Tuesday, January 27, 2015


By Mansor Puteh

This is what is happening in Paris and France in recent times; the French had discovered that their own definition and concept of the Freedom of Speech and Expression to be wanting and it is not perfect.

This is what the whole of France and the world did not see; they refused to see it because their eyes are blinkered; they are too close to the happenings that they had all failed to be intellectual and realistic or real.

All of them are thinking of Charlie Hebdo of Paris and none of them seemed to be aware of Charlie Chan of Hollywood. Both the Charlies are in the same boat, involved in the same issues and controversies.

Charlie Chan is ‘dead’, long live Charlie Hebdo…?

And the National Front of France leader Marien le Pen was not invited to attend the march in Paris so she had to organize one her own elsewhere? Long live, ‘Liberte, Egalite and Fraternite’ (Liberty, Equality and Fraternity)??

Yet, Charlie Hebdo cartoonists did not consider these national slogans or philosophy when they decided to make fun of the Prophet knocking off ‘Equalite and Fraternate’ as they pleased.  

Yet, still, no one in Paris and France and America and Europe has got the connection. They prefer to play the blame game with the television stations preferring to secure street-level views on the matter; they won’t be able to see anything beyond what their brains can tell them.   

They are very angry with themselves that they have not embraced universalism and are finding themselves to have erred, to a disastrous effect causing the untimely death of some of their own kind.

But alas it is not too late, as they had also found out. Now they marched to show to the world that they have been wrong all these years that their government and military cannot engage in international expeditions without facing backlash at home and in Paris.

Charlie Hebdo became the scapegoat for the errors committed by the French and their government for intentionally wanting to mess around in the Middle East and Africa where they did not belong after the country was pushed out of them by the anti-colonialist forces in the relevant countries.

France is also not welcome in Cambodia and Vietnam where they had planted their flags for many decades earlier.

Did the French watch Charlie Chan, television serial and film produced by Hollywood earlier?

If they had then surely, Charlie Hebdo might have got some valuable lessons from them.   

Yet no one carried the offending caricature of the Prophet or a copy of the Charlie Hebdo magazine during the March of Unity or Unity March in Paris on Sunday, 11 January, 2015! Why??

…Why are they so scared to do that to prove that they believe in their version of the Freedom of Speech and Expression They only dared to carry short pencils and placards in French. 

In America, Hollywood studios which are very powerful too had to bend to accommodate backlash, i.e. concerning Charlie Chan, the Chinese character which they had created which many Chinese today find to be offensive.

Maybe Charlie Chan films were not banned; they were just taken out by the Hollywood studios that created them because they did not want to offend anyone especially the Chinese in America and the rest of the world. 

There are no Charlie Chan film repeats on television or a remake of the film by anyone even if the main character will be played by a Chinese actor from China or Hong Kong instead of a white American passing and made up to look Chinese.

CNN says there were a few hundred thousands who attended the Unity March in Paris, on Sunday, 11 January, 2015.

The other international television news networks have other figures ranging from more than one million to one and a half million people.

Le Monde, the newspaper in Paris said there were more than two million.

But from what I can see on television, I can safely say that there were not more than half a million people or less.

And the only question I kept asking myself as the march moves on slowly was: Where were they marching to?

No, I am not talking about the march starting from Place de la Republique to Place de la Nation, which is a short distance for the guests and people to do.

But what are they trying to prove?

They say they are protecting Freedom of Speech and Expression, and insist that the people in Charlie Hebdo were right in doing what they had done even to the expense of surrendering their lives.

Yet, there was none of the international leaders and those in the half a million crowd had bothered to carry a dated issue of the magazine much less one bearing the caricatures of the Prophet.

A magazine in Hamburg in Germany was quick in republishing the caricatures, and their office was quick to be firebombed.

No one was hurt in the fire attack, since the office was closed after office hours, or attention would be refocused on them from the office of Charlie Hebdo in Paris, especially if there were some of the Hamburg magazine had died.

What were the political elected leaders and those in the crowd afraid of? They were so many of them and no one would dare hurt them.

They were also on live television.

The most disgusting part were the comments made by some of them in the crowd and those whose views and opinions were solicited by the staff of the television stations including their own.

Fareed Zakaria and Christianne Amanpour’s views on the matter are passable and predictable; they are not original or intelligent.

The French government now under President Francois Hollande must start the march again to the point when they are the most smart and intelligent and not emotional.

If they can do that, they can give justice to themselves, the French population and the rest of the world.

Maybe Hollywood and the French government must allow Charlie Chan to be shown on French television, if this television serial is not offensive to the Chinese and see what the average Chinese-French citizens would say to that, and what the Chinese in China, Taiwan and Hong Kong and elsewhere will react to that.

And Charlie Hebdo should also print tee-shirts and postcards bearing the caricatures that their dead cartoonists had created and sell them to see just how many French people would buy them and also to wear the tee-shirts and to whom they would send the postcards to.

Charlie Chan is ‘dead’, long live Charlie Hebdo…?

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