French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo firebombed after lampooning Mohammed

French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo firebombed after lampooning Mohammed November 2, 2011

THE offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris were destroyed in the early hours of this morning following the publication of the latest issue of the satirical magazine, which featured the “prophet” Mohammed on the cover saying:

100 lashes if you are not dying of laughter.

The petrol bomb attack, according to the BBC, has been condemned by French Prime Minister Francois Fillon as an unjustifable attack on the freedom of the press:

Freedom of expression is an inalienable right in our democracy and all attacks on the freedom of the press must be condemned with the greatest firmness.

Editor-in-chief of the magazine, Stephane Charbonnier, said Islam could not be excluded from freedom of the press.

If we can poke fun at everything in France, if we can talk about anything in France apart from Islam or the consequences of Islamism, that is annoying.

Charbonnier said he did not see the attack on the magazine as the work of French Muslims, but of what he called “idiot extremists”. The head of the French Council of the Muslim Faith, Mohammed Moussaoui, also condemned the attack.
Charb said the magazine had received several threats on Twitter and Facebook before the attack.
The latest edition of the magazine was called Charia Hebdo – a play on the word sharia.
Inside, there is an editorial, attributed to the Big Mo, and more cartoons – one showing the Prophet with a clown’s red nose.
In 2007, Charlie Hebdo reprinted 12 controversial cartoons of the “prophet” that were first shown in a Danish newspaper, Jyllands-Posten, and caused outrage in the Muslim world.
The magazine was sued for incitement to racism by two Islamic groups in France, but was acquitted by a Paris court.
Charlie Hebdo has a long track record of irreverence towards all religions.
Hat tip: BarrieJohn

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  • Stonyground

    I see religiots of all stripes as children who have yet to grow up. The Muslims seem, at present to be the most babiest of the lot. Mankind seems, at this moment in history, to be going through a kind of adolescence, Some of us have yet to grow up. Considering his origins, it is hardly a surprise that Yahweh/Allah tends to behave like a bad tempered and spoiled toddler. Why there are still billions of babies wanting to worship the toddler and claim that he is in some way wise is a mystery.

  • Graham Martin-Royle

    I don’t mind if muslims don’t want to depict the homophobic, misogynist, peadophile criminal mohamed in cartoons, drawings, paintings etc. I just wish they would get it through their stupid heads that, just because they don’t want to, is no reason for the rest of us to have to comply with their strictures.

  • AgentCormac

    You have to love (okay, respect) the French for their ‘fuck off world’ attitude. For example, Prime Minister Fillon has, apparently, expressed his indignation at the attack on the newspaper by saying: “Freedom of expression is an inalienable right in our democracy and all attacks on the freedom of the press must be condemned with the greatest firmness. No cause can justify such an act of violence.”
    Je concur, monsieur.

  • David Lawson

    But isn’t Islam the religion of peace?

  • CriticalEyeYayeye

    It is time to start rounding up Muslims from civilized countries, and start shipping their butts back to their desert sand castles, without any water!

  • CriticalEyeYayeye

    You really can’t expect ”Desert Rattle Snakes” to be able to adapt to civilized society!

  • AgentCormac

    @ CriticalEyeYayeye
    I’m sorry, but it seems to me that while most members of this community have a mutual, outspoken and intense dislike for religiots of all persuasions, your last contribution sounds like something that could have come straight off an EDL message board. As far as I’m concerned, this site does not exist for stirring up mindless, xenophobic hatred, or for making declarations of hatred that are actually indistinguishable from those made by the very lunatics we denounce here on a daily basis. Maybe I’ve misunderstood your intentions. But I doubt that I have.

