I am an atheist, but I am not Charlie Hebdo!
My disgust with Western imperialism and fascism is much stronger than my aversion towards religions. And I don’t think that “all religions are equally evil.” I mainly hold Christianity responsible for most of the crimes committed in modern human history. I hold it responsible for “derailing” and radicalizing traditionally much more peaceful religions, like Buddhism and yes, like Islam.
Therefore, I am definitely not Charlie!
I don’t want to quarrel with dead people. Journalists at Charlie Hebdo should have never died in that terrible way. I actually don’t know exactly who is responsible for their demise, although I am well aware of the fact that there are many sound theories, not only the official one.
What is clear and absolutely certain is that for almost two months, their deaths have been politicized by the Western regime, by the Empire. Politicized to a sickening extreme.
Their deaths became a rallying cry of the “liberals,” of apologists who are once again ready to forget and forgive all the crimes committed by Western nations for those long centuries, all over the world.
Apologists are ready to forgive their own crimes, the crimes committed by their own states, crimes of their own religion, and of their own dogma. For many years the simple logic of Western liberals was: we are all human and humans are all equally violent. Which is thorough, absolute nonsense! The death of 12 people is not the same as death of one million! 2,000 victims are not the same as several hundreds of millions! Car brakes that fail 10 times are much, much safer for people to use than those that fail several millions of times, and only a total idiot would claim otherwise!
* * *
These liberals, and Charlie Hebdo was one of them, have been extremely selective in their criticisms of the world. We hardly hear from them about the terror their Empire (consisting mainly of North America and the European nations) is spreading everywhere. They don’t poke jokes at Western style “democracy” too often, or at the barbarity of Christianity, or at European colonialism, which has been enslaving almost the entire planet for hundreds of years, virtually destroying almost all alternatives for humanity.
We hardly hear them poking upsetting jokes at Zionism and Israeli apartheid. And where are their brave witty and provocative puns exposing genocides that are being committed by the Empire’s allies: India and Indonesia? Why are we not rolling on the floor, laughing at those corrupt bandits in Jakarta and New Delhi, when their servile, twisted regimes are called – “democracies”? And where are Charlie Hebdo and others, confronting the funniest lies: those about so-called Western democracy itself?
Or are Charlie and his cohorts only brave where it pays and where it is not really risky at all?
I did some research, and realized that there was not one single essay or cartoon by Charlie Hebdo exposing Western responsibility for radicalizing Islam. Not one! And this is one of the main stories of the 20th and 21st centuries; the story about how Brits endorsed and helped to spread Wahhabism, the most appalling form of Islam, which is metastasizing radicalism all over the world. Or how the West literally liquidated all forms of socialist, secular, tolerant Islam!
That is exactly what Islam was becoming, at least after the WWII – secular, tolerant and socialist: in Indonesia, Iran, Egypt, and Afghanistan (allied to the Soviet Union) and in many other places.
Socialist Muslim countries: that would be, of course, thoroughly unacceptable to the West. The Empire needed yet another Rottweiler to fight socialism and Communism. A Rottweiler that could go, periodically, bananas, and would “have to be fought” by the West and its Christian fundamentalism, justifying insane and out of control “defense” budgets.
The Empire and its “brave satirists” like Charlie Hebdo saw (or were ordered to see) socially oriented, secular and tolerant Islam as a tremendous threat!
Eventually, all secular Muslim governments were overthrown directly by the West, at the cost of millions of human lives. And when great rulers of the Muslim world were murdered of sidelined, the common logic in the West proclaimed: “You see, these Arab niggers cannot rule themselves!”
And the brainwashed Western public ate up all these lies, that “intellectual shit,” about the Muslim world, about Africa, Asia and Latin America – before Latin America rose again and broke its shackles!
What I have written about the Muslim world – that was, of course only the first, post-WWII wave. What followed decades later was total horror, genocide, in Iraq, Libya, Syria…
There were few half-hearted protests in several European public parks, but no decisive wave of resistance by the Western intellectuals, including the comedians and satirists.
