A U.S. newspaper that boasts of its links with CNN, the New York Times, and Time magazine has published an opinion piece which appears to endorse violent reactions to the satirization of the Islamic prophet, Muhammad.
The article – which appears to endorse a kind of blasphemy law for protecting Islam from critique or ridicule – focuses on the Charlie Hebdo magazine’s depictions of Muhammad. It comes just days after a teacher, Samuel Paty, was decapitated by a Muslim refugee for discussing depictions of Muhammad with his class.
Writing in The Signal – a widely circulated George State University paper – author Abir Odeh claims: “While free speech is a worthy cause, this isn’t an issue for its defense because this was not an attack on free speech. Instead, it is an act of intolerance.”
The author continues:
Let’s not make excuses: The magazine had to have known that there would be a response to their illustrations. Everybody knows that you will get bitten if you poke the bear. The editorial staff at Charlie Hebdo fancied themselves iconoclasts looking to provoke, not to criticize.
The article concludes, caveating with “violence is never the answer” yet appears to make excuses for violence and specifically mentions a “gunfight”:
Free speech is a right that Charlie Hebdo abused. Violence is never the answer, and you don’t take a pen to a gunfight, but you also don’t spit in the face of a revered figure, no matter your beliefs.
The paper claims to be the “on-campus hub for thinkers, creators and leaders for over 85 years,” and boasts that “Signal alumni have gone on to work for CNN, 11Alive, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The New York Times and TIME Magazine.”
Time magazine’s D.W. Pine is quoted as saying “I’m constantly crediting my experience at the Signal” for his career success.