Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Call from US Left, “For popular action to close down the racist Charlie Hebdo magazine!”

with 34 comments

Image may contain: one or more people, sky, crowd and outdoor, text that says "NOUS AVONS VAINCU LE CALIFAT, NOUS VAINCRONS AUSSI SA MENTALITE #SamuelPaty"

Yankee Doodle Dandies Call “For popular action to close down the racist Charlie Hebdo magazine!”

Boycott Imperialist and Islamophobic France!

Solidarity with the Muslim migrants! Drive out the French occupiers from Mali and other countries!

Statement of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 26.10.2020,

 No to Islamophobic hatemongering!

* Release all arrested Muslims in France!

* For popular action to close down the racist Charlie Hebdo magazine!

* French Navy – out of the Eastern Mediterranean!

* Drive the French occupiers out of Mali and all other African countries!

* Freedom for Chechnya! Down with Russian imperialism!

* No “normalization” with Israel! For a single red and democratic state in historic Palestine from the river to the sea!

It will come as no surprise that this group, which has origins in Trotskyism,  has ‘Views” on the Holocaust, “The reason that the genocide of the Jews is unique is because the Jews were white Europeans.” “The Zionists also contributed to the genocide of the Jews because they wanted to secure their settler colonialism project rather than using their influence to open gates of the USA, Britain and other countries to the Jewish refugees.”

Counterfire has the relatively moderate rant on the topic  by an old mucker (I speak of muck), John Mullen.

Mullen is a friend of ‘Comrade Delta’, the SWP leader accused of rape. You can read him on Martin Smith’s site A Dream Deferred, This is a fact which oddly does not get mentioned. He is (or was, this is not clear, but I would like to imagine they would have told him to fuck off long ago) a member of Ensemble the left group that’s an ally of La France insoumise of  Jean-Luc Mélenchon

This is the gobshite published today:

France: build the movement against Islamophobia.

Patronising barely covers this bit,

Not understanding that these caricatures are racist is very common indeed on right and left in France, and the caricatures are on the school curriculum, so showing them in class as illustrations does not mean that this was a racist teacher.

As is this loony bins conspi theory:

In the Eastern region of France a booklet of caricatures of religious figures (“those most remarked upon”) will be distributed in every high school, and other regions will probably follow suit. The booklet will include anti Catholic caricatures too, but its main aim is Islamophobia. Town halls in major cities have been projecting on the walls of their buildings Charlie Hebdo cartoons, avoided the most insulting ones, but portraying mocking Islam as a brave blow for freedom.

MInd you he has a good word for his old comrade from Socialisme par en bas (the SWP’s arm in France, she was part of this group),

Leading figures such as FI Member of Parliament Danièle Obono have been in the forefront of the fight against Islamophobia for years, and persistent work by a minority has led to real progress on Islamophobia in the organisation.

HIs conclusion,

The most important task is to build as broad an alliance as possible to defend Muslims against Islamophobia.

Note I have corrected the US spelling.

Not a word, not a dickey bird, about his own orga’s declaration.

In the view of many on the left this is about the best statement going,


Agir contre le terrorisme islamiste, pas contre les musulmans.

After the abominable act perpetrated against a teacher last Friday, it is important to act against Islamist fascism, which threatens democratic freedoms, secularism, and community relations. We will be in this struggle: we are against all oppressions.

But we refuse to allow a battle to be waged against Muslims. In this regard, the request to dissolve the CCIF is inadmissible. This Collective against Islamophobia did not intervene in the denunciation of Samuel Paty. It should not be sanctioned. In the same way, there is no need to stigmatise all Chechens for the act of one of them, nor to suspect all asylum seekers … Nor is it the place to establish a wide-ranging law against “separatism”, which risks stigmatising those who adhere to a religion, andis, as a result, itself legislation that creates division.

The far right and the right are taking advantage of the situation to advance their repressive agenda Under the guise of the fight against Islamist terrorism, they aim to attack migrants, call into question the right to asylum, and permanently destroy the possibility of different communities living together in a free and democratic society.

For your info Mullen the fact that you, a member of the group that has somebody as respected as Clémentine Autain as a leader, are playing politics in the UK (as in your role in the JVL statement on the same issue) at the moment is highly unwelcome. 


Written by Andrew Coates

October 27, 2020 at 11:59 am

34 Responses

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  1. Surely they cannot condone the attack against Charlie Hebdo. And in any case it was perpetrated by extremists, nothing to do with ordinary Muslims, erm..or is that the point they’re making? I’m confused. I haven’t seen the cartoons myself but I imagine that they were critical of extremism not of Islam itself. Extremism that results in violence and murder should be condemned by everyone.


