What Fresh Hell Is This?

January 13, 2015

Charlie Hebdo Update

From the Washington Post:
LAST WEEK, upon celebrating his birthday, the longtime Charlie Hebdo cartoonist “Luz” was running late for an editorial meeting at the French satirical weekly’s Paris offices. By the time he got there, masked gunmen had killed 12 people, including five of his cartooning friends and colleagues. Because Luz was born on Jan. 7, he was a survivor.

This week, Charlie Hebdo is publishing what it is reportedly called “the survivors’ issue.” The cover is illustrated, perhaps fittingly, by Luz.
And here it is:

And explanation from The Guardian:
The cover shows the prophet shedding a tear and holding up a sign reading “Je suis Charlie” in sympathy with the dead journalists. The headline says “All is forgiven”.

Zineb El Rhazoui, a surviving columnist at Charlie Hebdo magazine who worked on the new issue, said the cover was a call to forgive the terrorists who murdered her colleagues last week, saying she did not feel hate towards Chérif and Saïd Kouachi despite their deadly attack on the magazine, and urged Muslims to accept humour.

“We don’t feel any hate to them. We know that the struggle is not with them as people, but the struggle is with an ideology,” she told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
And then:
Rhazoui said Muslims could ignore the magazine if they took offence.

She said: “I would tell them it is a drawing and they are not obliged to buy this addition of Charlie Hebdo if they don’t appreciate our work. We are only doing our job, we don’t violate the law.”

She added: “Our friends died because of small drawings, because of a joke, but what happen to us was not a joke. Muslims must understand that we in Charlie Hebdo just consider Islam as a normal religion just like any other religion in France. Islam must accept to be treated like all the other religions in this country. And they must accept humour also.”
I'd add that it's also about Charlie Hebdo's right to free expression.  You can agree or disagree with any particular cartoon but no faith has the right not to be mocked and/or criticized simply because doing so offends some of the faithful.

And that the statements "Freedom of expression is an absolute" and "Freedom of expression is an absolute, however..." are mutually exclusive.

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