Charlie Hebdo – burnt out but still defiant
The Guardian is reporting that French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, firebombed last week over a controversial cover and issue involving the Prophet Muhammad (see here), may have lost their headquarters, but with the help of Libération, who have generously given some of their own space to the homeless Hebdo crew to continue to publish, they have a new issue due out tomorrow. And it is another raised finger to the intolerant and those who think freedom of speech should only apply to publications that agree with their own viewpoint. The cover by Luz shows two men, one Muslim, engaged in a passionate kiss with the line “L’Amour plus fort que la haine” – love is stronger than hate. In the background the ruined, burnt-out remains of the Hebdo offices can be seen.
Hebdo isn’t trying to intimate that the Muslim figure here is Muhammed, just an ordinary man who happens to be kissing another man, although I am sure, sadly, that some will still consider that offensive and controversial (not as offensive as burning down a publication’s office, I think and personally I thought quite a clever comeback cover). I am heartened to see in the Guardian article that a number of French Muslim groups have condemned the attack, including Dalil Boubakeur, head of the Paris Mosque, considering the freedom of the press to be important, even when it isn’t exactly publishing what he’d like to see. Hopefully that sort of stance will remind readers not to buy into the intolerant who try to use situations like this to paint all of one religious group as being the same and therefore ‘not like us’ to further their own bigoted political agenda. The new issue of Hebdo goes on sale in France tomorrow. I wish the Hebdo crew all the best on getting the mag back on its feet. (thanks to David Ziggy Greene for the link)