This is great! The Charlie Hebdo weekly magazine is not only French, but left-wing. At least some of the French left has higher commitment to free speech than 99% of the US media, and they have a lot more reason to fear physical harm.
À votre santé, Charlie Hebdo!
French Weekly Satire Magazine Publishes More Cartoons
Brad Kurtzberg, Elites TV
On the front page of the latest edition of ‘Charlie-Hebdo,’ a new cartoon depiction of Muhammad showed the Muslim prophet with his face in his hands and a caption that reads, ‘It’s hard to be loved by fools.’ The original cartoons were on the inside of the magazine along with an editorial saying why they chose to reprint them.
‘When extremists extract concessions from democracies on points of principle, either by blackmail or terror, democracies do not have long left,’ the publication’s editor Philippe Val wrote in the editorial.
Wed Feb 8, 2006 9:17 AM EST
By Kerstin Gehmlich and Swaha PattanaikPARIS (Reuters) – A French satirical weekly reprinted controversial cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad on Wednesday and published one of its own on its front page, further angering Muslim groups which say the caricatures are blasphemous.
French Muslim organizations tried to prevent Charlie Hebdo reprinting the 12 cartoons, which were first published by the Danish paper Jyllands-Posten, but a court rejected their suit on Tuesday on a technicality.
President Jacques Chirac condemned “overt provocations” which could enflame passions, but did not name Charlie Hebdo in his latest appeal for restraint in a dispute that has triggered violent protests across the Muslim world.
Charlie Hebdo carried the new cartoon on its front page, depicting the Prophet Mohammad burying his face in his hands and saying: “It’s hard to be loved by fools.”
Sales of the weekly were brisk in Paris. Inside pages showed the 12 cartoons that were first printed in Denmark and included an editorial explaining the decision to reprint them.
“It is unacceptable that religious groups are setting down the rules for the rights of the press and freedom of expression. It is not up to religious groups to decide what to publish or not — we would be back in 1938 if we accepted this,” Charlie Hebdo editor Philippe Val told Reuters.
“We are not the ones lighting the fire with these cartoons. The fire was lit on September 11 (2001) and by people who are using religion abusively to commit mass crimes as in London or in Madrid,” he said referring to bombings in the two capitals.
As well as publishing the Danish cartoons, Charlie Hebdo printed other cartoons on its back page which caricatured other religions including Christianity and Judaism.
Sources at Charlie Hebdo said some staff had been placed under police protection and journalists at the paper said it had received three or four threatening phone calls this morning.
Six police officers guarded the weekly’s offices in the center of Paris on Wednesday. Parking space in front of its offices was cordoned off and police checked people entering the building, where a sign said the latest edition had sold out.
Charlie Hebdo, which normally prints around 100,000 copies, had printed 320,000 copies of this edition and might now produce up to a total of 500,000 copies, journalists at the paper said. [Capitalism may be seen playing a role here, too? ;) -H]
The cartoons, reprinted by several European papers, have provoked a crisis between Europe and the Muslim world. Islam prohibits any depiction of the Prophet Mohammad.
French Muslim organizations said they would continue to try to take legal steps against Charlie Hebdo and the daily newspaper France Soir, which reprinted the controversial cartoons last week. France Soir later sacked its editor.
“We would have hoped for there to be a willingness to calm things down,” said Fouad Alaoui of the Union of French Islamic Organisations (UOIF).
“Charlie Hebdo wants to fan the flames. France’s Muslims say ‘No’. In our societies, we must not allow insults to be encouraged,” Alaoui said.
Right, like the constant depiction of Jews and Christians as depraved in your newspapers and the continuing broadcast of religious hate on your airwaves.
France’s 5-million-strong Muslim community is the largest in Europe and makes up about 8 percent of the French population, making the furor a sensitive domestic political issue.
“I condemn all obvious provocations which could dangerously fuel passions,” a spokesman quoted Chirac as telling a regular government meeting.
“Anything that can hurt the convictions of someone else, in particular religious convictions, should be avoided. Freedom of expression should be exercised in a spirit of responsibility.”
Charlie Hebdo’s Val defended the weekly: “This is not provocation. I think it is important that the freedom of expression is being exercised in all circumstances, responsibly of course.”
(Additional reporting by Sophie Louet)
In another story on Charlie Hebdo’s cartoon we get not the first or only rational cartoon-war statement from a Muslim organization, but it is a very good one.
French Weekly Prints New Prophet Cartoon, Plea for Free Press
Feb. 8 (Bloomberg)
The wave of protests, “orchestrated four months after the facts, aims at caging all freedom of thought by artists and intellectuals,” Tewfik Allal, of the Association of the Freedom Manifesto, a Muslim organization, wrote. “Other communities — Jews, Christians — have felt insulted by this or that text, drawing or thought, but they reacted by going to court.”
On top of Charlie Hebdo’s courage and conviction, we have this balanced offer from the Danes: Danish editor behind Prophet drawings says he’d publish Iran’s Holocaust cartoons
The Danish editor behind the publication of caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad that ignited deadly riots in the Muslim world said Wednesday he’s trying to coordinate with an Iranian paper soliciting cartoons on the Holocaust.
“My newspaper is trying to establish a contact with the Iranian newspaper, and we would run the cartoons the same day as they publish them,” Flemming Rose said Wednesday in an interview on CNN’s “American Morning.”
Of course, publication of holocaust denial cartoons, solicited by a state-run Islamic newspaper, in a country run by a man whose mental stability could be compared unfavorably to that of Kim Jong Il will do more to discredit Islamofascism than the Danish cartoons did. These Hitler approval cartoons will simply make the point that it is next to impossible for an outsider to insult the Mohammed of Islamofascism. They’ve pretty much cornered that market.