Revealed at debate on campus shock-horror

More pusillanimous bullshit from university students shocked at the existence of cartoons that mention Mohammed. It’s the University of Manchester this time, which is extra annoying on so many levels…

First the headline

Charlie Hebdo cover revealed at debate on campus

Omigod you don’t mean it?!! The cover of a satirical weekly newspaper “revealed” at a debate on campus??!? Oh my god everyone run for cover, climb the trees, launch the lifeboats, pass the brandy – whatever shall we do?????

The subhead:

In a debate over free speech on campus, the controversial front cover of the memorial edition of Charlie Hebdo, depicting the prophet Muhammad, was revealed unannounced

Oh oh oh oh. The anguish, the terror, the sharp pain in the temples. There we were, having a safe warm cuddly happy debate about free speech on campus, and then somebody “revealed” something unannounced!

Then the photo, via the Free Speech and Secular Society:

Is free speech really dead at Manchester? Photo: Free Speech and Secular Society UoM

Oh look, you can’t see the terrifying cover. What a relief!

The special edition of French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo which depicts the prophet Muhammad on the cover was put on display during a debate organized by the Free Speech and Secular Society (FSS) in the Zochonis Building on Wednesday 18th March.

Students’ Union Executive members participated in the event but were unable to stop a guest speaker from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) from showing the paper to the public. In February, the Students’ Union had forbade the public display of that particular edition of Charlie Hebdo inside the Union building.

Oh had it? Why? Why did the Students’ Union do that? Why did the Students’ Union of the University of Manchester forbid the public display of that particular edition of Charlie Hebdo inside the Union building? The cover with the image of “Mohammed” weeping and holding a “Je suis Charlie” sign, under the headline “Tout est pardonné”? Why did they forbid that instead of welcoming it? What is the matter with them?

Notice also that they apparently would have stopped the guest speaker if they could have, the way that news program stopped Caroline Fourest days after the slaughter.

Chris Moos, who founded the Atheists society at the LSE, brandished the newspaper with the controversial depiction of the prophet on the cover during the event last Wednesday. He then said: “This is Charlie Hebdo. This is the cover that was covered up. Let’s just think about that. What on earth is offensive in this image? I really would like to know. Can anyone give me a good answer?”

It’s a good question. I would like to know too.

Notice the censoriousness of “brandished.”

Tension built up in the main lecture room of the Zochonis Building as panelists and members of the public alike joined a debate that was running smoothly and quietly until then.

Yeah, that pesky guy from LSE ended all that smoothness and quietude by introducing something that actually matters. How dare he.

Charlie Hebdo is a French satirical newspaper which is known for being a secular publication featuring cartoons, reports and jokes which deal with a broad range of topics. The newspaper’s offices were the target of a terrorist attack led by Muslim extremists in January 2015 which led to the death of 12 people.

That’s a very periphrastic way of putting it. Two Islamist men forced their way into the Charlie Hebdo offices and shot 12 people to death. That’s what happened.

As was reported by The Mancunion in February, the Students’ Union censored the exhibition of Charlie Hebdo to students at the Refreshers’ Fair, after the Free Speech and Secular Society informed the Union that it was going to have a copy of the paper on its stand for students who wished to see this historical edition. The Union said that the image could be made available to those who asked for it, though the open presence of the publication would be banned. The occurrence at the debate last Wednesday defied the embargo.

The ban is disgusting. The embargo is disgusting.



  1. ZugTheMegasaurus says

    “The newspaper’s offices were the target of a terrorist attack led by Muslim extremists in January 2015 which led to the death of 12 people.”

    Usually I don’t get too bent out of shape over reporters’ absurd attempts at objectivity, but this one takes the cake. The OFFICES were targeted, and it just so happened to LEAD to the death of 12 people. See, it’s the office that was being targeted! Not the people in it, no, they were just in the wrong place at the wrong time and totally coincidentally were killed in the attack on the rage-inducing building. Collateral damage, you know.

  2. says

    I’ve got about six copies of that Charlie just a few feet away from me (in the CFI merch box, along with T-shirts, buttons and what-not). Who knew I was harboring such dangerous material? Fortunately there’s no sensitive university students nearby….

  3. says

    Good gods, I’m pretty much “meh” about CH, and don’t quite “get” the big fucking deal about printing an image of Mo. I understand that some people care very much, in both directions, on the matter.

    However, judging by the OTT reaction to merely showing a picture of Mo, you’d think he’d revealed himself to the crowd/class.

    Heh. Maybe flashing them would have gotten fewer tails in knots…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *