Charlie Hebdo and their Mohammed cartoons

September 19, 2012 at 9:39 pm (anarchism, democracy, France, Free Speech, Islam, islamism, reblogged, religion, secularism, terror)

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.


  1. Andrew Coates said,

    Just to add Jim, the story is developing as I type, so expect updates and news chez Tendance Coatesy.

  2. Roger McCarthy (@RF_McCarthy) said,

    Does the PCF really believe that there only a dozen Salafists in France?

    I find it utterly implausible that in a country that has 2 million practising Muslim believers and 5-6 million people originating from Islamic countries only a dozen belong to the sect which has been frantically proselytizing amongst the Muslim diaspora for decades and spent billions on funding mosques and masjids and imams,

    I know the French state takes a more robust line on secularism than we feeble liberals to the north but did none of that money and none of those missionaries make it to France?

  3. Babz Badasbab Rahman said,

    ^^^ Isn’t it ironic how Saudi Arabia, the country that recycles it’s petro dollars into US and British arms industries and is one of the major suppliers of oil to the US as well as being under it’s security umbrella, is also the country that has for decades spent billions exporting it’s Wahhabi brand of Islam. Al Qaeda and the Taliban practise this extremely puritanical form of Islam and they are the ones the US is now tying to neutralise.

  4. Andrew Coates said,

    Roger, I agree, though French salafists are not large they have more than a few dozen supporters.. It’s a bit like these claims liberals in the UK always make about ‘small’ numbers of Muslim extremists. I suspect we’ll see more than small numbers of Pakistan today.

  5. Faster Pussycat Miaow! Miaow! Miaow! said,

    Not sure if this will be viewable. Start at 25 minutes:

    The panellists are a Labor journalist and activist, the former leader of the Australian Tories and on the vidlink a journo from the Age (to the left of Murdoch, ie centre right). The convenor is one of the ABC’s top current affairs presenters. What a shower. It is broadcast in the evenings before the main 7pm news.

  6. SteveH said,

    Imagine the left producing cartoons of Jews in solidarity with der sturmer’s right to free speech.

    Surely the left should criticise those who produce pieces of provocation like this, yes we can say they are entitled to freely post what they want but if we now accept that Muslims are the most discriminated against group in modern Western society, cartoons like this only serve to enforce those divisions. Not something the left should be involved in. It also seems reckless purile schoolboy prickery at a time when people are being killed in the Middle East.

    Leave that kind of satire, mockery, sneering and prickery to the liberal public schoolboys.

    I have just though of another limit to free speech, fascists giving their opinions in Muslim neighbourhoods, I would actively seek to stop that.

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