so searingly honest, so articulate and clear in his viewpoint that I would call this a manifesto on free speech. It's unfortunate he paid with his life but it is evident that his cause was one he staunchly believed in. His words really gave me pause for thought on what we decry as discrimination and what we should just leave alone. Really, Charb is very bold and brave. He does not pander to the preponderance of offence that seems to absorb so much of our society. He calls it exactly what i [...]

    26. Un bel essai, pleins de vérités, délivré dans un style décontracté. Essai d'autant plus poignant vu qu'il précède de peu son meurtre. Pourtant le texte semble être la réponse inespéré à pas mal de fausses polémiques de 2015. Si seulement la presse Anglophone pouvait se saisir d'une traduction de ce texte, ils arrêteraient peut-être d'écrire des conneries sur Charlie Hebdo à tout bout de champs. C'est dommage que ce soit si court.

    27. Fabulous. An excellent critique. Pretty much everything he said is exactly what I believe in, he just put it in a way that I never have. I think Charlie Hebdo is too often misunderstood, misrepresented and maligned. To understand the magazine, this is a good book to read.

    28. Excellent scree from a Free-Speech advocate sent to the publisher the day before Charb's untimely death at the offices of Charlie Hebdo. Purchased as a gift at Shakespeare and Company in Paris, I screamed through this important work for our times, nodding in agreement and wishing there were more Charbonnier's in the world to advocate for liberal democracy and boldly calling out from the Left those Western ideas and ideals that have improved society and are now threatened by both right-wing relig [...]

    29. Males you thinkThis is a short read but it packs a punch. Charb brings up multiple points that deserve consideration. I did not agree with everything he wrote but it did make me think. I believe in freedom of speech even when it nauseated me. Hearing it reminds me of my own beliefs and makes me more confident. It was sad to read about some of the laws France has implemented around free speech. I totally agree on the role of the media in inciting the lunatic fringe, terrorist atracks drive viewer [...]

    30. This was a fast read but I was thinking about what he wrote the entire time. No cruising through the pages but a well-laid out argument in defense of the importance of defending the right of people to make fun of and lampoon even the most sacred of ideas with the caveat that no one be allowed to threaten specific individuals. He was murdered 2 days after he completed writing this book.

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