  • barriejohn

    This mealy-mouthed analysis just about takes the biscuit, but some of the comments are spot on:
    I’m appalled that violence has been used in this fashion. But blah blah
    Yeah so really you’re not that appalled at all

  • Agreed, AgentCormac. There’s no need for that sort of thing here, and when we start dehumanising entire swathes of people we end up in league with those who think that there really is a special, privileged class of human who is better by virtue of righteous belief in the right thing at the right time.
    Also agree with you on that Guardian article, barriejohn. What on earth kind of middle-of-the-road equivocation is that? It reads almost like the writer believes the attack was understandable because Muslims feel a bit put out in French society. When they’re being threatened and vilified and newspapers and magazines try to fan the flames of irrational and dangerous hatred against them as a scapegoat, I might understand this ‘underground tensions’ business being almost possibly some sort of rationalisation, but this was just wanton violence and intimidation. Portraying it as some kind of struggle in a back and forth cultural conflict between ‘sides’ that are miscommunicating gives the impression that there’s not really anything wrong with firebombing somebody’s place of business because they don’t cow to your sensibilities.

  • john c

    What particular feature convinced them it was the prophet mo? Looks like a generic arab to me,was it the 100 lashes bit? There are plenty of barbaric arabs running aroung without having to look back to the 7th century.Another case of someone has to feel offende by something.

  • john c

    Subnote, there are plenty of non barbaric, perfectly reasonable arabs as well,though its a shame so many are bullied into silence by a few zealots.

  • Anonymous

    Every one of the publications that write about this firebombing without running the artwork to accompany the article is enabling further violence.
    The loss of journalism’s moral compass is disgraceful. A picture should not be given such magical power!

  • Thoreau

    As far as I have seen, all of the major news stations in the UK have censored the cover. Fucking cowards promoting censorship through the back door.
    Also agree with the comments about not conflating religion and race. There are many millons of atheists in the Arab world who have to keep their mouths shut. Doesn’t mean they believe in it, just means they live somewhere where it is dangerous to experess such views. I personally know and have known several arabs who openly roar with laughter at islam in private conversation. Granted, they tend to be highly educated, westernised and living permanently in the UK but they are also members of a wider group, most of whom do not share the luxury of freedom of speech.
    I want to see a British paper print this on their front page tomorrow. The Guardian would maybe be the most likely too but I just don’ think they have the balls.
    We need mainstream media to go with this, not bow to superstition in 2011. So it causes ructions… Then we must lance the boil. We are adults, we have self-respect, there is no case for backing down.
    You give in to bullies and they come back with harsher demands. History shows this all too well.
    Print the picture. Print it on T-shirts. Let everyone with a scrap of human dignity wear the T-shirt. If we all walked out the door on an agreed date wearing that T-shirt. Well…….
    …except it would turn violent. You can’t reason with irrational behaviour. Perhaps we need to make a stand anyway and not sink to that level? It was good enough for Gandhi. We will reach a point at which it becomes worthwhile but my hunch is that it will be wasted by violence all round.
    God died in the 17th century but the memo is taking a fuckng long time to get around.
    Look at Boko Haram – translating as ‘Western education is a sin’. They have an internet presence. There is nothing more to say.
    Why do we bother? The uncoverted preaching to the uncoverted while the theists shit on what is for sharing.

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  • Frank Kone

    Stopping to mock Islam if you desire so, stopping the freedom of press at the porch of Allah’s little hut would mean complete defeat. Personally, I’d rather see more of these offices have the courage to fight and the willpower to accept the potential of retaliation than people just hushing up.
    Of course, I am not saying that we have to tolerate this. In fact, if I would be in charge, there would be a WHOLE sort of different laws regarding religious extremism.

  • tony e

    Whilst people should be allowed worship whatever brand of nonsense that they wish, we should also have freedom from religion.
    As usual the moderate muslims, that the bbc assure us exist, are reliably silent.

  • elainek123

    Where on earth has sense of humour gone. Of course we are entitled to our views, lets keep them amicable, although I know in the outside World this seems an impossibility. as after all, at least I think, we live in a free country?
    Religious extremism is one of our greatest threats, and we must all make our voices heard.
    United Nations just seems to condemn these violent acts but they seem to carry on in spite of them..

