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Charlie Hebdo Cartoons Published in French Magazine Show Crude Images of Prophet Mohammed

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Charlie Hebdo Muhammad

Recently, I decided to address the issue of freedom of speech in regards to whether it is ever okay to limit it if it is too protect the common good. The example I used was on Google and YouTube’s decision to ban people from viewing an anti-Islam film in certain countries. This action was also done by certain governments as to not promote violent protests as the world has seen happen since the release of the film “Innocence of Muslims.” With the protests occurring more and violence escalating, a French magazine has decided to enter the arena in regards to whether freedom of speech should be censored if it is to protect the common good.

If a person comes across a fire, one would hope that individual would try to put it out instead of adding something to it that would cause it to burn more severely. Many are now saying that is what Charlie Hebdo, a satirical French magazine, is doing by publishing cartoons that features a figure that strongly resembles the Prophet Mohammed on Wednesday.

Though the magazine is known for its’ outrageous humor, the decision to run the cartoons has many feeling that Charlie Hebdo is pouring oil on what has become a fiery debate between the freedom of expression and offensive provocation. The timing of the issue also adds to the “fire” since it hit stands only eight days after the anti-Islam video ignited violent protests to occur that has resulted in many deaths, including one protest that led to the death of the U.S. ambassador to Libya.Charlie Hebdo Cartoons

As a precaution, security at some of France’s embassies has been increased after the issue was released Wednesday. The debate on whether the magazine should have printed the cartoons also adds to the discussion on if freedom of speech/expression should have its’ limits.

Laurent Leger, a journalist at Charlie Hebdo, spoke out in defending the magazine’s decision to print the cartoons and that the intention is not to provoke violence or anger.

He said, “The aim is to laugh. We want to laugh at the extremists — every extremist. They can be Muslim, Jewish, Catholic. Everyone can be religious, but extremist thoughts and acts we cannot accept.” Leger also said that the magazine was within their rights and is not responsible for the reactions of others.  “In France, we always have the right to write and draw. And if some people are not happy with this, they can sue us and we can defend ourselves. That’s democracy. You don’t throw bombs; you discuss, you debate. But you don’t act violently. We have to stand and resist pressure from extremism.”

Sylvain Marseguerra, a 21-year-old student in Sorbonne, agreed with Leger and that the magazine has the right to do what they did. “I’m not shocked at all. If this shocks people, well too bad for them. We are free to say what we want. We are a country in which freedom prevails and … if this doesn’t enchant some people, well too bad for them.”

While there is support for the magazine and their philosophy, others in the public feel differently and that freedom of speech should have its’ limits. One such individual, Khairreddene Chabbara, said, “We are for freedom of expression, but when it comes to religion it shouldn’t hurt the feelings of believers.”

French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault supports freedom of the press but should be limited. Ayrault said Tuesday that “We have a free press that can express itself right up to the point of caricature. But there is also a question of responsibility.”

Though the government has not done anything at the present to stop sales of the magazine, France is already dealing with rising tensions that has rapidly been growing in the Muslim minority. Just last year the country decided to put a ban on the wearing of Islamic veils and other face coverings, claiming they were both a security risk and degrading. Belgium made the decision to pass similar legislation while Switzerland decided to ban the building of minarets, the tall spires that usually stand next to mosques.

In looking back, one might think Charlie Hebdo likes to play with fire as the magazine has been involved in dangerous controversy before. Back in 2006, the magazine printed reprints of caricatures from a Danish newspaper in 2005 that invoked anger across the Islamic world. Many European papers decided to reprint the drawings in the name of media freedom.

In 2008, Charlie Hebdo was taken to court and eventually acquitted by a Paris appeals court of supposedly “publicly abusing a group of people because of their religion” following a complaint made by Muslim associations.

Charlie Hebdo Cartoons

Last November, the magazines front-page had the subtitle “Sharia Hebdo,” a reference to Islamic law, and also showed caricatures depicting radical Muslims. The result was hours before the edition were to hit newsstands; the newspaper’s offices were destroyed in a firebomb attack.

The debate over if freedom of speech should have its’ limits will go on for who knows how long. It is a debate that will have repercussions and is not localized to just France.

The debate has spread to neighboring Germany, where Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle shared his thoughts Wednesday on the issue. “I call on all those, especially those who rightly invoke the right of freedom of speech, to also act responsibly. The one who now puts more oil on the fire on purpose, with obvious effect, is not the greatest thinker.”

