Ever since the French schoolteacher Samuel Paty was beheaded by an 18-years-old Jihadist, shouting ‘Allahu Akhbar’ (God is greatest), streams of emails held the media responsible for the deaths.
On October 16, Samuel Paty used a caricature of Islam’s Prophet Mohammed by Carlie Hebdo – a satirical publication – to explain freedom of expression in a civics class, and before he could reach back home, he was beheaded.
Portraying the Prophet is considered blasphemous as radical Muslims, and the attacker who killed Paty reportedly paid his students money to identify him and finally slay him for his alleged crime.
The cartoons he showed were already battered with controversy.
Back in 2015 when they first came out from Charlie Hebdo, the publication had to pay a heavy price for it — their Paris office was attacked, killing several staffers by Islamists.
All the attackers were killed, but French intelligence cracked down on 14 individuals who were all allegedly a part of the three-day killing spree that terrified France five-years ago.
In 2020, September, they were up for a trial, and just a day before Charlie Hebdo republished the same cartoons which was apparently the reason for the attack five-years ago.
Now, after Samuel Paty showed the cartoons and consequently got himself killed as well, “Charlie’s mailbox has been puffing up emails from Good Samaritans who, in the hope of having peace, demand an end to cartoons on Islam and hold Charlie responsible and guilty of the Islamist attacks that come. to take place(…),” Charlie Hebdo writes in a web-exclusive piece.
The magazine says, “the attacks are your fault” summarised the inflow of emails they received in the past few days from internet users who are totally unfamiliar with their publication and hurled ‘cookie-cutter judgments.’
Highlighting one response that landed in Charlie Hebdo’s mailbox like a ‘missive,’ a person named Jean de C., claimed that he knew five-years-in advance that “it was dangerous to touch Muslim sensibilities” and asked the magazine how do they intend to repair the result of provocation which they are the authors?
“Since Jean de C. seems to like philosophical questions, we would like to know if he would not confuse a little “Muslim sensibilities with Islamist barbarism?” the magazine retaliated in the piece.
The very existence of Charlie Hebdo as a publication began with controversy, if history is noted, Goes without saying the publication is not out of miff with different communities for various reasons.
Starting its circulation as a companion to the Hara-Kiri magazine in the 1970s, Charlie Hebdo was subsequently banned for a controversial headline that spoofed the media reports announcing the death of then-French President Charles de Gaulle.
The Magazine, having born from the idea of free expression, is out-and-out non-conformist, secular, anti-racist, and skeptic in tone.
A recent Charlie cartoon spat France with Turkey after Turkish President Erdogan graced the front cover of an October issue half-naked, holding a can of beer and lifting the skirt of a hijab-wearing woman, revealing her naked bottom.
Erdogan’s office slammed the cartoon as ‘disgusting’ and ‘immoral’ and vowed legal diplomatic actions against France.
But the cartoon was made after Erdogan provoked the Muslim world and the Turks to boycott French goods over Emmanuel Macron’s defense against freedom of expression. Erdogan also said Macron needs a’ mental checkup’ for his rigid stance on Islamism.
According to Charlie Hebdo, all the religions are ‘caricaturbale’ and Islam should not be exempt from that either.
President Emmanuel Macron in a recent interview with Arabian media Al Jazeera said the recent escalations of the anti-France stance in some Muslim countries is because of the distortions of political leaders.
Several hundred thousands of Muslims in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Iran, Kuwait, and Qatar have rallied against Macron for his defense of freedom of expression — an ideal deeply intertwined in the French nationalism.
He said his words about not giving-up making cartoons were twisted to appear as if the French State was behind the Charlie Hebdo caricature of Prophet Mohammed, whereas the publication is an independent media, free from any state control.
“I understand the sentiments being expressed and I respect them. But you must understand my role right now, it’s to do two things: to promote calm and also to protect these rights,” Macron said, which was heavily quoted by the international media.
Charlie Hebdo says: “We deplore the stupefaction of the crowds in which they participate, the yoke that falls on the men and women who claim an ounce of freedom.”
“And if we are afraid of this bloodthirsty ideology that is Islamism,” Charlie Hebdo says, then they’ll make ink blood “for the future of resistance to this deadly ideology.”
“You know that ink that never spilled blood.”