This is the greater threat…problem is it is already here

What if Charlie Hebdo was a UK publication?

Spiked examines what would have happened.

Week 1: Magazine’s editors and staff get No Platformed by the National Union of Students on the grounds that their publication has been ‘identified by the NUS’s Democratic Procedures Committee as holding racist or fascist views’. They are forbidden from all campuses.

Week 2: Individual student unions ban the sale or display of Charlie Hebdoanywhere on their premises in order to protect students from feeling the need to ‘succumb to media pressure to fear and loathe Muslims’ and encourage students instead to ‘celebrate Muslim students for their academic achievements and countless other talents’. Unions across the country justify the ban as ‘an important symbolic step towards creating a culture of ethnic and religious parity on campus’.

Week 3: A petition is created, calling on supermarket chains to ‘Stop Selling Charlie Hebdo’. A different petition is launched, by a campaign group called Muslim Eyes, demanding that supermarkets hide Charlie Hebdo in black plastic bags so that Muslims and others will not feel offended by its front covers. Supermarkets are called upon to ‘promote the right environment in store’ and not allow the open display of ‘offensive material’.

Week 4: A Twitterstorm builds in support of the petition of supermarkets, with hundreds of thousands of tweets using the hashtag #CoverUpCharlie to demand that the magazine be put in black bags. A member of parliament backs the campaign. Supermarkets relent and announce that some stores will remove Charlie Hebdo from sale while others will put it in black plastic covers and on the top shelf next to the porno mags.

Sounds familiar doesn’t it…eeerily familar tot he tactics used by the likes of Martyn Martin Wrongly Wrongson Bradbury and Giovanni Tiso.

Week 6: The Independent and the Guardian publish a series of high-profile comment pieces slamming Charlie Hebdo for its ‘racist provocation’. They accuse it of ‘unpleasant Islamophobia’ and say it is provoking real-world violence against Muslims. The printing press that produces it ‘should be ashamed of itself’, they argue, and should publish ‘more Muslim-friendly magazines instead’. The comedic magazine Chortle says Charlie Hebdo is a ‘racist murderer’s almanac’ – ‘it might not provide racist killers with actual knives, but it has contributed to a prevalent predatory culture that reduces Muslims to nothing more than pieces of shit’,Chortle says. Forty-four comedians and satirists sign an open letter saying Charlie Hebdo is not only ‘unfunny’, it is also ‘inflammatory and dangerous’. All these articles are tweeted thousands of times by the #CoverUpCharlie movement, which now changes its name to #StopCharlie.

Week 7: A roving Guardian reporter devotes himself to exposing the private foul views held by Charlie Hebdo journalists, as expressed in emails to one another. He publishes a series of exclusives under the running headline ‘Their Racism Is No Joke’. He will later be awarded Private Eye’s Paul Foot Award and GQ’s Maverick of the Year Award for his role in exposing and harrying ‘the truly gutter press’.

Ahem…happens here…doesn’t it Nicky?

Week 8: Anti-fascist campaigners march on the offices of Charlie Hebdo, demanding: ‘Close down Charlie Hebdo!’. They argue that the fact that the state and the police allow Charlie Hebdo to continue operating shows just how Islamophobic and racist they are, too. The police start to guard Charlie Hebdo’s offices and make it clear to the staff that this is a drag on police time, with one police commissioner asking in an interview with the BBC: ‘Is this magazine really worth all this hassle and money?’

Week 9: Muslim campaign groups, backed by liberal lawyers, take legal action against the magazine under three different laws: incitement to racial hatred, malicious communications, and public disorder. The police stop guarding the mag’s offices and start investigating it for speech crimes.



– Spiked


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  • Crookednose

    WEEK 10) Gets bombed, cartoonists and staff slaughtered and all of the above come out in support of Charlie Hebdo.

    • Cambo

      WEEK 10) Gets bombed, cartoonists and staff slaughtered and all of the above say that Islam is a religion of peace and that these shooters, plus beheadings of civilians, the kidnapping, slavery and rape of Nigerian school children has got nothing to do with the overwhelming majority of the global Muslim community.
      The overwhelming majority of the Muslim community say nothing…

  • Andy

    I follow Brendan and Spiked a lot. Brendan O’Neill recently got banned from having a debate about abortion at Oxford. (He was on the pro-choice side). The feminists felt that two men couldn’t have a debate on the subject, and that it should be stopped (which it was) to “protect” the students. Britain is fast becoming one of the most intolerant countries in the west. People are being arrested for “offending” people on Twitter.
    I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before they ban Monty Python on “cultural safety” grounds

    • Cadwallader

      Yes, ridiculing Norwegian parrots was always close to the boundaries of acceptability.

      • Andy

        Parts of Fawlty Towers have been censored by the BBC (the “don’t mention the war” bits)

        Python laughed at the prospect of men marrying each other in the Registry Office sketch. I’m sure the thought police would like that to be excised from our memories

    • SlightlyStrange

      Which would be awfully sad, because I much prefer British comedy to American – far less PC on the whole.