Westerwelle spoke in Berlin and said the German Embassy in Sudan, which ended up being attacked last week, remains closed. He also indicated that security at the country’s embassies in other countries has been increased.

French magazine publishes crude images of Prophet Muhammad

Anger in the Muslim world shifts to France after a magazine – Charlie Hebdo – publishes naked images of the Prophet Muhammad.

France Closes 20 Embassies Amid Threats After Magazine Publishes Mohammad Cartoons

A French magazine’s decision to publish cartoons depicting a naked Prophet Mohammad triggered a new wave of fears at embassies in Europe, even as anger at the west continued to sweep through the Muslim world.

France announced Wednesday it will close 20 embassies in Arab and Muslim nations after the weekly Charlie Hebdo published the controversial cartoons. The images threaten to further inflame Muslim protesters and terror groups, who have demonstrated against the U.S. at embassies around the world since an anti-Islam film went viral last week.

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  1. ALI

    September 21, 2012 at 7:03 am

    Unfortunately, The meaning of words, phrases and clauses have changed over the ages. Freedom of expression is what that is being done by drawing crude pictures of revered One as well as producing a such movie’s depiction in which completely the character is misunderstood. I would love to quote an incident in which our Muhammad (pbuh) once travelled to preach in a city where the people of city – as they didn’t know Him – threw stones or pebbles on Him. At the same time, Angle Gabriel appeared with the order of Allah of demolishing the city with people if the Prophet permitted – but the Prophet said, No, say to Allah to forgive them as they are not familiar to Me. So, I appeal to all muslims to be calm as they don’t know our Prophet. Pray to Allah to give them guidance or destroy them. These riots, violence and killing is not going to bring any positive results. Follow a certain way of law to get these trouble makers to the account.

    Secondly, it is all happening because we have left following the teaching of our Prophet. Just see the a common Muslim who seems to be far away from the Islam. We love our Prophet but we do not follow the path He showed us. Devil is playing his game to get the human beings create a scene of war. So wake up! before it gets too late. NO ONE ON THIS EARTH OR OTHERS CAN DISGRACE A LITTLE OF THOUSANDS OF OUR BELOVED PROPHET AS HE IS BEYOND AND ABOVE FROM SUCH WORLDLY MALICIOUS ACTS.

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House Passes Raising Minimum Wage To $15 An Hour

Democratic-led House approves raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour but will have to face more opposition from Senate and White House.

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Nancy Pelosi | Flickr | CC BY 2.0

The long-sought $15 minimum wage to American workers finally passed approval from the US House Committee Thursday through the Raise the Wage Act.

The Act came to fruition in a 231-199 vote, where only six Democrats opposed it, while three Republicans supported it.

“This is about workers, it’s about their economic and financial security, and today is a bright day because it affects so many people in our country,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Thursday at a press conference flanked by fast-food workers, activists and lawmakers ahead of the scheduled vote.

Notably, the Raise the Minimum Wage Act took some time in revisions from the Democratic-led chamber with considerations to smaller businesses and for some states that could absorb more significant impact as compared to other major states.

The legislation was instead amended earlier this week, where the initial five-year plan was revised to a more gradual six-year phase-in.

In a nutshell, the Act would gradually hike the US pay floor to $15 an hour by 2025, to let businesses and economy adjust with the change. Then, index future increase to median wage gains.

Throughout the next six years, the minimum wage hikes would take effect on the following schedule: $8.40 in 2019, $9.50 in 2020, $10.60 in 2021, $11.70 in 2022, $12.80 in 2023, $13.90 in 2024 and $15 in 2025.

Furthermore, it would also eventually abolish the lower minimum wage for tipped workers, where businesses reason American “tipping culture” as to why people like waitresses and bartenders are paid below the current minimum wage.

The bill would eliminate a seldom-used pay floor for teen workers that pays them less than the minimum wage and abolish subminimum wages for workers with disabilities.

“I commend my colleagues for taking this important step towards creating an economy that works for everyone,” said Rep. Bobby Scott, a Virginia Democrat who introduced the legislation, in a statement. “Now, Senate Republicans must decide to either stand with American workers or turn their backs on hardworking people across the country.”

However, the legislation has yet to gain approval from the Senate and the President to receive implementation. The problem is that both are mostly Democratic-leaning—where they contend that raising the minimum wage would drastically affect the US economy.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell expressed that he has no plans to bring the legislation up in his chamber. On Thursday, he told Fox Business Network that the Act would “depress the economy at a time of economic boom,” adding, “we’re not going to be doing that in the Senate.”