    October 27, 2020 at 2:17 pm

    • They do, they want mass terror, mass murder of French secularists like me, or failing that, we should be in labour camps.

      These Yankke doodle Marxists have got it all planned!

      Andrew Coates

      October 27, 2020 at 2:28 pm

      • I’m surprised the U.S. Left even know where France is.


        October 27, 2020 at 2:58 pm

        • I’m surprised they’ve not called for chips, or as the Doodles call ’em, French fries, to be renamed Freedom Fries, and that they have not gone on about the French Cheese Eating Surrender monkeys.

          Er hold on, that’s been done before.

          Andrew Coates

          October 27, 2020 at 5:26 pm

          • Charlie’s response to the people attacking France Erdogan, In his private life he’s a right laugh.

            Andrew Coates

            October 27, 2020 at 6:11 pm

  2. anyone who loves French cheese or Chanel No5 would be better off not travelling to a Muslim country , as they are announcing boycotts of French goods. The cartoons were in the tradition of Rabelais, as is Charlie Hebdo, and were of a naked Muhammed. Any Muslim would find that offensive and disgusting. So it’s not just a question of ‘extremism’. There is a prohibition against depictions of humans and especially Muhammed himself, plus it is disrespectful to show him in the nude. Nothing to do with ‘extremism’, it’s the DNA of their religion.

    Sue R

    October 27, 2020 at 3:06 pm

    • @ Sue R

      I stand corrected, I didn’t know the content of the cartoons and I can see why that would be offensive to Muslims. I was raised in a Christian family and though I’m not a Bible-thumping church-goer that background has helped frame my beliefs as an adult and I think I might be offended by such images depicting Jesus, the difference is though I wouldn’t be driven to homicidal revenge, rather I would be saddened at peoples’ ignorance and pity them “for they know not what they do”. Perhaps it would be better if people refrained from being deliberately offensive to other peoples’ religious beliefs and religious figures they revere, whether it be the Prophet Mohammed or Jesus Christ or Ganesh, whoever. Criticize Religion in general by all means but don’t make it personally offensive. Not that being offended is any excuse for murder.


      October 27, 2020 at 6:21 pm

      • Charlie is the last remnant of the ‘Underground Press’

        It is meant to be offensive.

        I suggest you go on a Festival of Light Demo against OZ to express above views.

        They gave me and mate Dave (Sue R knows the bloke I refer to) a good kicking when we protested against them

        Andrew Coates

        October 27, 2020 at 7:54 pm

        • And there’s me thinking I was being perfectly reasonable! Compromise in the interests of conflict resolution isn’t always a bad thing. It doesn’t necessarily mean you have to compromise the principle of free speech, just be a little more thoughtful. After all, we do curtail freedom of speech in a politically correct way to avoid causing offence on grounds of race, gender, sexuality, so why is it deemed ok to cause insult and injury on grounds of personal religious beliefs? Nothing is above Satire but Satire only works if it is done cleverly enough to not be gratuitous, otherwise it ceases to be ironic.


          October 27, 2020 at 8:24 pm

          • Trev, when I say I am francophone I am not having a bleedin’ laugh.

            Charlie means many things to us.

            My sister remembers going with her to speak on the anarchist radio station, Radio libertaire, Montmartre, I lived not far off, and seeing Cabu cartoons all over the walls,

            Andrew Coates

            October 27, 2020 at 8:52 pm

            • Ok I get that Charlie has become something of a French institution and being freely offensive is at the root of it’s humour. I remember Viz being very funny many years ago, passed around at work and in the pub around 1990 and everyone thought it hilarious, but it was certainly un-pc with characters such as the “fat slags” and “Millie Tant” the stereotypical left-wing militant feminist bicycle-riding lesbian it must have offended someone. We no longer have primetime tv comedians telling jokes about homosexuals and foreigners, and even Father Ted brilliantly satirised the Roman Catholic priesthood without lampooning Christianity itself or Jesus, as did comedian Dave Allen in the early 70s. And of course no one publishes offensive-but-humorous cartoons about Jews. And Hindus get pretty touchy about the inappropriate use of images of Ganesh ( https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/b/hindus-urge-withdrawal-ganesh-print-british-leggings ).


              October 27, 2020 at 9:48 pm

              • The comparison with Viz is totally exact but one point: Charlie has done front covers on religious Jews. Very offensive

                A mate of mine when I lived in Paris sent me copies of Viz and said I would like it – he had seen my French BD collection.

