FLASHBACK: Time Slammed Charlie Hebdo In 2011 For Mocking Islam

Derek Hunter Contributor
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“So, yeah, the violence inflicted upon Charlie Hebdo was outrageous, unacceptable, condemnable, and illegal. But apart from the ‘illegal’ bit, Charlie Hebdo’s current edition is all of the above, too.” – Time Magazine

That quote from Time is not in response to the terrorist attack in Paris on the leftist satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo Wednesday — it was 3 years ago.

The chaos Wednesday morning was not the first time the French newspaper came under attack by radical Islamists. In 2011, their offices were firebombed by Islamofascists in “retaliation” for publishing cartoons of Mohammad. At the time of that attack, Time magazine’s then-Paris bureau chief, Bruce Crumley, wrote a blistering piece slamming Charlie Hebdo for daring to mock Islam.

“Okay, so can we finally stop with the idiotic, divisive, and destructive efforts by ‘majority sections’ of Western nations to bait Muslim members with petulant, futile demonstrations that ‘they’ aren’t going to tell ‘us’ what can and can’t be done in free societies?” Crumley asked. “Because not only are such Islamophobic antics futile and childish, but they also openly beg for the very violent responses from extremists their authors claim to proudly defy in the name of common good. What common good is served by creating more division and anger, and by tempting belligerent reaction?” (Emphasis added.)

Time was unrepentant in their outrage over offending Muslims, but silent in Charlie Hebdo’s satirical attacks on every other religion. “We, by contrast, have another reaction to the firebombing: Sorry for your loss, Charlie, and there’s no justification of such an illegitimate response to your current edition. But do you still think the price you paid for printing an offensive, shameful, and singularly humor-deficient parody on the logic of ‘because we can’ was so worthwhile? If so, good luck with those charcoal drawings your pages will now be featuring,” the magazine wrote.

Time’s conclusion was, “It’s obvious free societies cannot simply give in to hysterical demands made by members of any beyond-the-pale group. And it’s just as clear that intimidation and violence must be condemned and combated for whatever reason they’re committed—especially if their goal is to undermine freedoms and liberties of open societies. But it’s just evident members of those same free societies have to exercise a minimum of intelligence, calculation, civility and decency in practicing their rights and liberties—and that isn’t happening when a newspaper decides to mock an entire faith on the logic that it can claim to make a politically noble statement by gratuitously pissing people off.”

“Defending freedom of expression in the face of oppression is one thing; insisting on the right to be obnoxious and offensive just because you can is infantile,” Crumley continued. “Baiting extremists isn’t bravely defiant when your manner of doing so is more significant in offending millions of moderate people as well. And within a climate where violent response—however illegitimate—is a real risk, taking a goading stand on a principle virtually no one contests is worse than pointless: it’s pointlessly all about you.”

It appears that after leaving Time, Crumley went to work for Al Jazeera America.