French Magazine Publishes Satirical Cartoon of Prophet Mohammad

Thursday, September 20, 2012

French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo's publisher and cartoonist, known only as Charb, presents the last issue. (Fred Dufour/AFP/Getty Images)

France is closing its schools, consulates, cultural centers and embassies in 20 countries tomorrow amid fears of a new wave of violence in the Middle East over satirical depictions of the Muslim Prophet Mohammad. This time it’s not a video but a cartoon, published in the French magazine Charlie Hebdo, that authorities are concerned could incite unrest. 

Benjamin Abtan, president for the European Grassroots Antiracist Movement, describes how the issue is unfolding in Paris.

"It's not a surprise, because they do it every week," Abtan says of the magazine. But Abtan stands by the magazine, saying that, in a democratic country, everything can be discussed, debated, criticized, and even caricatured. 

"It is not a call to hatred. It is a criticism of a dogma." Furthermore, says Abtan, Charlie Hebdo has always been an anti-racist publication. In addition to satirizing Islam, the magazine has also been an advocate for the religion, speaking out against racial injustices and stigmatization of Muslims in France."  

"Charlie Hebdo is not at all ambiguous regarding all this kind of debate. It's very clearly an anti-racist newspaper," Abtan says.

Abtan also wants to make a clear distinction between the film that has caused so much controversy, and these cartoons. "The movie was a racist movie. The cartoons are not at all racist."

"This is free speech," he says. "This is democracy." 

Nevertheless, French schools, embassies, and consulates are being closed throughout the Arab world in preparation for demonstrations in response to these cartoons.

Guests:

Benajmin Abtan

Produced by:

Maggie Penman and Mythili Rao

Comments [16]

Itankguddatiamabelievertanksallah

For me wat i dnt undastand is y some people or should i say devils wount mine their own business but alway want others 2 fight..and when des'evils' traigers dem 2 fight,they turn their back an say dat we'muslims lyk war' ok let me put dis question acros..des publisher didn't get anytyn 2 publish except criticize d propet..kam on..ho z d looser her..for me i pray dat Allah/God forgive d one behind dis and also any1 in support..i ask muslims 2 also react reasonable in orda nat 2 let some1 mistake efect ordas..for u must always no dat Allah z nat asleep and 1 day evry1 wil b acounted for his or deeds..oh Allah for give me n dem.amen

Sep. 28 2012 03:34 PM
Itankguddatiamabelievertanksallah

For me wat i dnt undastand is y some people or should i say devils wount mine their own business but alway want others 2 fight..and when des'evils' traigers dem 2 fight,they turn their back an say dat we'muslims lyk war' ok let me put dis question acros..des publisher didn't get anytyn 2 publish except criticize d propet..kam on..ho z d looser her..for me i pray dat Allah/God forgive d one behind dis and also any1 in support..i ask muslims 2 also react reasonable in orda nat 2 let some1 mistake efect ordas..for u must always no dat Allah z nat asleep and 1 day evry1 wil b acounted for his or deeds..oh Allah for give me n dem.amen

Sep. 28 2012 03:33 PM
Moaz raza from riyadh,SaudiArab

you stupid Americans will be killed one day...

Sep. 24 2012 03:06 PM
Wajid Raza

we are protesting against the publication of images and we invite all the Muslims to join us and vote against the images,movie and cartoons etc.. as we love our Prophet MUHAMMAD [S.A.W]

Sep. 24 2012 01:51 PM
Dan

I'm quite upset that the host let the Pakistani journalist he was interviewing get away with the comment that American law treats religions differently. He made some incoherent side comment about "semitic law" in the U.S. and wondered why Muslims did not have similar privileges. This is patently absurd: the American justice system is entirely secular and pays no deference to any faith or ideology. For someone who I assume is reasonably intelligent and educated to truly believe this type of propaganda is emblamatic of a much larger problem in the Muslim world.

Sep. 21 2012 04:00 PM
Todd Harper from Dallas, TX, USA

lol - Everyone's afraid of the big, bad muslims...shut schools down, close embassies, give me a break, fuck 'em all.
The more we publish things such as these caricatures and that dumb movie, the more they can desensitize themselves and become part of the human race. It's funny to see that they are now killing each other because of this bullshit - what a joke. And they want to be taken seriously? I don't care that their religion forbids showing images of muhammed, it's not my religion. They need to get over it. It's not even a matter of free speech any more, it's a matter of common sense. The only thing thing this idiotic religion seems to understand is death.

Sep. 21 2012 01:24 PM
Hillary Brizell-DeLise from NYC

Your Pakistani guest mentioned that Pakistan's Constitution has a blasphemy law. Although many of us hope for respect for differences among all peoples, one can never condone violence, or especially murder, as a response to perceived insult!

It seems to me that murder/killing should be prohibited in any belief system.

HBD

Sep. 21 2012 10:27 AM
hafiz from NYC

What time of person he is? Who is causing troubles in the muslim wolrds.

Sep. 21 2012 01:22 AM
best-dressed GUESSED worker

ASIA FOR THE ASIANS, AFRICA FOR THE AFRICANS, WHITE COUNTRIES FOR EVERYBODY!

Everybody says there is this RACE problem. Everybody says this RACE problem will be solved when the third world pours into EVERY white country and ONLY into white countries.

