• Je Suis Hypocrisy?: Selective Free Speech and the Secular Inquisition in France

    Article by Matthew Butler

    The brutal Paris attacks have been rightly condemned. Yet the tragedy has been exploited to undermine the very right it’s become an emblem for – freedom of expression – while details contradicting the official narrative are suppressed. This article examines the wider agenda behind the selective defence of free speech in the aftermath, and how the French Government’s long-running crackdown on alternative spirituality violates the principle of liberty it claims to uphold.

    France is known as the land of liberty, equality and fraternity. The brutal murder of 12 people at the office of satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, and the killing of five more in related shootings, was viewed as a direct assault on the country’s values. Charlie Hebdo is renowned for political satire, which has a proud history in France, with its cartoons frequently caricaturing politicians and religious figures, including Islam’s prophet Muhammad.

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