                Andrew Coates

                October 27, 2020 at 10:09 pm

  3. The cartoon reminds me of the photo I saw of some Saudi royal in a swimming pool with Rhianna. No Muslim woman would have been allowed in a pool with some non-muslim male celebrity. The cartoon trades on such double standards and hypocrisy. Some religions leave themselves more exposed to such barbs than others for a whole load of reasons, not all directly related to the particular theological positions of the religion. What is offensive is a matter of subjective judgement and taste and not open to political censorship


    October 27, 2020 at 10:48 pm

    • French humour is very funny, it’s a total myth that it’s uniquely French.

      Hold on, liking the late Johnny Hallyday is uniquely French,

      Andrew Coates

      October 27, 2020 at 11:40 pm

      • I’m not sure who Johnny Halliday even is. Mind you I’m a bit behind the times, I’ve only just discovered that Plastic Bertrand didn’t really sing on the record Ca Plane Pour Moi , but I think he’s probably Belgian anyway.


        October 28, 2020 at 12:01 am

        • If you want some *real* music I recommend Renaud.

          Andrew Coates

          October 28, 2020 at 6:15 am

          • And this, The Opportunist: I was for Communism, I was for socialism, now I’m for capitalism….

            Andrew Coates

            October 28, 2020 at 6:19 am

  4. Trev: The freedom to criticise religion, to pole fun at it was fundamental to the Englightenment, to moving away from God-given rules to man-made laws. In Britain we have not seen the full fury of religion for a couple of hundred of years, British Protestantism is seasoned (especially now) with a large dose of liberalism, because that is modernity. Many societies around the world are not fully modern, the social and property relations persisting are feudal or tribal and certainly agrarian. They cling to religion as a way of regulating human conduct. You might argue that religion organises men (and women) ethically, it gies them a social outlook and that is true, but it’s not rational, it relies on being frightened of the deprivation of eternal life, or of the deity punishing you if you step out of line. Satire rose with the rise of the bourgoisie, in England, in France, because they thought they had a better way to organise society and that the old aristocratic way was hampering economic development. The hallmark of capitalist society is a move towards greater ‘rationality’ in doing things. What are those lines in the Internationale? ‘Away with all your superstitions, Let the masses arise, arise, We’ll end forthwith the old traditions and spurn the dust to win the prize!’. Just as an afterthought to that, Islam does not separate the sacred and the profane, all realms are controlled by God and his laws appertain. It was colonialism/modernity which forced the societies to develop economically and politically.

    Sue R

    October 28, 2020 at 10:46 am

    • What sort of God threatens you with eternal life?

      Mrs Brown

      October 28, 2020 at 11:31 am

      • It’s not a threat – it’s a promise 😉


        October 29, 2020 at 12:27 pm

    • Sue R

      Yes I am well aware that organized Religion is and has been used as a means of social control, and there are various aspects of Religious dogma that are used to discriminate against certain groups (eg. Women) and that’s something that has to change. I did say be critical of Religion itself by all means, but that can be done without personally attacking revered figures of a particular religion, i.e. Saints, Prophets, etc. It is perfectly valid to satirically criticize religious leaders where warranted such as individual Clerics, though that might also cause offence but in some cases may be justified. In the case of cartoon representations, posters, or filmed comedy sketches, the successful use of irony (in visual art) as a tool or strategy of subversives humour relies on it being cleverly done so as not to be gratuitous, otherwise the irony is lost. Monty Python were masters of the art as was John Heartfield for example.


      October 28, 2020 at 11:51 am

      • Against all fundamentalism, whether political or religious! We have to act now! Union Fédérale SUD Industrie : No Pasaran !
        This is not a single incident, nor an isolated act, but
        the result of a fundamentalist religious ideology, the same ideology followed by the authors of the attacks against Charlie Hebdo and the Kosher supermarket, the same ideology which radicalises and leads to sectarian aberrations and which bears a name: *political Islamism.* It is necessary to call out clearly such things, in a period when confusions have arisen. Political Islamism, which tries to make people believe that it speaks in the name of “Muslims”, must be fought root and branch. The fight for anti-racism must be a constant struggle, from within our workplaces against discrimination, and at the same time combatting as vigorously political and religious fascists.

