I admit it.
I am one of those who hears of a “terror attack” and instantly thinks—“Gotta be fake.” Or at least, “Some or most aspects of this have to be fake.” By “fake,” I don’t mean that innocent people didn’t die, I generally mean that the perpetrators are not who we are told they are or perhaps the motives of the perpetrators are not what we are told they are, or both. I just tend to disbelieve official stories, mostly because I used to believe official stories without question, like 9/11. I bought it. I never supported the Iraq War (in ‘91 or ‘03), and the way we were railroaded and lied into that war definitely opened my eyes about the nature of official stories. And then a friend gave me a copy of “Loose Change 2nd Edition”—never again will I not question an official story. I think everyone should question official stories—if they’re real, they will stand up to scrutiny, and if they’re fake, they—y’know, won’t.
And it is through this lens that I view the story of the killings at the Charlie Hebdo office today in Paris. A summary, on the very slim off-chance you haven’t heard about it:
“PARIS — Twelve people were killed Wednesday when masked gunmen armed with AK-47s attacked the offices of a French satirical news magazine which has published cartoons of the Muslim Prophet Muhammad.
France raised its terror threat level following the attack at the central Paris building housing weekly Charlie Hebdo and stepped up security for media organizations, large stores and places of worship.
At least two suspects remained at large hours after the attack, which occurred at 11:30 a.m. local time (5:30 a.m. ET).
“We will find the people who did this,” French President Francois Hollande said. “France is today shocked by this terrorist attack.” ”
Apparently, four of the cartoonists responsible for the drawings of Muhammad were killed, among others.
What strikes me: Number one
First, consider this: if I’m “ISIS” or “Al Qaeda in Yemen” or whoever, my big “terrorizing” move is to kill some cartoonists? It’s obviously a horrible and tragic situation, but something like this seems a little bit small-time for and uncharacteristic of “Al Qaeda.” I mean, this is a far cry from a 9/11 or a 7/7, is basically what I’m getting at. Killing a few cartoonists doesn’t exactly equate to toppling two giant buildings in one of the world’s greatest cities (which I should point out that I don’t believe was done by “al Qaeda”, but that is of course the official story). Seems like “al Qaeda” has kinda taken a nosedive with the quality of “their” terror attacks.
Supposedly the two gunmen told onlookers to tell the media that this was being done by “Al Qaeda in Yemen”:
Two terrorists shouted that they were from al Qaeda in the Yemen before they launched the brutal attack on Charlie Hebdo in Paris.
Cédric Le Béchec, a 33-year-old estate agent who witnessed
the attack on the satirical magazine, said the men told
bystanders to inform the media that they were from the terror group.
He said that the men arrived in a black car, stopping in the middle of the
street. One of them was carrying a rocket-propelled grenade. They were
dressed in black military-style clothing.
Mr Le Béchec said that before launching the assault, the attackers approached another man in the street saying, “Tell the media that this is al-Qaeda in the Yemen.”
That doesn’t sound suspicious at all–these two military types pause to inform some people standing there what these onlookers should say to the media? They’re about to shoot up a business in broad daylight and yet don’t mind taking a moment out of their busy murdering schedule to tell some random people what to say to the press?
And then the cops show up right after it all goes down, natch:
“The police arrived five minutes later after they left, following the assault on the magazine’s offices.”
That nugget about the police’s arrival is from the same Telegraph article above. I mean, c’mon: “Monsieur Gendarmes–you just missed them!” Unbelievable. Literally. Kinda like on 9/11—“Aw man, we just couldn’t get planes scrambled fast enough,” a situation described here:
No plausible explanation has been provided for failing to scramble interceptors in a timely fashion from bases within easy range to protect the September 11th targets. Fighters that were dispatched were scrambled from distant bases. Early in the attack, when Flight 11 had turned directly south toward New York City, it was obvious that New York City and the World Trade Center, and Washington D.C. would be likely targets. Yet fighters were not scrambled from the bases near the targets. They were only scrambled from distant bases. Moreover there were no redundant or backup scrambles.
