The French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo has gone ahead and thrown fuel on the fire of those who consider religion outside the legitimate realm of criticism. The magazine, which purposefully goes out to offend all religions – or perhaps just to offend as many people as possible – has published a special issue with caricatures mocking Islam. Particularly in the midst of riots and demonstrations sweeping the Islamic world, and now spreading across Europe following the posting of an anti-Islamic video on YouTube, the cartoons will raise the flames higher.

The magazine’s editor, “Stéphane Charbonnier, said the weekly published the cartoons in defense of freedom of the press, adding that the images “would shock only those who wanted to be shocked.” is quite aware of what he’s doing.

French cartoons inflame prophet film tensions

PARIS (AP) — A French magazine published vulgar caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad on Wednesday, inflaming global tensions over a movie insulting to Islam and prompting France to step up security at embassies.

The move by provocative weekly Charlie Hebdo followed days of violent protests from Asia to Africa against the U.S.-produced film “Innocence of Muslims,” and turned France into a potential target, too. Up to now, American government sites have drawn the most ire.

Violence linked to the amateurish movie, which portrays the prophet as a fraud, a womanizer and a child molester, has killed at least 30 people in seven countries, including the American ambassador to Libya.

As Al-Arabiya TV reports, the French are, as a result of the publication, increasing security at its embassies in nearly 100 countries:

rance steps up security at embassies over cartoons as hackers block magazine website

The French Prime Minister is giving qualified support to the magazine:

Questioned on RTL radio, he added: “We are in a country where the freedom of expression is guaranteed, along with the freedom to caricature. If people really feel their beliefs are offended and think the law has been broken – and we are in a state where the law must be totally respected — they can go to the courts.”

UPDATE: I utterly neglected to mention that Saudi Arabia has asked YouTube to block the obnoxious “The Innocents of Muslims” video that has caused all the ruckus. YouTube has agreed. There is some discussion that had YouTube not blocked the video, YouTube in its entirety would have been blocked in the Kingdom.

King orders blocking of web links to anti-Islam film
YouTube blocks anti-Islam video in Saudi Arabia

September:19:2012 - 08:35 | Comments & Trackbacks (6) | Permalink
6 Responses to “Once More unto the Breach”
  1. 1
    Dakota Said:
    September:19:2012 - 16:44 

    The cartoonist known as Luz, who drew the cover, has been under police protection since then.

    Wednesday’s issue does not have a Mohammed cartoon on the cover.

    “We learned our lesson,” Luz said.


    I can’t tell anymore when something is supposed to be tongue-in-cheek.

    The Onion’s “No One Murdered Because Of This Image” is pretty sure bet though, but I’ll let you google it yourself since it’s NSFW.

  2. 2
    Marnie Tunay Said:
    September:19:2012 - 17:24 

    They might have got away with it if they’d been smart and fair about it: slamming other religions too and not just targeting Islam. Show they can take it, not just dish it out.

  3. 3
    Sparky Said:
    September:20:2012 - 01:53 

    If youtube were to be blocked in its entirety that would be very bad for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the world for that matter.

  4. 4
    John Burgess Said:
    September:20:2012 - 02:16 

    @Marnie: Actually, if you Google “Charlie Hebdo” and click on the tab for images, you’ll see that the magazine is an equal-opportunity insulter. I’m not aware of any other special issues, but their general sense of humor seems to be of the “Who can we offend today?” sort.

  5. 5
    Dakota Said:
    September:21:2012 - 14:14 

    @John, your link (in the update) to Arab News has been scrubbed. It’s still in cache, of course.

  6. 6
    Niels Christensen Said:
    September:21:2012 - 16:29 

    John your remark ‘equal-opportunity insulter’ is just right on the mark’. They can be incredible rude
    and sometimes totally miss the point, just like their text based – and better – cousin ‘Le Canard Enchâiné’.
    But contrary to what many muslims believe, comments on Mohammed (and drawings) are in fact very rare. The main subject is the mostly double moral and lies of politicians, clerics the rich, and of course imams don’t get spared; but they play a minor role, just as they play a minor role in most western societies.
    And it’s worth mentioning that not a few of the most radical muslims in Egypt, Libya, have enjoyed the freedom of western societies, when they were on the run from their native countries.

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