There are lessons in the tragic killing of twelve journalists in Paris by the Koauchi brothers also of Paris. One doubts if they will be learnt as well. The republishing of the controversial cartoons in the very next issue of Charlie Hebdo and its unprecedented sales indicate that the people in France want to hold on to their freedoms, come what may.
But there have been nuanced analyses, too, on whether the West should introspect about its policies on integration, racism, multiculturalism and, of course, freedom of speech. There is an acknowledgement of the fact that this globalised world is going to be one where values are bound to clash. The West cannot pretend to treat it as one odd terrible incident and move on as if nothing happened. The biggest embarrassment for the West remains the exception to the freedom of speech reflected in laws against holocaust denial.
There are lessons in this for the Muslim world which cannot keep harping on the tune of ‘Muslim victimhood’ and ‘West’s double standards’. It is, indeed, erroneous to lump all Muslims together; yet together they must aim at a considered response as a community instead of violent protests or attempts to eliminate the blasphemer, every time one such incident happens.
Lastly, one must see how the events in Paris have led to a narrative shift in Pakistan. The religious rightwing got a new lease of life it seems and broke the post-Peshawar consensus achieved in the country. All these discontents have been discussed in today’s Special Report.