More than 4 in 10 French people believe Charlie Hebdo shouldn’t publish cartoons depicting the prophet Muhammad.
Is that because they’re afraid of more bloodshed? No, they say; they feel strongly about observing the prohibition on depicting Muhammad because
… many Muslims find the images offensive.
A survey conducted by Le Journal du Dimanche, a French weekly newspaper, presented participants with this information: “Some Muslims feel attacked or injured by the publication of cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.” In the final tally of responses, 42% checked a box to indicate that the country should “consider these reactions and avoid publishing these cartoons.”
I imagine that Michel Houellebecq, perhaps the most famous French novelist of our time, read that news with something between amusement and exasperation.
You see, on the day of the Charlie Hebdo massacre, Houellebecq’s sixth novel, a dark satirical work called Soumission (Submission), hit bookstores. The story explores what happens when, not even a decade from now, a Muslim presidential candidate, Mohammed Ben Abbes, has enough popular appeal to win France’s highest office.