The terrorist attack at French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo has galvanized China, with widespread coverage and commentary in social media.
Chinese news outlets mostly followed the western press in their characterization of the incident as a terrorist attack, with some offering an explainer of the French magazine and its tendency to attract controversy.
163 published a retrospective of many of the magazine’s lewdest covers, including the Virgin Mary in a compromised position as well as its infamous depiction of the Prophet Muhammad.
Sina provided an introduction to Charlie Hebdo, noting that French media has a long tradition of using satire with high-profile targets including royalty, government, police, and banks. However, it notes the magazine was provocative to win an audience because it was a relatively small publication.
Furthermore, Sina says the magazine’s objective is to challenge authority and satirize current political events, but noted the magazine was regularly criticized for being “vulgar” and “heartless”.
Chinese Weibo users were very forthcoming with their opinions, with some people re-publishing the controversial cartoon depiction of the Prophet Muhammad. But not everybody sided with the magazine:
This time, Charlie Hebdo is not right.
Everyone could see what was coming from their provocative picture of the Virgin Mary.
Anti-intellectual, low-grade, timid, cruel, narrow-minded, extreme, blood-thirsty, perverted, frantic, ignorant, selfish, shameless, evil, lustful. These are (Charlie Hebdo’s) system of values.
Right now is a terrible time for print media.
Thanks to the author for posting these materials from Charlie Hebdo. It seems that core values can have cultural differences. Any system of values can not violate universal values.
Looks like the victims were very narrow-minded.
One blamed the entire country of France:
This is a non-mainstream magazine in France with a small circulation and readership. Two years ago when US Americans filmed The Innocence of Muslims and were satirizing Muslims, Charlie Hebdo also got in on the action and published a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad. This caused a controversy that CCTV covered. During such sensitive times, France added fuel to the fire; they are the accomplices to the USA (referred to using a derogatory name), and have attracted the ire of France’s Muslim community. However you look at it, this is not a sensible thing to do as the spark for revenge has already been lit.
One went further, blaming all of Europe:
Europe was the one that sinned first. Several hundred years ago, Spain went on a violent crusade and drove all the Muslims out of Europe.
While others place the blame squarely on Islam:
I think that equal treatment is a basic principle. If other people insult you, then you can fiercely insult them back. If other people hit you with their fist, then you fiercely kick back with your foot. However, if you kill someone for insulting you, and you think that this person doesn’t have the right to insult you, then by this logic, how can your family and even your ethnic group be preserved?
(We) should attack evil cults.
Muslims are an evil cult, and are a cancer on humanity.
This attack has not made me comfortable with certain religions.
These ignorant, modern day zealots will soon be the demise of the Muslim religion.
Muslims say that if you aren’t a believer, then you can go to hell.
These people were on the fence:
There are limits to humor just as there are for leniency and punishment.
Is this something to teach to the younger generation, or just vulgar claptrap? A print media crisis, or moral crisis?
Here are a few more comments:
Deep veneration (for the victims)!
It’s not as though all Muslims want to kill these cartoonists. No matter if they are Muslim, Christian, Buddhists, or material atheists, they are all humans first.
Chinese people have a hard time understanding why foreigners would do things to harm others with no benefit to themselves after having satisfying their need for hunger and have nothing left to do. Wouldn’t it be great to be a French citizen with high welfare benefits? The reason to distinguish yourself (in society) is so that you can eat fine food, drink fine wine, and sleep with beautiful women. Everything you can want, beyond your capability to consume it. In fact, this is the only distinction between you and them: in this life, just what are you living for?
You can’t ridicule a belief in RPG’s and AK47, this is common knowledge.
The US dropped nuclear bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshima; this signifies that the US is a terrorist country! Japan should take revenge against the US, this is a righteous action!
Photos: Peninsula Morning Report, Weibo