Wednesday at the University of Vermont, “The Satanic Verses” author Salman Rushdie defended the Charlie Hebdo murdered cartoonists’ right to offend with free speech.
Rushdie said, “Charlie Hebdo attacked everything. It attacked Muslims, the Pope, Israel and rabbis, black people and white people, gay people and straight people. They attacked every single kind of human being, because it was making fun. Its strategy was to make fun of people. It was seen as that, and it was very loved. These cartoonists were beloved in France.”
“The moment somebody says, ‘Yes I believe in free speech, but,’ I stop listening,” he continued. “You know ‘I believe in free speech, but people should behave themselves. I believe in free speech, but we shouldn’t upset anybody. I believe in free speech, but let’s not go too far.’ The point about it is, the moment you limit free speech, it’s not free speech. The point about it is that it is free.”
“You can dislike Charlie Hebdo, not all their drawings are funny,” Rushdie added. “But the fact that you dislike them has nothing to do with their right to speak. The fact that you dislike them certainly doesn’t in anyway excuse their murder.”
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