Charlie Hebdo Editor: "I live under French law; I don't live under Koranic law."
Diana West 20 September 2012
By Diana West
What's wrong with the following statement?
Charlie Hebdo, the satirical French weekly, published a page of Mohammed cartoons today, sending France into lockdown.
What's wrong is this: The publication of the cartoons did not send France into lockdown. The publication of the cartoons simply exercised freedom of expression, which Muslims in France and everywhere else in the world contest as a violation of Islamic law. It is uncontrollable Islamic rage and aggression over the fact that Islamic law is not dominant everywhere all the time -- their signal weapon against the timidity of the West -- that drove French authorities to take security precautions -- particularly with Friday "prayers" coming around again. This is war. Islam is attempting to dominate the West by attacking the basis of the West: freedom of speech. Charlie Hebdo, gonzo, "alternate," Leftist (probably) weekly, shows a little resistance and the authorities brace for incoming fire. Jihad.
See all the 'toons (and translated captions) at Andrew Bostom's site if you dare.
A word from Charlie Hebdo:
Charlie Hebdo's chief editor, who goes by the name of Charb and has been under police protection for a year, defended the cartoons.
"Muhammad isn't sacred to me," he said in an interview at the weekly's offices on the northeast edge of Paris. "I don't blame Muslims for not laughing at our drawings. I live under French law; I don't live under Quranic law."
Charb said he had no regrets and felt no responsibility for any violence.
"I'm not the one going into the streets with stones and Kalashnikovs," he said. "We've had 1,000 issues and only three problems, all after front pages about radical Islam."
Government authorities and Muslim leaders urged calm.
"This is a disgraceful and hateful, useless and stupid provocation," Dalil Boubakeur, rector of the Grand Paris Mosque, told The Associated Press. "We are not Pavlov's animals to react at each insult."
A small-circulation weekly, Charlie Hebdo often draws attention for ridiculing sensitivity around the Prophet Muhammad, and an investigation into the firebombing of its offices last year is still open. The magazine posted a statement online saying its website had been hacked.
Abdallah Zekri, president of the Paris-based Anti-Islamophobia Observatory, said his group is considering filing a lawsuit against the magazine.
"People want to create trouble in France," he said. "Charlie Hebdo wants to make money on the backs of Muslims."
Charlie Hebdo was acquitted in 2008 by a Paris appeals court of "publicly abusing a group of people because of their religion" following a complaint by Muslim associations.
Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said organizers of a demonstration planned for Saturday against the "Innocence of Muslims" won't receive police authorization. Paris prosecutors have opened an investigation into an unauthorized protest last Saturday around the U.S. Embassy that drew about 150 people and led to scores of arrests.
The cartoonist of the French caricatures published Wednesday, who goes by the name Luz, was defiant.
"We treat the news like journalists. Some use cameras, some use computers. For us, it's a paper and pencil," he said. "A pencil is not a weapon. It's just a means of expression."