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