The White House also warned this week that Trump would veto the measure if it came to his desk. The Trump administration argued its policies are “driving economic growth and increasing workers’ take-home pay far more effectively and efficiently” than the Democratic plan. The White House contended it would “eliminate jobs and reduce total wages for American workers.”

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated that the bill would give 17 million U.S. workers a raise — and could lift wages for millions more. It would also boost the annual income of 1.3 million people above the poverty level, CNBC reported.

However, it would also “eviscerate millions of American jobs,” citing a July report from the Congressional Budget Office that said 3.7 million Americans would lose their jobs if the measure is adopted, House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., said

Related: It’s Time To Raise The ‘Federal Minimum Wage’

The last increase to the US federal minimum wage was July 2009 — which is almost a decade ago. The federal minimum wage was raised from $6.55 an hour to the current $7.25 an hour.

One of the major problems activists cite with the current $7.25 an hour minimum wage is that it can barely cover basic expenses, with prices for healthcare, oil, and commodities had gone up within the past decade. The $7.25 rate in 2009 is valued at only about $6 in 2019. The cost of living has soared 18% since the last increase.

In line with the report, states have passed bills that raise state minimum wages higher than the federal baseline. As of June this year, 21 states have passed minimum wage hikes—some even at the $15 an hour threshold.

However, the state minimum wage varies. In Florida, the minimum wage stands at $8.46 an hour; in Hawaii, it’s $10.10 an hour; in California, the minimum wage goes up to $12 an hour. Meanwhile, in states like New York and Seattle, the minimum wage reaches $15 an hour and even $16 an hour, respectively.

Companies like Amazon and Walmart have raised their minimum wage to $15 and $14.26 an hour, respectively. The move has prompted government states to follow suit.

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[Breaking] Donald Trump Said His Admin Will Investigate Google For Treason

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Photo: Gage Skidmore | Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

Following the call of Presidential adviser, Peter Thiel, for the National Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to investigate Google’s “treasonous” behavior, President Donald Trump responded with affirmation saying “the Trump Administration will investigate.”

In a tweet today, Trump called Peter Thiel a “great and brilliant guy who knows this subject better than anyone,” and said that his administration is ready to investigate the involvement of Google with the Chinese military if Peter Thiel believes so.

Peter Thiel, one of Facebook’s Board Members and a close consultant for President Donald Trump, has called for the FBI and the CIA to launch an investigation against Google after the San Francisco-based tech giant withdrawn from a high-value project with the military.

Google has a “treasonous” relationship with the Chinese military

Trump’s adviser also questions the relationship between Google and the Chinese military, calling it “treasonous,” a new report from Axios last Sunday revealed.

In 2018, Google decided to withdraw from a contract between the tech superpower and the U.S. Department of Defense for the development of artificial intelligence (AI) technology, citing that the projects have certain ethical issues that they cannot be involved in.

Speaking at the National Conservatism Conference in Washington, D.C. The crowd-packed lecture was entitled “The Star Trek Computer Is Not Enough,” Peter Thiel, who is also a board member on Facebook, wants the FBI and CIA to investigate how Google is used by foreign intelligence. He wants the government agencies to ask the company “how many foreign intelligence agencies have infiltrated your Manhattan Project for AI?”

According to Axios’ report, there are no public documents that stipulate any infiltration by foreign intelligence of Google. However, they said that Thiel owns a company called Palantir, which works with the Trump Administration and has access to millions worth of government data, including American private information. Nonetheless, it is still unclear if Thiel’s assertions are motivated by any personal and classified knowledge he drew from his relationship with the White House.

“Number two, does Google’s senior management consider itself to have been thoroughly infiltrated by Chinese intelligence?” Thiel continued.

“Number three, is it because they consider themselves to be so thoroughly infiltrated that they have engaged in the seemingly treasonous decision to work with the Chinese military and not with the U.S. military… because they are making the sort of bad, short-term rationalistic [decision] that if the technology doesn’t go out the front door, it gets stolen out the backdoor anyway?”

Aside from targeting Google’s integrity, some attendees to Sunday’s lecture said that Thiel also attacked Americans saying that they were too fat and addicted to drugs, adding that, “the biggest problem in our society is the problem of political correctness.”

