Re-blogged (with very minor changes) from Tendance Coatsey
Charlie Hebdo has published some new Mohammed cartoons.
Middle East onLine reports,
French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said Wednesday anyone offended by cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed published in the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo could take the matter to the courts.
But he emphasised France’s tradition of free speech. “We are in a country where freedom of expression is guaranteed, including the freedom to caricature,” he said on RTL radio.
You can see some of the cartoons (including the most controversial one) on this video-clip here.
The Editor of Charlie Hebdo, Charb, (Stéphane Charbonnier) is a supporter of the Front de Gauche and the French Communist Party (PCF).
Charlie itself is one of the last living representatives of ’68′ gauchisme.
There are many, including not a few on the French left, who will accuse it of ‘provocation’.
This is like complaining that chilis are hot.
A minority on the French left, like the Les Indigènes de la République,* self-appointed enforcers against Islamophobia, will be up in arms about the cartoons.
Indigènes de la République excelled themselves this weekend by physically threatening gay secularist Caroline Fourest at the La fête de l’Huma and preventing her from speaking (you can see a video of their violence here).
Emboldened by their menaces against a lesbian feminist, and, according to those who were at the fête, a North African woman steward, they will no doubt rage against Charlie.
As will many, many, others.
This is Charb’s response,
More extensive interview with Charb in Libèration (in French), «Pas plus de provocation avec l’islam qu’avec d’autres sujets».
The leader of the French Communist Party (PCF), Pierre Laurent, is cited in the same paper,
Charlie Hebdo fait partie d’une certaine tradition. A ce que je sache, le délit de blasphème n’existe pas dans notre pays. Après, il y a des gens qui aiment et des gens qui n’aiment pas Charlie Hebdo.
Il n’y a en France qu’une dizaine de salafistes. Il ne faut pas exagérer la situation et ne pas faire de la publication de ces caricatures un drame qui n’en est pas un”
Charlie Hebdo comes from a specific tradition. As far as I know blasphemy is not a crime in our country. There are, following that, those who like and those who dislike Charlie Hebdo.
In France there are only a dozen Salafists. We should not exaggerate the situation, and not create a drama out of these caricatures when none exists.
Jean-Luc Mélenchon (Parti de gauche) has just said on his Facebook page,
La caricature est un droit dans ce pays, et la protestation tout autant : le tout dans le respect de la loi.
* Indigènes de la République‘s particular interpretation of “anti-Zionism” (sic) has led them to support Hamas and Hezbollah, according to Wikipedia.