Take up Charlie Hebdo’s fallen banner and proudly display some Mohamed in your life *UPDATED*

David Pope image he drew firstParisians apparently turned out en masse to honor the Charlie Hebdo murder victims. It’s too late to wonder whether these weeping Parisians could have prevented this massacre if, over the years, they’d shown the same courage as the Charlie Hebdo editor, cartoonists, and staff. Perhaps if they’d stood up for their culture, these Islamists wouldn’t have taken the bit in their teeth. That’s water under the bridge, though, not to mention the fact that, with a president who promises that the future doesn’t belong to the Charlie Hebdos of the world, a serious case of the pot calling the kettle black.

What I know for sure, however, is that, for all the tears and the “Je Suis Charlie” signs people are displaying and tweeting, what seems to be lacking from the gatherings is any effort to pick up where Charlie Hebdo left off. In all the pictures of the Paris crowds that I’ve examined, the only Mohamed pictures that show up are the rare sightings of those in the hands of people holding actual copies of Charlie Hebdo.  See for yourselves:

#JeSuisCharlie Trends As Social Media Users Express Solidarity In Wake Of Attack On Charlie Hebdo

The Most Powerful Pictures Following The Attack On Charlie Hebdo

‘Je Suis Charlie’: Huge crowds gather across Europe after Paris attack


Je suis Charlie! The cry of defiance: Vast crowds rally across the world to condemn the gun massacre as Francoise Hollande declares tomorrow a day of mourning

[UPDATE: Apropos this last-linked article, Wolf Howling described the so-called “defian ce” on display in Europe as follows: “None of that is ‘defiance.’ It’s the herding of sheep who feel the breath of the wolf pack on their necks.”]

You can also check out the Twitter feed for #JeSuisCharlie to see pictures of the Parisian crowds — and still no Mohamed images. Mostly what people are doing is hand holding, crying , holding up candles and luminous smart phones, “Je suis Charlie” signs, and a few, very few, “liberte” signs — but no Mohamed.

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Hey, Mohammed! Did you know that life is starting to resemble surreal old jokes?

An army of Davids.

An army of Davids.

This joke came out of the 1973 Yom Kippur War (or at least that’s when I first heard it).  It’s not a very good joke but back in the day I enjoyed its surreal silliness:

Arab military strategists are very excited, because they’ve figured something important out about the Israeli forces:  the vast majority of troops are named “David.”  They therefore come up with a new tactic.  They direct Arab troops to holler out “David!” during the fight.  When the Israeli soldiers respond to their names by standing up Arabs will shoot them.

The battle begins, and the Arab troops following their instructions to the letter.  “David!” they holler.

The Israeli troops, instead of standing up, holler back “Is that you, Mohammed?”

The Arab troops stand up, and the Israelis shoot them.

Whether that soggy joke remains a silly, surreal joke, or become yet another chapter in the world’s ongoing insanity is now a question in my mind, thanks to this news story:

The head of the southern Russian republic of Chechnya said Monday that his mother’s charity would pay $1,000 to families naming newborns on that day after the founder of Islam.

Monday marked the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad in the tradition of Sunni Islam.

The leader of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, said the charity would pay the $1,000 to infants born on that day who were named in honor of Muhammad or any of the prophet’s wives, children or 10 companions to whom he personally promised paradise.