VSHA Humanist Cafe
Wednesday,January 21, 7:00 to 8:30 pm        
James Bay New Horizons
234 Menzies Street
James Bay


Topic: The Charlie Hebdo Attack – How The West’s Response Affects The Islamic World

While we in the West are outraged at the Charlie Hebdo attack, the Islamic world is outraged at Charlie Hebdo magazine, and also outraged at those who marched in support of the publication of the cynical depictions of Mohammad.

The Charlie Hebdo attack and the subsequent marches around the world defending ‘freedom of speech’ have sparked protests and violence in the Islamic world. In the news since the Charlie Hebdo attack (as of Saturday morning – stay tuned):

* Belgium deploys troops over terror threat.  http://www.aljazeera.com/news/europe/2015/01/belgium-deploys-troops-after-terror-threat-201511715202035975.html

* Protesters torch churches and police cars in the capital Niamey, Niger.  http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/charlie-hebdo-protests-five-dead-as-churches-and-french-flags-burn-in-niger-riots-over-cover-9985195.html

*  Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has lashed out at Charlie Hebdo, the French satirical magazine, for its “provocative” publications about Islam, saying the weekly paper incites hatred and racism.  http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2015/01/erdogan-lashes-out-at-charlie-hebdo-magazine-201511616465336139.html

*  In Pakistan, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had led parliament in condemning the cartoons, and Pakistan police clash with Charlie Hebdo protesters.  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/16/charlie-hebdo-protests-muhammad_n_6490730.html

* In Somalia, students marched through Mogadishu with placards saying “Je Suis Muslim”.  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2914532/Anti-Charlie-Hedbo-protests-Somalia-Pakistan.html

Meanwhile Western nations are stepping up security with the inevitable erosion of liberties:
In Britain:  Security is stepped up for police and Jewish schools:   http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2914079/Britain-beheading-alert-security-stepped-police-Jewish-schools-fears-grow-new-jihadi-strike.html

The chief of MI5 seeks new powers:  http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/jan/08/mi5-chief-charlie-hebdo-attack-paris-andrew-parker

British PM Cameron wants to ban communication encryption to prevent terrorists from communicating with each other:  http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jan/13/cameron-ban-encryption-digital-britain-online-shopping-banking-messaging-terrorIn France:  The response to threats:  http://news.yahoo.com/world-leaders-join-paris-march-millions-attack-victims-053608792.html
In Germany:  Islamists may target rail stations: http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/01/16/us-germany-security-idUSKBN0KP0MA20150116 
In Europe: Security sweeps of Islamists:  http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/01/16/us-belgium-security-arrests-idUSKBN0KP11O20150116
Canada’s response to terrorism:  http://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/cnt/rsrcs/pblctns/rslnc-gnst-trrrsm/index-eng.aspx


Was the Charlie Hebdo attack Europe’s 9-11 event?

We all know there are limits to freedom, but where do we draw the line?

Is there a middle ground in this dispute?

Can we expect more violent blow-back from future Western publications depicting Mohammed?  How long will it be before we see another 9-11 or Charlie Hebdo attack?

What can we do about all this?

Does liberty trump security?

See you there!