What strikes me: Number two
The second point that occurs to me is not so much about the Charlie Hebdo attack itself, as much as the supposed justification for it. That is to say, when you think about images offensive to Muslims, consider this: given that images of Muhammad are forbidden, then no one—Muslim or not–knows what Muhammad looked like. Therefore, no one can really draw a picture of him and any drawing purporting to be of Muhammad cannot actually be a picture of Muhammad because…no one knows what he looked like. Even if I dearly wanted to draw an offensive caricature of Muhammad (I don’t), I couldn’t–no one could–because no one knows what he looked like.
Or do they? Apparently there is no explicit ban in the Koran on portraiture of the prophet, but some hadiths do explicitly ban representations of Muhammad, as discussed here by the BBC:
“There is no specific, or explicit ban in the Koran on images of Allah or the Prophet Muhammad – be they carved, painted or drawn.
However, chapter 42, verse 11 of the Koran does say: “[Allah is] the originator of the heavens and the earth… [there is] nothing like a likeness of Him.”
This is taken by Muslims to mean that Allah cannot be captured in an image by human hand, such is his beauty and grandeur. To attempt such a thing is seen as an insult to Allah.
The same is believed to apply to Muhammad.
Islamic tradition or Hadith, the stories of the words and actions of Muhammad and his Companions, explicitly prohibits images of Allah, Muhammad and all the major prophets of the Christian and Jewish traditions.
More widely, Islamic tradition has discouraged the figurative depiction of living creatures, especially human beings. Islamic art has therefore tended to be abstract or decorative. “
However, depictions of Muhammad by Muslims do of course exist, as the article also notes:
Shia Islamic tradition is far less strict on this ban. Reproductions of images of the Prophet, mainly produced in the 7th Century in Persian, can be found.
A collection of many different types of images of Muhammad–entitled “Face of Mohammed”–can be found here, and begs the question of why weren’t the painters and artists represented on the “Faces of Mohammed” page killed, because we all know Muslims are crazy and will fly into a murderous frenzy if you draw a face with a turban and say it’s Muhammad, right? Well, no. That’s absurd. It doesn’t happen—unless someone tries to whip them into a frenzy, as happened in the the so-called “Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy” as it’s called at Wikipedia, wherein we learn the following:
In December, after failing to make any progress with the Danish government or the newspaper, the “Committee for Prophet Honouring” decided to gain support and leverage outside of Denmark by meeting directly with religious and political leaders in the Middle East. They created a 43-page dossier (commonly known as the Akkari-Laban dossier, after two leading imams (Arabic: ملف عكّاري لبن)) containing the cartoons and supporting materials for their meetings.…
Delegations of imams circulated the dossier on visits to Egypt, Syria and Lebanon in early December 2005, presenting their case to many influential religious and political leaders and asking for support. The group was given high level access on these trips through their contacts in the Egyptian and Lebanese embassies. The dossier was distributed informally on 7–8 December 2005 at a summit of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference in Mecca, with many heads of state in attendance. The OIC issued a condemnation of the cartoons: “[We express our] concern at rising hatred against Islam and Muslims and condemned the recent incident of desecration of the image of the Holy Prophet Mohamed.” The communique also attacked the practice of “using the freedom of expression as a pretext for defaming religions.” Eventually an official communiqué was issued requesting that the United Nations adopt a binding resolution banning contempt of religious beliefs and providing for sanctions to be imposed on contravening countries or institutions. The attention of the OIC is said to have led to media coverage which brought the issue to public attention in many Muslim countries.”
See how that works? They really ginned it up, made a big issue about it. And then, predictably, there were violent protests:
Protests against the cartoons were held around the world in late January and February 2006. Many of these turned violent, resulting in at least 200 deaths globally, according to the New York Times.
And then the dumbed-down, false, demonizing narrative is established, which is: “Muslims go ape-shit over the simplest, stupidest things, like a simple cartoon”. And in that false context, we have a very suspicious event like the one in Paris today, furthering the anti-Islamic narrative and the false “Muslims are dirty savages with no self control who don’t understand free speech (so we have to curtail free speech)” narrative and for what purpose?
As a justification for continuing and intensifying our Forever War of Terror, of course.