‘Being Shocked is Part of Democratic Debate. Being Shot is Not’: Charlie Hebdo Receives Award, Standing Ovation at PEN Gala


Josh Feldman writes: The staff of Charlie Hebdo was honored tonight at the PEN American Center gala, following much controversy, and they received a standing ovation as they affirmed their commitment to free speech and free expression.

“I perfectly understand that a believer can be shocked by a satirical cartoon about Mohammed, Jesus, Moses or even the Pope. But growing up to be a citizen, is to learn that some ideas, some words, some images, can be shocking.”

There was a recent controversy when a group of authors refused to participate in the gala because of their opposition to what they perceive as the French publication’s “intolerance.”

France Newspaper Attack

[Also see – VIDEO – Salman Rushdie: ‘The Moment You Limit Free Speech It’s Not Free Speech’]

[More – REPEAL THEM NOW: Hate-Speech Codes Won’t Protect Europe From Violence]

[More – Jihadists Target Western Principles of Free Speech and Religious Pluralism’]

Salman Rushdie and a whole host of other writers stood up for Charlie Hebdo, defending them from that charge of intolerance and insisting the free speech principle is of paramount importance.

Well, the gala happened tonight (under heavy security), and they received the award to a standing ovation….(read more)


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