Calls for the civilized world to rise together to stand for the freedom of the press and the right to print satire on any subject, echo around the world today. But why this post, why should this platform too participate in this? After all, this is not a journalistic or a comedy venture, nor do we have any agenda beyond issues in academic peer review and advancement of science.
Just one reason:
No press should be silent when a destructive ideology murderously attacks these core values of our secular civilization. It is our civic duty to participate because we operate a "press", i.e. this platform, however insignificant it may be.
They demand silence of jesters; we shall all respond with shouts of compassion for the victims, shouts of condemnation of the creed of the murderers, and, particularly, we shall respond with shouts of jests and laughing out loud in unrelenting satire. Let them see that yes, we will grieve for those they slay, but forever continue to laugh at the dishonesty and stupidity of the murderer's cause.
There would be a lot to say about the relationship between free speech and peer review and gate-keeping in academic publishing. But this is not the time to do that.
Instead, let us just laugh together with the Charlie Hedbo cartoon cover below.
Translation of the speech-bubble above: "It's hard to be loved by idiots"