The Netherlands and Belgium are just as crowded as Japan or Taiwan, but nobody says Japan or Taiwan will solve this RACE problem by bringing in millions of third worlders and quote assimilating unquote with them.

Everybody says the final solution to this RACE problem is for EVERY white country and ONLY white countries to “assimilate,” i.e., intermarry, with all those non-whites.

What if I said there was this RACE problem and this RACE problem would be solved only if hundreds of millions of non-blacks were brought into EVERY black country and ONLY into black countries?

How long would it take anyone to realize I’m not talking about a RACE problem. I am talking about the final solution to the BLACK problem?

And how long would it take any sane black man to notice this and what kind of psycho black man wouldn’t object to this?

But if I tell that obvious truth about the ongoing program of genocide against my race, the white race, Liberals and respectable conservatives agree that I am a naziwhowantstokillsixmillionjews.

They say they are anti-racist. What they are is anti-white.

Anti-racist is a code word for anti-white.

Sep. 21 2012 12:00 AM
jg8912 from CT

@FATIMAH MAX from NYC

So according to you, if I don't believe that Mohammed was a true prophet, I'm not allowed to say that because some Muslims will get upset? But Muslims are allowed to say that Jesus was not the son of God and that the Gospels were corrupted by Christians. Is that not disrespectful?

Sep. 20 2012 04:47 PM
John A

How soon we forget. What was a common thought on Sept-11? Oh Yeah, it was this: "Why do they hate us?". OK, so let's disrespect peoples poorer than we are for another decade... nothing could possibly happen.

Sep. 20 2012 03:58 PM
Illfg

Religion is a mental illness. what more proof of that do you need than people who have never met Mohammad getting upset over some rules that are 1000 years old. The human race can not progress while religion exists.

Sep. 20 2012 03:51 PM
FATIMAH MAX from NYC

I also must say that in part, I agree with several points but not all of what Mr. John Holenko made in his comment. This is my view on his opinions:

I disagree with him when he said : "Anyone whose faith is challenged by cartoons, movies, demonstrations, etc. has a very weak faith and that faith should be challenged."

The reason I disagree is because I myself being muslim, seeing someone make fun and mock the Prophet(peace be upon him) that I love more dearly than my own family, because of what good he did, what good he represented, am deeply saddened and upset at what people are doing. I have a strong faith, one that teaches me to uphold justice, not transgress the limits given unto me by my Lord, to give to the poor and never withhold any money wrongfully from an orphan in your care. Islam gave me freedom to be the best citizen possible for this country. I think what the problem is here is weakness in a person's "deen", in their spiritual path/journey. If a person does not truly understand his religion and goes by impulses and personal emotions, he or she is bound to commit crazy absurd actions, because they are acting on impulse instead of obeying their Lord which they were told to do and to look to Him for guidance.

I do, however, believe that many people use Islam (their misinterpreted form of it) for their own personal conviniences sometimes, especially the radical groups. I say, if you want to know how a REAL Muslim should behave, read the Qur'an and listen to scholarly lectures or explanations of a Surah (chapter). This is the "Tafseer" of the Qur'an, its explanation of the sacred verses. Without it, mankind would be confused, same as with the Bible or Torah.

People have the right to be upset about a situation like this, but jihad (or struggle) should be performed with the tongue in protest and explaining Islam and clarifying it to others. They wont get anything but chaos if they burn tires and riot. We're not animals here, lets behave righteously, as our own prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h.) would have done.

Sep. 20 2012 10:25 AM
FATIMAH MX from NYC

First and foremost, I would like to open my statements with the greetings of Paradise (Heaven): Peace unto you (Assalamu Alaykum)

I want to thank the radio host for reading my views and comments and sharing them with the world, in defense of muslims. I am a new listener, and I am humbled by how your radio program really is about "the people" and cares for the public's opinions. I think thats wonderful.

On this note, I would like to say that I think everything in reference to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) thats been going on lately and reported on the news is just adding more fuel to the fire. It is disrespectful in any religion to insult their religious figures/prophets, so why should it be alright for the French journalists with their political cartoons to hop on this bandwagon?

The world needs more respect for one another, to cohabitate and live peacefully and dwell in harmony. Islam is not "evil" or "violent", it is the religion that tells you to obey the commandments of the Lord brought to manking in the Torah, the Bible and the Qur'an and to obey the final messenger, Muhammad (peace be upon him) who was written about in the scriptures of the Torah and Bible.

Humanity needs to educate themselves instead of going by one sided stories presented in certain TV stations.

Sep. 20 2012 10:01 AM
John Holenko from Charleston, SC

Anyone whose faith is challenged by cartoons, movies, demonstrations, etc. has a very weak faith and that faith should be challenged. Anyone whose response to perceived religious criticism is violence, has NO IDEA what religion and spirituality are really about and while (recently, in any case) radical factions in the Middle East are using Islam and the Koran as an excuse for this violence, they are NOT Muslims, or religious people of any kind. They are angry, repressed, beaten down, ignorant people looking for an excuse to hurt other people.

Sep. 20 2012 09:55 AM
Larry Fisher from Brooklyn, N.Y.

"The Onion" has become a way of life in the States and must be taught abroad. Perhaps "Onion" missionaries are in order

Sep. 20 2012 09:49 AM

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