Citing they have a legal right to free speech, the French magazine “Charlie Hebdo” published a new round of cartoons depicting the Muslim prophet Mohammed after a week of deadly protests by Muslims offended at a 14 minute film that mocks their prophet. The French government has had to shut down schools, embassies and send out riot police to guard the “Charlie Hebdo” offices.
From a CNN article on WPTV’s site, Charlie Hebdo journalist Laurent Leger defends the magazine:
“The aim is to laugh. We want to laugh at the extremists – every extremist. They can be Muslim, Jewish, Catholic. Everyone can be religious, but extremist thoughts and acts we cannot accept,” Leger said.
“In France, we always have the right to write and draw. And if some people are not happy with this, they can sue us and we can defend ourselves. That’s democracy. You don’t throw bombs, you discuss, you debate. But you don’t act violently. We have to stand and resist pressure from extremism.”
- France prohibits demonstrations against the magazine (Huffington Post) – which makes me wonder – why is the free speech of the magazine protected, but not that of those who want to protest it.
- The White House says it has no problem with the magazine’s right to print, but questions their judgment (National Post)
- Protests continue in Hong Kong, Turkey, Greece, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Bangladesh (Pakistan Today)