Wednesday, September 19, 2012

French Weekly, Charlie Hebdo, Publishes Cartoons of Mohammed – Supporting Free Speech in the Face of Politically Motivated Theocratic Riots


Charlie Hedbo's offices bombed last year over Mohammed Cartoon Cover -image Getty via News.au.com

Reuters : The French Weekly, Charlie Hedbo, has published cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed this morning, a “move criticised by the French authorities which sent riot police to protect the magazine's offices.” The editor of the publication stressed freedom of speech as the reasoning behind the publications latest issue according to Austrailian News:


Satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo confirmed that its latest edition contains several cartoons featuring Mohammed that the publication's editor said would "shock those who will want to be shocked."

The magazine is due to hit the streets today against a background of protests across the Islamic world over a crude US-made film that mocks Mohammed and portrays Muslims as gratuitously violent.

Charlie Hebdo is no stranger to controversy over its handling of the issues relating to Islam.

Last year it published an edition "guest-edited" by the Prophet Mohammed that it called Sharia Hebdo. The magazine's offices in Paris were subsequently fire-bombed in what was widely seen as a reaction by Islamists.

Charlie Hebdo's latest move was greeted with immediate calls from political and religious leaders for the media to act responsibly and avoid inflaming the current situation.

French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault issued a statement expressing his "disapproval of all excesses."

The magazine's editor, originally a cartoonist who uses the name Charb, denied he was being deliberately provocative at a delicate time.

"The freedom of the press, is that a provocation?" he said.

"I'm not asking strict Muslims to read Charlie Hebdo, just like I wouldn't go to a mosque to listen to speeches that go against everything I believe."


The editor establishes the premise that publishing an image of a religious leader, lampoon or not, should not result in world-wide riots in any sane and reasonable society, and the fact that the publication of an image or video can be used as an excuse by “religious” leaders to incite their followers to be “gratuitously violent” begs the question – why pander and live in fear of one’s neighbors? The fact that publications routinely lampoon Christianity or Judaism or name a religion in the name of art or free speech, resulting in, at most condemnation, suggests that those who would be prone to murder and mayhem over a simple image or video are being used as a political tool, rather than anything theologically based. It is those governments grounded in the theocracy of radical Islam that allow their clerics to push their “masses” to violence, in the same manner that established religions run by man, have, over the centuries done the same, for personal political gain, for fortune and conquest.

Charlie Hedbo is doing nothing more than pointing out that allowing and pandering to the politically motivated, goes against the grain – and yet, the publisher is reprimanded and those that are exhorting their followers to commit murder over another expressing their personal or religious views are given a pass, or worse offered an apology. This should not be lost on the peoples of France, a Republic or the U.S., a Republic – whereby one is to live in fear of “insulting” another, or face the consequences – it should be reasonable to expect that one might not purchase the magazine, or write a strongly worded letter to the editor of thirty newspapers condemning a publications for said cartoon. A cartoon – those followers of the politically motivated radical Islamic clerics riot, murder and commit acts of “gratuitous violence” over something as simple as a cartoon.

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