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Wednesday, January 02, 2013 

France's Charlie Hebdo will publish comics based on Muhammed

The satirical French weekly that published cartoons of the "prophet" of Islam to the chagrin of Islamists around the world is going to publish a comic about the life of Mohammed as well, in another test of free speech. There is something here though that bugs me:
Charlie Hebdo's publisher said it would be educational and was an attempt to defend free speech.

"It is a biography authorised by Islam since it was edited by Muslims," said the publisher, Stephane Charbonnier, who is known as Charb.
I hope that's only a joke he's making, because if it really was edited by Muslims as he says, there's no telling if it'll be honest enough about what the Koran says about Mohammed.

The really sad thing however, is that the Washington Times, a conservative paper, has published a piece by an apologist for Islam who's speaking against the weekly's free speech rights:
Publishing cartoons of Mohammed is less a matter of not being PC as it is an act of stupidity and disrespect.

Says Charb, “I don’t think higher Muslim minds could find anything inappropriate.”

A biography of Mohammed, maybe. Cartoon depictions, no. There is no amount of rationalization by Hebdo that can make his efforts anything but inappropriate. The question is whether he even has a clue about what he undertaking?

[...] No amount of rationalization by Charb can justify his actions. He is provoking a known reaction of violence in a region where provocation has an extremely low bar already.

If Hebdo’s actions were truly about free speech that would be one thing. This is about agitation and inciting emotions.
Wow, what a disappointment that a right-wing paper has to carry apologia and attacks on free speech values like this. Violence in the name of religion is unjustified, and rather than argue against it, the writer tries to defend it? Shameful.

I hope this comic project of theirs will turn out to be a bold test of free speech, if anything. But if was really edited by who the EIC says it was, I'm not sure this'll turn out to be such a great thing.

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