“American exceptionalism has led us to a country that is exceptionally overweight, exceptionally addicted to opioids, exceptionally unaware and exceptionally un-self-reflective,” Thiel said as transcribed by Keith Urban who attended the conference and previously worked for Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

Other reports said that Thiel also made comments on how American Ivy Leagues and top universities are losing their non-profit status. He also said that any links between Google and China, “need to be asked by the FBI, by the CIA, and I’m not sure quite how to put this; I would like them to be asked in a not excessively gentle manner.”

Trump also calls out double standards in favor of Democrat Congresswomen

Meanwhile, in an unrelated tweet, President Trump questioned the double standards in favor of Democratic congresswomen. He said that these women talk about the most “vile, hateful, and disgusting things ever said by a politician in the House or Senate” but they are given a free pass by the media and the people.

“The Democrat Congresswomen have been spewing some of the most vile, hateful, and disgusting things ever said by a politician in the House or Senate, & yet they get a free pass and a big embrace from the Democrat Party. Horrible anti-Israel, anti-USA, pro-terrorist & public shouting of the F…word, among many other terrible things, and the petrified Dems run for the hills. Why isn’t the House voting to rebuke the filthy and hate laced things they have said? Because they are the Radical Left, and the Democrats are afraid to take them on. Sad!” the President wrote.

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Trump Adviser Peter Thiel Wants FBI And CIA To Investigate Google’s ‘Treasonous’ Behavior

He asked: “How many foreign intelligence agencies have infiltrated your Manhattan Project for AI?”

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Photo: JD Lasica | Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Peter Thiel, one of Facebook’s Board Members and a close consultant for President Donald Trump, has called for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Central Intelligence Agency to launch an investigation against Google after the San Francisco-based tech giant withdrawn from a high-value project with the military.

Trump’s adviser also questions the relationship between Google and the Chinese military, calling it “treasonous,” a new report from Axios last Sunday revealed.

In 2018, Google decided to withdraw from a contract between the tech superpower and the U.S. Department of Defense for the development of artificial intelligence (AI) technology citing that the projects have certain ethical issues that they cannot be involved in.

Thiel, who is also a board member on Facebook, wants the FBI and CIA to investigate how Google is used by foreign intelligence. He wants the government agencies to ask the company “how many foreign intelligence agencies have infiltrated your Manhattan Project for AI?”

According to Axios’ report, there are no public documents that stipulate any infiltration by foreign intelligence of Google. However, they said that Thiel owns a company called Palantir, which works with the Trump Administration and has access to millions worth of government data, including American private information. Nonetheless, it is still unclear if Thiel’s assertions are motivated by any personal and classified knowledge he drew from his relationship with the White House.

“Number two, does Google’s senior management consider itself to have been thoroughly infiltrated by Chinese intelligence?” Thiel continued.

“Number three, is it because they consider themselves to be so thoroughly infiltrated that they have engaged in the seemingly treasonous decision to work with the Chinese military and not with the U.S. military… because they are making the sort of bad, short-term rationalistic [decision] that if the technology doesn’t go out the front door, it gets stolen out the backdoor anyway?”

Peter Thiel raised the said statements (or rather questions) during his talk at the National Conservatism Conference in Washington, D.C. The crowd-packed lecture was entitled “The Star Trek Computer Is Not Enough,” according to a schedule posted to the conference website.

If Thiel is indeed referring to Google’s 2018 decision, he is not the first person to question the company regarding its refusal to work with the US military. Earlier this year, General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, echoed similar sentiments as that of Thiel but did not specify the term “treason.”

Speaking to the Senate Armed Services Committee in March, Dunford said, “We watch with great concern when industry partners work in China knowing there is that indirect benefit, and frankly ‘indirect’ may be not a full characterization of the way it really is. It’s more of a direct benefit to the Chinese military.”

Aside from targeting Google’s integrity, some attendees to Sunday’s lecture said that Thiel also attacked Americans saying that they were too fat and addicted to drugs, adding that, “the biggest problem in our society is the problem of political correctness.”

“American exceptionalism has led us to a country that is exceptionally overweight, exceptionally addicted to opioids, exceptionally unaware and exceptionally un-self-reflective,” Thiel said as transcribed by Keith Urban who attended the conference and previously worked for Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

Other reports said that Thiel also made comments on how American Ivy Leagues and top universities are losing their non-profit status. He also said that any links between Google and China, “need to be asked by the FBI, by the CIA, and I’m not sure quite how to put this, I would like them to be asked in a not excessively gentle manner.”

When asked for certain clarification, neither Google nor the team of Peter Thiel has responded to Z6Mag’s request for comments yet.

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