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Charlie Hebdo in New Cartoon Controversy After Office Bombing

Posted on the 08 November 2011 by Periscope @periscopepost
Charlie Hebdo in new cartoon controversy after office bombing

Charlie Hebdo poster in Paris. Photo credit: Paul Baker,

Charlie Hebdo has published a cartoon of a Muslim man kissing a male cartoonist – a week after the French satirical magazine’s office was firebombed following the release of an issue that named the Prophet Muhammad as Editor-in-Chief.

Controversial. Last week’s issue of Charlie Hebdo was renamed “Charia Hebdo” and featured a female supplement entitled “Madame Sharia”, along with a cartoon of Muhammad on the cover. After its release, a Molotov cocktail was thrown into the office and a group of Turkish hackers attacked the magazine’s website. Scott Sayare reported on The New York Times Media Decoder blog that French press and politicians unilaterally came out in support of the magazine’s right to “freedom of expression” in response to the attacks.

Offensive. Bruce Crumley said on the Time Global Spin blog that he struggled to find sympathy for the magazine after the fire-bombing. Crumley argued that those who defended the magazine failed to understand that France has become “a point of focus for Islamist radicals at home and abroad looking to harp on new signs of aggression against Islam” following the 2010 law banning burqas in public. “Baiting extremists isn’t bravely defiant when your manner of doing so is more significant in offending millions of moderate people as well,” he wrote.

Idiocy. However, writing in The Independent, Joan Smith accused Crumley of “moral idiocy”: “If it isn’t possible to unequivocally condemn fire-bombing in the capital city of a secular European nation, what message does it send in countries where there is no separation between religion and state?” she asked.

Ballsy? Gawker called Charlie Hebdo “the world’s ballsiest magazine” for the latest stunt and suggested that the new cartoon depicted the Prophet Muhammad. However, following reader comments, Seth Abramovitch acknowledged on the site that this may not be the case: “Several of you have pointed out that the headwear/shorter beard/slight tweaks to the angle and scale of the hooknose might suggest that the figure involved in a passionate, man-on-frog liplock is in fact just a devout Muslim, and not Muhammed himself,” he said.

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