Cartoon by Joe Sacco Cartoon by Joe Sacco

Twelve articles to read if you want thoughtful reflection, context and a refreshing alternative to banal or racist responses to the killings in Paris this week

1Satire is not meant to be a weapon against the powerless - Will Self on satire, free speech and racism

2 Was it really an attack on European values? – Myriam Francois-Cerrah punctures a few lazy myths

3 Why this was no attack on humour – Des Freedman examines the context surrounding the debate about free speech

4 The bitter fruit of imperialism – Lindsey German on lessons to be learned by the West’s war-making governments

5 Western liberalism? Abdullah Al-Arian on the Enlightenment, empire and the contradictions of ‘Western values’

6 What is the purpose of satire? – Cartoonist Joe Sacco on the politics of his art

7 There is a difference between being brave and being funny – Hugo Rifkind offers a thoughtful response

8 Moral clarity – Adam Shatz dismantles the ‘clash of civilisations’ thesis

9 The Iraq connection – Juan Cole draws attention to how the ‘war on terror’ influenced the latest terrorist atrocity

10 Algeria is the post-colonial wound that still bleeds in France – Robert Fisk on French imperialism and the legacy of the Algerian war for independence

11 The problem with drawings that fuel sectarian tensions – Alain Gresh sketches the recent evolution of Charlie Hebdo

12 How exactly would we like Muslims to condemn these attacks? Mark Steel lampoons the hypocrisy and absurdity of some responses to the killings

Alex Snowdon

Alex Snowdon is a Counterfire activist in Newcastle. He is active in the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Stop the War Coalition and the National Education Union.‚Äč He is the author of A Short Guide to Israeli Apartheid (2022).

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