        Andrew Coates

        October 28, 2020 at 12:13 pm

        • I agree, the fight against Fundamentalism is imperative, but cartoons of a naked Prophet in a compromising position don’t do that. Instead of specifically targeting and undermining the Fundamentalists it merely causes offence to the Muslim masses and therefore misses the mark. Substitute a different figure for the Prophet, say Osama Bin Laden (before he was dead) or one of the fundamentalist Clerics, and the message is more effectively communicated.


          October 28, 2020 at 12:47 pm

          • The declaration above is from a hard left trade union.

            I could cite my FB French friends, many of whom are from a North African background (the Islamists murdered tens of thousands of our comrades in the civil war in the 1990s, the blood of the comrades weighs heavily on our minds) or the Iranian comrades tortured and murdered in the gaols of the Islamic Republic.

            But I posted a picture of the Kurdish comrades at the head of the post (for that is their flag of freedom next to the placard) who gave thousands of martyrs fighting Islamist tyranny.

            They shall not pass, No passaram!

            Andrew Coates

            October 28, 2020 at 6:14 pm

  5. Classic liberal bullshit from Trev. Either freedom of speech means the freedom to offend or it means nothing. It would be a whole lot cheaper to encourage cancer sufferers and lepers to seek out holy men and women than to develop cures for their ailments, and indeed that is exactly what the premodern world did. I’ve just finished reading Daniel Defoe’s ‘Journal of the Plague Year’ where he talks about the ‘quacking doctors’ with their cures, needless to say completely ineffective. Leave Saints alone!. That’s exactly what the Protestants refused to do. A principle disagreement between Catholicism and Protestantism was the question of Saints and relics. If you pay obeisance to St Ermatrude’s toenailwyou will cured of the sweating palsy and all that. One thing I have found very disorienting when visiting Catholic countries (and Orthodox) is the display of saints’ bones or the tokens of cured supplicants, a major source of wealth for the Catholic Church. I know what Marx, Engles, Lenin and Trotsky, (and maybe Stalin too) would say about not criticising religion. It retards society’s development. When I was a child, in the 60s, it was commonplace to pity Ireland for being ‘priest ridden’, it is only really through joining the EU that they have been able to loosen the shackles of the Church. As for disrespecting other cultures holy folk, it may not be the number 1 priority, but it is not something that we should shrink from. THESE ZEALOTS HATE THE MODERN WORLD BECAUSE IT WOULD DENY THEM ABSOLUTE POWER.

    Sue R

    October 28, 2020 at 12:20 pm

    • With your obvious anti-Religion axe to grind you come across as a Militant Atheist, another type of Zealot.


      October 28, 2020 at 8:50 pm

  6. Andrew what happened to the reply I wrote to Trev? It ended with ‘DOWN WITH ZEALOTS’.

    Sue R

    October 28, 2020 at 2:39 pm


      I agree! That’s what I’ve been saying. Target the Fundamentalists. Cartoons that offend everyone in general (of a particular religion) only serve to further empower the Zealots.


      October 28, 2020 at 2:59 pm

      • You mean capitulate to them? Have you heard of the “assassin’s veto”, trev?

        Jim Denham

        October 28, 2020 at 7:00 pm

        • “You mean capitulate to them”

          I think I’ve adequately explained my position and what I mean.


          October 28, 2020 at 8:04 pm

          • I’m sure your position is not ours Trev but you have expressed it well.

            You should know our leftist politics, I am a one time ‘Pabloite'(the tendency Keir Starmer was part of, Pablo served time for his support for the Algerian revolution), Jim is a leading member of the Alliance for Workers’ Liberty, Sue ‘R’ was in the IMG, Francis is ex-CPGB Eurocommunist, I could go on, we are probably not something you have come across before.

            We are pretty heavy types.

            Andrew Coates

            October 28, 2020 at 8:22 pm

          • @trev, what’s your take on Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi’s response to the latest atrocities in France? Your response should flush you out 😉

            ‘Enough is enough, ‘It’s time now for France to exonerate itself from the laws of peace in order to definitively wipe out Islamo-fascism from our territory.’


            October 29, 2020 at 12:33 pm

    • I did not know that.

      I got the newshounds on their trail and all they got was this,

      “In April 2011, a left-wing faction in the LFI, the Bolshevik Opposition, was bureaucraticaly expelled from the League for the Fifth International. The majority of the faction were members of the Austrian Section, who went on to form the RKOB (Revolutionary Communist Organisation) – and recently founded a new international, the RCIT (Revolutionary Communist International Tendency).”

      They are a racist split with an ‘antizionist’ bent,


      Andrew Coates

      October 28, 2020 at 9:09 pm

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