I support freedom of speech.
There are limits: e.g. hate speech, racism.
Arguably there may even be limits of provocation.
It's possible Charlie Hebdo oversteps bounds of freedom of speech.
In fact I'm sure they did with their racism.
But #jesuischarlie is not about freedom of speech. It is not about defending some right to be as offensive as one likes.
It is about freedom FROM religion.
The right to say what one likes without disproportionate response.
The right not to have ones rights restricted because of superstition.
You dont choose your race. Ridiculing that is ridiculing someone's very being. It is unacceptable.
You do choose your religion. It is an idea, an opinion.
All ideas should be open to challenge, to debate and yes to ridicule. Without restriction.
All ideas should have their strength tested.
That is how humanity advances.
I'm not commenting on matters of taste. It is quite possible some of their racist stuff should be against the law. I'd even accept stopping a particular edition on the grounds of public safety.
My point is that those are distractions from the issue. It is not that Hebdo have the right to do this or that. The key issue is that religious people do not have the right to stop them.
In particular it is concerning to see apologists for the terrorists. We had a NZ politician do it.
There is never a justification for protecting a religion from ridicule. And of course ridicule of religion is never a justification for any acton except debate and counter-ridicule.
That is the true freedom issue here: it's not some boundless right of Hebdo to say anything to anyone; it's the right that others don't have to stop them.
Or put in a positive sense, we all have the right to be free of imposition from somebody else's religion. The fact that somebody else believes a mythology is not grounds to influence anything you do.