Nov 8, 2011 6 Comments ›› Pat Dollard
(Guardian) — Its offices have been firebombed, its website hacked, its Facebook page suspended for 24 hours and its staff targeted with death threats, so you might have thought the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo would have tried — just for a while — to avoid upsetting anyone.
Mais non! After provoking all the above with last week’s special edition “guest edited” by the prophet Muhammad, entitled Charia Hebdo, which took pot-shots at radical Islam, the publication is set to raise a few more hackles with this week’s edition, published on Wednesday.
On the front page of the latest edition is a drawing of a male Charlie Hebdo cartoonist passionately kissing a bearded Muslim man, under the headline: L’Amour plus fort que la haine (love is stronger than hate).
In the background of the cartoon, signed Luz, are the ashes of the magazine’s offices, completely destroyed in the Molotov cocktail attack last week.
Unlike the previous edition, which featured a front page carton of the prophet and a speech bubble reading “100 lashes if you don’t die of laughter”, there is no suggestion that the character on the magazine cover is Muhammad.
After the firebombing, French Muslim groups who had been highly critical of Charlie Hebdo, condemned the destruction of its offices. Dalil Boubakeur head of the Paris Mosque, told journalists: “I am extremely attached to the freedom of the press, even if the press is not always tender with Muslims, Islam or the Paris Mosque”.
The editor of Charlie Hebdo, Stéphane Charbonnier, said at the time: “We thought the lines had moved and maybe there would be more respect for our satirical work, our right to mock. Freedom to have a good laugh is as important as freedom of speech.”