Wednesday, 2 November 2011

[Note: I'll update this post throughout the day as new reports emerge.]

Is "Islam compatible with humour", as Mohammed proclaimed in this week's Charlie Hebdo? Well, now we know the answer.
The offices of French satirical paper Charlie Hebdo, which published a special Arab Spring issue Wednesday with the prophet Mohammed as guest "editor”, were destroyed by a petrol bomb attack overnight, police said.
By News Wires (text)

AFP - The offices of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, which published a special Arab Spring edition Wednesday with the prophet Mohammed as guest "editor", were gutted in a petrol bomb attack overnight, police said.

The fire at the magazine started around 01.00 am (0200 GMT) and caused no injuries, a police source said.

Charlie Hebdo published a special edition Wednesday to mark the Arab Spring, renaming the magazine Charia (Sharia) Hebdo for the occasion.

The cover showed a cartoon of the prophet stating: "100 lashes if you don't die of laughter!"

The depiction of the prophet is strictly prohibited in Islam.

A witness at the scene, Patrick Pelloux, told AFP a molotov cocktail was hurled through the window and set fire to the computer system.

"Everything was destroyed," he said.

The magazine's publisher, known only as Charb, said he was convinced the fire was linked to the special edition.

"On Twitter, on Facebook, we received several letters of protest, threats, insults," which had been forwarded to the police, he said.

On Wednesday, the weekly said it would publish a special edition to "celebrate" the Ennahda Islamist party's election victory in Tunisia and the transitional Libyan executive's statement that Islamic Sharia law would be the country's main source of law.

It would feature the prophet Mohammed as guest "editor", the magazine said.

Charb on Tuesday rejected accusations that he was trying to provoke.

"We feel we're just doing our job as usual. The only difference is that this week, Mohammed is on the cover and that's quite rare," he told AFP.

A Paris court in 2007 threw out a suit brought by two Muslim organisations against Charlie Hebdo for reprinting cartoons of prophet Mohammed that had appeared in a Danish newspaper, sparking angry protests by Muslims worldwide.
Source: France24

Elsewhere the editor was quoted as saying:
"We have received threats (...) but no one has seen this magazine. People have reacted violently to a magazine whose contents they are completely unaware of. That's the most absurd and moronic thing about this."

The Charlie Hebdo website was also hacked by a Muslim during the night. In place of its usual contents, the following image appeared:

Source: Le Figaro

The hacker left messages in English and Turkish.

This follows on from the series of Muslim website hackings in France yesterday, mostly of Catholic sites. The French press has scarcely reported on this at all.

Some images of firefighters battling the fire:

The Socialist-run Paris City Hall said it would help Charlie Hebdo find a new office. "We'd never leave an organ of the free press without offices. It's the duty of the republic. Charlie Hebdo should be able to continue to work," tweeted Christophe Girard, a deputy mayor of Paris.

Mohammed Moussaoui, head of the French Council for the Muslim Faith (CFCM) said he "strongly condemned" the fire if police did confirm it was a criminal attack.

In 2006, the CFCM brought a lawsuit against Charlie Hebdo for publishing caricatures of the prophet which he said were "a lot more violent". He told AFP the front page of this week's edition "wasn't of the same order" but added that the simple fact of caricaturing the prophet was considered offensive to Muslims.

Jean-Francois Copé, secretary general of Nicolas Sarkozy's ruling rightwing UMP party, condemned the apparent arson attack, telling Europe 1 radio it was "an attack against a newspaper in a country which should stand for freedom of expression".
Source: The Guardian

How long before The Guardian produces a comment piece justifying the attack, I wonder?

Jean-Luc Mélenchon, presidential candidate for the Front de Gauche (Left Front), was quoted by Le Figaro appealing for people:
"not to confuse a handful of imbeciles, morons ... with the bulk of our Muslim compatriots who practise their faith in total tranquillity."

Charlie Hebdo artist Luz

The Muslims are now trying to blame the "far-right" for the attack.
"It could have been the far-right trying to destabilise things ... It's a bit too easy to make the jump right away from this initial front page and it being Muslims who set fire to Charlie Hebdo."
Karim Zéribi

We firmly condemn this type of action ... That said, we continue to denounce any drawing of the prophet because Muslims are not ready to accept these caricatures.
Mohammed Moussaoui, president of the Conseil français du culte musulman (CFCM)

[French Council of the Muslim Religion]


The BBC has an article with some interesting information on Charlie Hebdo's history here. It curiously raises the possibility that Charlie Hebdo's action could be considered "dangerously irresponsible".
Its decision to mock the Prophet Muhammad may be called courageously principled or dangerously irresponsible.

In the BBC perhaps. But not elsewhere, among civilised people, where third-world mores have not yet come to prevail.

It's also noteworthy that the BBC illustrates the story with photographs of the Charlie Hebdo offices and editor, but no picture of the magazine or illustrations, almost as if the BBC was observing the supposed Mohammedan restriction on publishing images of the so-called prophet.

Muslims are already being portrayed in the French media as the victims of the attack. This is one of the unique properties of the Islamic mindset, one that is progressively infecting the western world: that it can so readily turn perpetrator into victim.
The inquiry will tell us that it was a bunch of no-brain morons who attacked a magazine's freedom of expression. But whatever their religious faith, if they have one, the great losers in this affair will be the Muslims themselves. Even if they are innocent. Since we know there is no such thing as collective responsibility, the only people who can be held responsible are those who have committed this unspeakable act. Unfortunately, we know in advance that with the parade of "specialists", the Muslims are going to be stigmatised once again.

