There’s a revolt going on in Italy.
Nobody likes the latest target of Charlie Hebdo.
Italians are outraged by cartoons which focus on last week’s earthquake victims.
The cartoons are nasty. There’s no kinder word for them. Almost three hundred people died when an earthquake struck small towns and villages in central Italy on 24th August at 3.30 in the morning. Many people were crushed and died as buildings collapsed on their heads. Charlie Hebdo described the blood as ‘tomato sauce,’ the compacted buildings dangling arms, heads and legs as ‘lasagne.’
While this may appeal to the French sense of humour (earthquakes are almost unknown in France), it did not go down well in Italy, which is earthquake-prone from the alps in the north to Sicily in the south. Even the French must appreciate that the destruction of Pompeii was no laughing matter, and similar things happen in Italy every ten or twenty years.
Summing up, Charlie Hebdo would do well to admit that it made a mistake by targeting the victims...
That was why we all stood by Charlie Hebdo.
Whether we liked the French or not, whether we read or didn’t read Charlie Hebdo, whether we thought the cartoon attack on Muslims and their beliefs was justified or not in the name of free speech, we all stood up and said: Je suis Charlie!
The key words is victims...
The staff of Charlie Hebdo were victims of terrorism.
The people of central Italy are victims of a natural disaster.
Charlie Hebdo provoked the terrorists, but the Italian victims provoked no-one.
And yet – Charlie Hebdo, the people of Paris, Nice, Munich, and the people who died in the earthquake are all victims...
In a second cartoon published on the Charlie Hebdo website, they explained that the real object of the attack was the ‘Mafia’ – Charlie Hebdo didn’t make the buildings collapse, they said, the Mafia did...
While there may be an element of truth in this – money had been provided for the reinforcing of vulnerable buildings, and public utilities, such as the schools and hospitals, and it had either not been spent well, or it had been channelled into other projects – the fact remains that the victims were victims (of corruption, bureaucracy, the Mafia, call it by whichever name you like), and it is cruel to laugh at the plight of the victim.
Nobody laughed when the staff of Charlie Hebdo were massacred.
Except the terrorists, of course...