Ceci n’est pas un prophète
Last Week, Charlie Hebdo, a French satirical magazine, released an issue “edited” by a fake depiction of some religion’s founding Prophet. The cover depicted said Prophet stating “1000 lashes if you don’t die laughing.” Followers of this random religious figure, whose name uh… escapes me at the moment, are usually fine, upstanding and law abiding individuals. However, a few malcontents, unclear on the concept of free speech and offended by said Prophet’s depiction, firebombed the editorial offices of Charlie Hebdo. A group of hackers from Turkey also took over the Charlie Hebdo web site, leaving the following warning, more or less:
You keep abusing [some religion’s] almighty Prophet [I couldn’t quite read it] with disgusting and disgraceful cartoons using excuses of freedom of speech … We will be your curse on cyber world!
Refusing to be intimidated however, the staff at Charlie Hebdo upped the ante, with their next issue which depicted what might be the same Prophet, or just some random dude of certain extraction, making out with a male member of the Charlie Hebdo staff. Apparently, those fanatics who totally do not represent the rest of their coreligionists, find depictions of their Prophet offensive, and they also probably don’t take too kindly to the notion that their Prophet was gay. Or that any member of their religion, whatever that religion might be, I have no clue, would engage in homosexual acts.
The staff at Charlie Hebdo have relocated to the offices of progressive newspaper Liberation while fielding numerous death threats. They have also received messages of support from all corners, including from representatives of the very religion that they may have poked fun at. The head of the Paris uhm… place where they worship, Dalil Boubakeur, told journalists: “I am extremely attached to the freedom of the press, even if the press is not always tender with [my co-religionists], [my religion] or the Paris [place where I worship.]”
It’s still a pretty ballsy thing to do, even though the underlying “humor” is actually, surprisingly, not so funny. But you know, free speech, rah rah rah!