The argument will be that for the sake of “good taste” we need “a decent interval” before we start criticizing Charlie Hebdo. But given the scale of the ongoing anti-Muslim backlash in France, the big and frightening anti-Muslim movements in Germany, and the constant anti-Muslim scares in the UK, and given the ideological purposes to which this atrocity will be put, it is essential to get this right.
No, the offices of Charlie Hebdo should not be raided by gun-wielding murderers. No, journalists are not legitimate targets for killing. But no, we also shouldn’t line up with the inevitable statist backlash against Muslims, or the ideological charge to defend a fetishized, racialized “secularism,” or concede to the blackmail which forces us into solidarity with a racist institution.
The blood is not even dry on the floors of the newspaper office, and yet, and yet. Shorter Jacobin: The dead didn’t have it coming, but let’s face it, they really kind of did.
UPDATE: A friend in Paris says that this might actually be bad news for the National Front, because it puts fighting Islamic extremism front and center in French politics. If so, it may steal it as an issue for them. We’ll see.