The latest cartoon to be published by Charlie Hebdo follows the arrest of Peter Cherif, who is suspected of being behind the attack on the journal, in January 2015. The cartoon is one of the best Christmas presents that you could wish for. For all those who value freedom of speech and the right to satire, the fact that Charlie Hebdo can make fun of its darkest hour, is a testimony of all the values we consider as fundamental to our very existence.
The caption reads, “Come by our offices, when you have 5 minutes.” Why not indeed – to have drinks with the survivors of the horrendous attack, and to answer a question that is even more cretinous than the attack itself, namely, “WHY?”
Charlie Hebdo’s response to Cherif’s arrest borders on the sublimely religious. It is a picture of Jesus offering his left cheek, after his right cheek has been lacerated by the sharp blade of human stupidity. In the same way that Winston Churchill would never surrender to evil of Nazism, our good old Charlie will never give up making fun of just about everything on our planet. Even in the face of adversity, he will always have a pencil and a piece of paper, in the top drawer of the office desk or the bedside table – just in case.
Charlie Hebdo’s cartoon is a lesson for us all, simple mortals that we are. We must never trade our souls, give in to threats, blackmail, and intolerance, that are the hallmarks of religious fundamentalism. Let’s continue to make fun of everything under the sun. Let’s continue to have drinks in cafés and bars, to attend concerts, and visit Christmas markets. Without fear, without after-thoughts and, above all, without respite.
The victims of the Charlie Hebdo attack will not come back, but one thing is certain: the latest Charlie Hebdo cartoon brought a grin to their face, from ear to ear – if they had ears, that is!