And now satirical cartoons about Mohammed …

The French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo has now published what are described as ‘obscene’ cartoons featuring the prophet Mohammed.

The French government has defended the freedom of the press to publish such cartoons while taking precautionary measures at its embassies and consulates and other institutions around the world, and deploying riot police around the magazine’s offices.

This is the same magazine that was firebombed back in 2011 after it published another Mohammed cartoon.

In a hopeful sign of a more mature response this time around, Islamic leaders in France have appealed to people to “rise above their anger and not give in to the provocation.”


  1. stonyground says

    “rise above their anger and not give in to the provocation.”

    Wouldn’t it have been better to have said ‘rise above the mentality of a spoilt two year old’? Freedom of expression is a very important Western value, if these people don’t want it there are plenty of places that don’t have it where they could go to live. Some Muslims that live in the west seem to want to claim this right for themselves but don’t seem to understand that this means that you also have to grant this right to others. I should add that there are many non-Muslims who think that way as well.

  2. says

    So the Muslims are being trolled again. Big Deal! The question is whether they will react like civilized human beings (and mostly ignore it or maybe talk about it peacefully a bit) or whether they will riot in response to their prophet being “attacked”?

    Isn’t it sad that, for good reasons, our expectation is for the latter to happen? It should be particularly sad to those who are of the Muslim faith.

    The proper response to this, if any Muslims are truly so insulted, is to publicize satirical cartoons about the satirical publication Charlie Hebdo.

  3. sunny says

    The religious usually lack a sense of humour especially when the target is their own religion.

    Jews and Christians are mocked in cartoons on a daily basis in the Middle-East but it is hardly a matter of concern for the Muslim majorities there.

  4. mnb0 says

    Can you access CharlieHebdo? I, from Suriname, can’t and some friend in The Netherlands couldn’t either this morning.

  5. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    “rise above their anger and not give in to the provocation.”

    Wouldn’t it have been better to have said ‘rise above the mentality of a spoilt two year old’? – stonyground

    I see: if people don’t respond in exactly the terms you think are appropriate, they’re doing it wrong. Actually, if people deliberately set out to provoke you (and there’s surely no doubt that’s what Charlie Hebdo has done), anger is a natural reaction. Of course, that would in no way justify a violent response, but then that’s exactly the response French Muslim leaders are cautioning against.

  6. iknklast says

    Nick Gotts – I think the reference to 2 year olds refers to throwing a tantrum, not that they didn’t respond in the way one single person feels is appropriate. When people deliberately set out to provoke you, you can respond by being provoked and throwing a tantrum, or you can do as my grandfather always advised and consider the source like the fellow when the mule kicked him.

    When people set out to deliberately provoke you, why give them the satisfaction of being provoked? Why not show them you can ignore them if they’re being silly? When the Muslims throw their two-year-old tantrum, they are responding exactly as the provokers expect.

  7. lorn says

    A friend found a cartoon making fun of Jesus and Photoshopped out the cross and added the name “Mohammed” but without any reference to the Muslim prophet. He e-mailed the Jesus version with the cross to a prominent Muslim he knew and got back a reply that included a hearty LOL. Then he sent the same cartoon modified to make it refer to an unspecified “Mohammed” and got back a veiled death threat.

    That road is, evidently, a one-way street.

  8. says

    I was able to get to the site earlier today. Very likely, the international attention (and almost certainly an organized denial of service attack) have overloaded their web servers.

  9. Francisco Bacopa says

    As I said two posts up before I read this one. France is putting many of their embassies and consulates on security lockdown starting Friday morning.

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