  • Cadwallader

    In a month or so I expect the student newspapers of NZ (they generally prefer “Aotearoa” as a feel good factor) will decry publication of the French cartoons. An action which is supportive of the status-quo i.e. preservation of western values will be denounced. I only ask that those who have published to date continue to do so. “Lest we never forget!”

    • Pharmachick

      Well what do you expect? Wrongly Wrongson was the Editor of Craccum at UoA when I was there.

      • Cadwallader

        That says it all and more. I think Goff was involved there too many years ago.

        • Aucky

          Goff was probably involved in this ‘welcome home’ party in Queen Street for the returning Vietnam vets.

  • Greg M

    The scenario portrayed above is eerily familiar to what has already happened here. And Joe Public is too dopey to see it.

    • botti

      Pretty much. The UK journalist union guidelines are quite clear about downplaying anything showing minorities in a negative light.

      The front page of the DomPost World section today features a big photo and article from a UK paper of the black muslim hero working as the Kosher store. The guy is of course a hero, but somehow I doubt there would be a large photo and article dedicated to him if he’d been a middle aged white frenchman.

      Similarly, the immediate media response to this incident was about fears of “far right” parties capitalising on this and reprisals*. Of course, when they say ‘far right’ they mean parties that actually promote what the majority of what all countries Pew surveyed want – less immigration. On this basis the Dalai Lama, who is quite open about his concerns of Tibetans being swamped by immigration, is “Far Right”.


      • Hoju

        They won’t be a minority soon.

  • Richard

    When was the last time we learned of an attack against a Muslim by a Westerner?

    Even the MSM would struggle to recall a recent incident.

    No, it seems, even in spite of the media storm of “Islamaphobia” being whipped up, the only ones of the mindset to attack Muslims are, ironically…other Muslims,

  • spanishbride

    I was on twitter the other day ( I very rarely dip my toe in the water there ) and I discovered that a Human Rights Commission complaint has been made about our website because we published the Charlie Hebdo cartoons. ( Week one? )
    I also discovered that apparently I am ugly and a hater and a bigot. I cannot wait for week two!

    • Cambo

      Well SB, I imagine you will complain to the Commission too for 3 reasons. I am already very offended on your behalf for those hateful words you were called. I bet you can’t sleep at night because somebody said something mean…

      • spanishbride

        Yes I am deeply hurt that some twit on twitter has an opinion about me. Anyone would think that this is a free country with free speech! Sharia law will fix this problem. 1. I will have to cover my face so no one will see that I am ugly. 2. I will be executed for saying mean things about a man who married a 6 year old girl and then raped her fully when she was 9 ( can’t call a Pedo a Pedo tut tut it was a marriage not pedophilia apparently )
        3) My bigotry against wife beating and homosexual killing will be fixed by a public flogging and followed by a public stoning.

        • Cadwallader

          Make sure you consult the iwi before the stones for your execution are gathered. If you don’t you’ll really be in for the high-jump. If you are going to be pelted with stones it’ll be a comfort to know they don’t shepherd taniwha!

    • Simon Brown


    • Just a thought …

      Wow – a Human Rights Commission complaint. You and Cam just never seem to get tired of racking up the awards ……

      • peterwn

        It would be funny but for the Kangaroo Courts that operate in support of the Human Rights Commission etc with penalties that makes Bob Jones’ $1000 fine for punching Rod Vaughan on the hooter seem like small change.

    • ElZorrodePlata

      What about dirty politics? Where does the HMC stand on that? What about the Privacy Commissioner? Where were the do-gooders when all the crap was flowing prior to the election?

      It seems to me that all the do-gooders are part of the major issue in NZ… the ostrich factor. By that I mean burying their heads in the sand of righteousness whilst ignoring what is really going on both here and in the global community. Yes, we are taught from an early age that it’s ok to have a different skin colour, different religious beliefs, etc. These do-gooders believe that this extends to other international cultures, for example Islam.

      I would like to know if these do-gooders are going to protest against the mass killings in central Africa and in areas controlled by ISIS?

      I think it’s a lot simpler that most people make out… Either you support the killings in the name of Islam, or you oppose them. There are no 50 shades of grey here.

      Disclosure: I too am Islamophobic.

  • dgrogan

    We are heading for trouble in NZ, no question.
    A Muslim cleric in Wellington, Sheikh Mohammed Zewada, says the only way of achieving peace in the world is to avoid creating any image of the Prophet, Muhammad.

    WOBH took up the story:

    If that’s not trying to gag you, I don’t know what is. Yet so many here and worldwide, deceive themselves by calling solidarity with Charlie Hebdo. I guess it’s fashionable to follow #tags – but when it comes to making our own stand, well…leave it to others. We can’t offend people.

    Now they are trying to gag WOBH by complaining to the HRC.

    Disclosure: I am Islamophobic.