The Phileas Club 52 – Are We Charlie?

Randy from the US, Kerwin from Australia, Matthias from Germany, Mahmoud from UAE and Patrick from France talk about the attack on Charlie Hebdo and their consequences.



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  1. Christopher says:

    Patrick, about half way through this episode you were talking with Mahmoud about physical violence in response to words/pictures when there are legal actions that could be taken. You said this seemed uncivilized. Yet you have mentioned several times on the show the corporate hostage taking, adolescent car burning, and shutting down of freeways by people on strike, etc. which are all probably things that should be prosecuted by police in your own country. Are the French not uncivilized as well?

    • In that regard, yes, I would say so. All of those seem a lot less civilized than taking a pen to ere your grievances… Obviously that way of doing things is not always ideal or even possible, but I do believe that if there’s a scale of “better” ways of doing things, violence is always less ideal than not violence. It seems obvious or even silly, but that’s what it ultimately boils down to in my argument… Makes sense?

      • Christopher says:

        No, I completely understand. It just seemed at the time in the podcast like you were taking a moral high ground compared to Mahmoud’s culture, and I was pointing out that the French are just as cavalier about violence as Muslims, just in different ways. Neither of you (or I, in the United States) are correct in this approach, nonviolence is better. But it scares me a bit listening to your podcast about the seeming moral relativism with regard to these “lesser” evils you talk about in your own country, like they aren’t real problems. After listening to the Phileas Club for some time now, I would rather live (long term) in most Arab countries than France, because they respect the law more!

      • I think you might have a skewed vision of France; it is in no way a “violent” country… Any country, described by these kind of extreme examples, could become scary. The US would be a prime example of that (not sure you live there, it’s just a striking image).

  2. Hi. I hesitated a lot before listening to this show, mostly because I thought I would still be too emotionnal since I’m french. I listened carefully ans found very interesting. Still lets me thinking that There is a huge contradiction in Mahmood’s point of view that I cant accep : he says killing is unacceptable and says accurately that religion is very personal and muslims respect all Other religions. I believe him. But a while after he underlines that Charlie Hebdo’s “everything is forgiven” réaction cartoon is a sign that Charlie didnt learn from the killing… I strongly believe that this contradiction is frightening ! If someone as moderated as he is thinks that way then what should se learn ?

    • I think that is the core of what is difficult to understand… They both condemn the violence, but aren’t surprised by it. Kind of like looking at an idiot teasing a lion: you’re not happy when the lion bites the guy’s arm off, but you’re not surprised either. Not a great analogy I understand, but I think it kind of works in that context.

      • I think that a similar (sad) analogy would be here in the United States.

        No one wants another school shooting but we all expect that it will happen again.

      • While this is obviously a very different thing, I suppose there are some similarities in that regard indeed…

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