  • Dess

    Well again Muslims extremists (read:devout) are offended by our free speech. I’ll tell you what is offensive. Their “holy” book, the Koran preaching that it is ok to beat your wife, that it is ok to lie to disbelievers to gain the upper hand, that it is ok to rape your slave girls. That all this is preached by a “prophet” mohammed who raped girls as young as nine years old.
    That’s what I find offensive. And this is all celebrated in mosques in this country, and is growing at an alarming rate. But do secularists and atheists burn these to the ground. No ofcourse we don’t..we’re civilised. But this basic debate needs to be engaged, here in the West most people do not actually know what Islam preaches.
    If I could afford the means to prints excerpts on billboards from the Koran, that is exactly what I would do. Who would then complain.. Muslims? Soft liberal left? Atheists?
    Bottom line is that people need to know. Free Speech is, if not dead already, very nearly on its way out.

  • The Woggler

    Once again I find it incredible that these cretins find it offensive to depict a long-dead man in cartoon form, yet committing an act of violence is perfectly acceptable. What the hell goes on in their pinhead-sized brains?

  • joel

    I dont care what religion you are, just know that NOTHING is free from criticism, enough with the pissy bullsh*t, it ok for you to hate others that dont believe laterally with you but if something comes up and crossed perpendicularly you get all pissy… grow up and out of religion that way we wont have anymore extremists…

  • Neil

    From Thoreau’s link: “In a 2009 BBC interview, Mohammed Yusuf, then the group’s leader, stated that he rejects the fact that the earth is a sphere and views it as contrary to Islam, along with Darwinism and the fact that rain comes from water evaporated by the sun” (Wikipedia, 2011).
    Some people are so obtuse in their faith that the denial of unsurmountable evidence is okay if it contradicts their holy book. Fools.

  • Pedro Pinheiro de Almeida

    Once again the terrorist babies show us the appropriate response to a cartoon they deem offensive: Molotov! Freedom of speech is not negotiable.

  • barriejohn
  • barriejohn
  • Graham Martin-Royle

    November 4th, 2011 at 8:42 am
    On the other hand:
    I thought he was joking at first!
    What a pathetic piece of arselicking. So muslims don’t like it when others take the mickey out of their religion, SO FUCKING WHAT! I don’t like their religion, I don’t like being told that I’m an abomination and should die by stoning, I find that highly offensive, so should I have the right to retaliate physically? Of course not and neither are muslims right to retaliate with violence. They need to grow up and realise that their rules apply to them and no one else.

  • barriejohn

    First comment at the moment:
    This article is so offensive, someone might firebomb Time. Don’t get upset though, they asked for it.

  • Anonymous

    The Index on Censorshipresponse to that Time article:
    Charlie Hebdo attack: No more excuses

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  • barriejohn

    Spot on, Anonymous: “moral cowardice”.

  • barriejohn

    More death threats, because “our beliefs and our moral values” are being attacked. You couldn’t make it up!

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  • barriejohn
  • AZQ

    I’m really surprised how people defend the magazine side based on what they believe is “a freedom of expression”! What if the magazine expressed you or you father, or any of your family members as bad as you can imagine, would you still think its a freedom of expression? Be biased, and leave the hate of Muslims aside and speak judgmentally about what is wrong and what is right! I think the reason why some of us hates Muslims is that we believe anything we read, see without thinking by our minds. I knew some great Muslims friends back at the University, they were better than some us in terms of manners! Stop judging emotionally and judge mentally and wisely based on facts not news articles!
    Bottom line, they have the right to object on any offense that apppear on their relegion.

  • barriejohn

    Total rubbish, AZQ. You need your brain read.
    What if the magazine expressed you or you father, or any of your family members as bad as you can imagine, would you still think its a freedom of expression? Of course. Whyever not?
    Bottom line, they have the right to object on any offense that apppear on their relegion. Who said that they can’t? But they’re bloody firebombing offices and physically intimidating people. You sound as petulant and immature as these pathetic Mohammedans yourself!

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  • AngieRS

    AZQ,it’s called freedom of expression. That same freedom you’re using right now and which you seem to deny to others. Get a grip.

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