Not a word from Charlie Hebdo on that account.
And that is why I am not Charlie!
* * *
To piss on Islam is an extremely safe undertaking. To do it, in the West, is unmistakable sign of “coolness” and “secularity.” But deep down, it is nothing more than ignorance, bigotry and collaboration with the regime, a sign of cowardice!
If the trend continues, I will soon stop calling myself “atheist,” because I do not want to be in “that” company.
True internationalists and sensible atheists want to liberate people from oppression, not to hurt, not to harm defenseless beings! And not to cover up crimes of the real villains and bandits!
Islam has already been ruined, humiliated, stripped of its socially oriented essence. Western demagogues, propagandists and academics usurped its achievements: from great accomplishments in medicine, science, and architecture, to enormous efforts to build egalitarian societies. Yes, the first free and public hospitals in the world were in the Muslim world, and the first universities were there as well. Now, most of them are for a fee, and have ‘American’ in their name – in Cairo, Amman, Beirut, everywhere!
Cultural Islam had been defeated: not in some open intellectual duel, but by brutal force and by the most effective weapons of Western “civilization” – by filthy tricks, by deceit!
As a result, all of humanity lost!
Of course, if you go “too far” in urinating on Islam, frustrated followers may chop you to pieces. But still, you will enjoy a great martyrdom after your death. You will be admired and commemorated by millions of brainwashed fellow Christian fundamentalists (yes, that is what most of them really are, even if they call themselves “secular,” or even “atheists”). And if you are not killed (the great majority is not), you will be respected and embraced by the majority of your “oh so free countrymen” and glorified by mass media!
And that is why I am not Charlie! I don’t want to be a collaborator. I don’t want to be an official clown serving the fascist Empire. Forgive me, but no, seriously, fuck you!
Je Suis Chavez! Je Suis Lumumba! Je suis Salvador Allende, bordel! Not Charlie, oh no, not Charlie!
* * *
As I saw those multitudes marching in Paris, and as I saw their tears, I felt embarrassed and nauseated: yes, these people were Charlie! Yes, they were crying over their fallen men.
Those uncritical, brainwashed masses, are still reigning over the world. Not only the politicians and business tycoons (I don’t buy the claim that Europeans and North Americans are “also victims”) but also these people!
A few of their men falling evokes total national outrage, hysteria.
Millions that are being slaughtered because of French business interests, all over the world, particularly those millions in Africa, don’t produce even one tear, or one major protest!
Hundreds of millions of Muslims who are forced to live under the yoke of the worst regimes imaginable, the shittiest rulers money can buy; rulers who are fully maintained by the Empire (of which France is an integral part) are of no interest to that selfish, horrifying crowd.
The crowd is naturally and fully responsible for its rulers. It is benefiting from global plunder; not as much as before the late 80’s, but it is still benefiting, nevertheless!
The crowd desperately needs Charlies! It is insecure, intellectually and morally fucked, therefore it is longing for “symbols.” It needs to feel that it is Charlie! It is cowardly, and therefore it needs heroes and martyrs.
The heads, dictators of the Empire, need Charlie, too. The crowd and the Empire are, on most accounts, one single entity, with similar goals: to fuck the world and do very little while living materially “great” – although arguably empty – lives.
That is why the Empire manufactures individuals like those who are willing to run bigoted magazines. That is why it is canonizing them, if they fall. That is why it makes sure that some of them do occasionally fall, in order to become martyrs…
This way the crowd can have its symbols, its “heroes.”
And that is why I am not Charlie!
Andre Vltchek is a novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries. His critically acclaimed political revolutionary novel Point of No Return is now re-edited and available. Oceania is his book on Western imperialism in South Pacific. His provocative book about post-Suharto Indonesia and market-fundamentalist model is called “Indonesia – The Archipelago of Fear” (Pluto). He just completed feature documentary “Rwanda Gambit” about Rwandan history and the plunder of DR Congo. After living for many years in Latin America and Oceania, Vltchek presently resides and works in East Asia and Africa. He can be reached through his website.