Charlie Hebdo

I have only a brief comment on the murders at the offices of Charlie Hebdo.

I worry that there may be something unseemly in the haste with which commentators and demonstrators have politicized the event, taking up the particular deaths of twelve particular human beings as symbols for this or that cause, or as the means for scoring points against hated enemies, but in any case as abstractions.

“They attacked our freedom!”

“See? I told you Islam was violent!”

Of the particularities of those twelve lives I really can’t say much, other than what I might read about them in news sources or the personal accounts of others, but doesn’t it do a further kind of violence to so lose them in abstractions? Continue reading