No rules and no regrets for French cartoonists in Prophet Mohammad storm

September 19, 2012

(A policeman stands guard outside the French satirical weekly “Charlie Hebdo” in Paris, February 9, 2006 after the publication reprinted cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad in its February 8, 2006 edition. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau)

Sometimes funny, often crass, always irreverent. Charlie Hebdo, the French satirical weekly that has published lewd cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad is a serial offender and proud of it.

As copies of the magazine priced at 2.50 euros ($3.25) flew off French news stands on Wednesday, its publishers insisted as always on their right to poke fun at all symbols of political and religious authority in the name of freedom of expression.

Several of the caricatures relied on drawings of genitals to mock the furor over a film made in the United States that depicts the Prophet as a lecher, confirming Charlie Hebdo’s reputation for no-limits satire.

“To me, these religious hardliners who protest and kill over a crappy film are no different to the people who made the crappy film. They’re all the same pack, a bunch of assholes,” editor Stephane Charbonnier, under police protection since printing similar caricatures last November, told Reuters.

Read the full story by Brian Love here.
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The key element of the right to free speech is that it be independent of its content, and that it be applied equally across the board — no matter what the subject being discussed — or who agrees or disagrees with what is being said.
The French government, therefore, violated this basic rule when it prevented Muslims from peacefully protesting in France. Though it may have done this to keep the peace, this is not a good enough reason to cut off free speech and peaceful assembly.
France should thus reverse course and allow Muslims to protest — to prove its tolerance for dissent and to show how things are done in a mature, civilized country.

Posted by kafantaris | Report as abusive

Lighten up people, life is too short to be fanatical about any of this. The first thing we need to do when we move to a new country is learn to laugh at ourselves. Perhaps immigration should implement a mandatory “lighten up” class.

Posted by CapitalJ | Report as abusive

If there was a religion that respected truth and freedom of expression, I would give it my respect.

Posted by breezinthru | Report as abusive