Sihem Souid [a Tunisian who wrote a book criticising the French police]

Source: Le Point

Russia Today interview with Danish People's Party representative (and deputy speaker of the Danish parliament) Soren Espersen below.

Newsflash - Islamophobia to blame for Charlie Hebdo attack!

The rector of the Grand Mosque of Paris, Dalil Boubakeur, has this to say:
"The fear-driven European climate of Islamophobia, which lumps things together and is based on caricatures of the Islamic faith and Muslims is extremely regrettable and harmful to the values of secularism and "vivre ensemble" (living together) which the Muslims of France fully share.
Source: Le Figaro

Le Point has more details of the Charlie Hebdo website hack:
The cyber-attack which affected the Charlie Hebdo site last night, adding the slogan "Be God's curse on you! We will be your curse in Cyberworld!", was signed Cyber-Warrior TIM, a group close to Akincilar, an association of pirates based in Turkey and known for their "defacements", that is to say inserting images on websites to communicate a message. On, the group lists its own record of interventions: there are many Israeli sites there, like the Israel Wander Tour travel agency or Noble Energy, a petroleum investment company.
Source: Le Point

Charlie Hebdo has reportedly sold out all over France. I've contacted a relative living there to ask her to try and get one for me. They should do another print run and open it up to international sales. That way we could all buy one to show our solidarity and get them enough money to re-equip their offices.

I just translated a bombshell article from a Tunisian-French imam about the Charlie Hebdo attack. I've posted it in a separate article here. It's a must-read!


Mullah Lodabullah said...

That was quick, and destructive. I trust the French authorities will be equally swift in locating and prosecuting the perps.

southwood said...

You state:

"The depiction of the prophet is strictly prohibited in Islam."

Actually, that is not correct. Until fairly recently it was possible to buy pictures of him in Iran. Apparently it is the sunnis who get themselves rabid with dripping fangs at so called depictions. Actually, in passing, let me say that it is Christianity which commands that there be no depiction of Jesus. Christians who do so such as Roman Catholics and Orthodox are guilty of breaking one of the ten commandments.

But, more to the point of the report; this is a wicked act of arson and an attempt to suppress free speech. I pray that the French police find those responsible (including those making threats on twitter etc.) and prosecute them.

Cheradenine Zakalwe said...

I'm not the one stating it. It's just a press agency report I'm quoting.

Anonymous said...

this is not a criminal simple attack,..this was the muslims attack by orders of some Imã,...look at the nearest mosque and you will find the guys,...

Anonymous said...

Catching and punishing the perps is of no value, as the damage that has been done is to freedom of expression for all French ie to France itself. For such a crime, it is the Muslim community of France which must be made to pay.

Arius said...

Why didn't the paper expect this attack and post a guard?

Arius said...

" is Christianity which commands that there be no depiction of Jesus...". This statement by the previous poster is nonsense.

Anonymous said...

Why is it when you just try to discuss holocaust you get arrested and imprisoned? And not body complains about freedom of speech in Europe. And when we complain of your mocking to our prophet this is a freedom of speech. Why do we respect your religious icons in our country and never do any cartoons about them and you never respect ours? How many times should Muslims complain about respecting our prophet so you would understand. What's the business of France if Tunisia adhered Sharia or not. and what kind of feeling are you expecting to get from Muslims when you make fun of the basics of their religion? I don't expect you'll get love. It's easy to get along with Muslims. just show respect and give them freedom of their choices. You are not our enemies. Disrespect is our enemy

Cheradenine Zakalwe said...

Muslim, I don't support legal restrictions on discussing the Holocaust or anything else. There should be absolute freedom of speech as far as the criminal law is concerned. Anyone who can't withstand the onslaught of other people's opinions doesn't deserve to live in a democracy.

Anonymous said...

Discussing Holocaust was just an example I am giving. And you can't deny that it's illegal to discuss it in so many countries. The fact that you are open minded to discuss it doesn't change the reality that no one can open the subject. On the other side what is the democracy in making fun of others principles? If you are discussing our Islam there is no problem with that, that is open for discussion. but making nonsense cartoons is a kind of offense and disrespect. If you want to discuss why you don't like Shariaa then there is no problem. but just making fun without expressing you concerns or questions. that is disrespect.
Democracy is freedom to express opinions. Not show
hatred and disrespect to others

Anonymous said...

By the way, my discussion doesn't mean I defend bombing the newspaper office, on the other side. I am opposite to that. But what I am calling for is to try to live in peace together by respecting each others principles

Anonymous said...

We muslims are against any bombing and killing to any attacker against Islam. However it is our duty to stand for Gods best creation (Prophet Muhammad pbuh). Instead I would ask these attacker to apologize to the Muslim nation and instead of mocking our prophet we invite them to learn about islam and the teaching of the prophet Muhammad pbuh. No matter how much hate they have against islam Love is what we will give in return.

Anonymous said...

Charlie Hebdo you all are going to hill mother fuckers have you know fucking work but our profit death are near and youll suffer for ever in hill arshols

Anonymous said...

fuck you charlie hebdo soon you will be in hill with hippos and pigs we all know you are gay and you like to be fucked by animals mother fucker

Anonymous said...

Let's hope the French stop importing Muslims and kick out the ones who are already there! Muhammed (no peace be upon him) is not God's greatest creation! Far from it!

Anonymous said...

The French Government is so stupid to allow him to publish this. Doesnt france have more problems of its own. THe french are just good at ass licking. Stupid losers. Good luck your on the death list, and going to be killed soon along with your rotting buddy Terry Jones..hahaha

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