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Here we go again. Charlie Hebdo, a humor magazine in Paris which had produced a spoof issue “guest edited” by, as The New York Times and other media outlets refer to him, the “Prophet Mohammed,” was firebombed early Wednesday just as the special edition was on its way to the newsstands. Hackers had also disrupted its website with a message in English and Turkish cursing the magazine: “You keep abusing Islam’s almighty Prophet with disgusting and disgraceful cartoons using excuses of freedom of speech. Be God’s curse upon you!”
The magazine had announced the special issue in satirical salute to the “Arab Spring” victory of an Islamist party in Tunisian elections: “Charlie Hebdo has asked Mohammed to be the special editor-in-chief of its next issue,” the magazine said in a statement. “The prophet of Islam didn’t have to be asked twice and we thank him for it.” It renamed itself Charia Hebdo, a pun on the word “shariah,” for the occasion, and featured an editorial by Mohammed entitled “Halal Aperitif” and a women’s supplement called “Madam Sharia.” On the cover was a cartoon of Mohammed announcing, “100 lashes if you don’t die of laughter.”
But Islamic law forbids depictions of its prophet, and as Iran’s glowering Ayatollah Khomeini once famously remarked, “There is no fun in Islam.” Muslim fundamentalists were apparently not amused by the magazine’s mocking tone, and a Molotov cocktail was thrown through the window of Charlie Hebdo’s offices in the wee hours of the morning, devastating the premises.
Its editor, Stephane Charbonnier, said,
We can’t put out the magazine under these conditions. The stocks are burned, smoke is everywhere, the paste-up board is unusable, everything is melted, there’s no more electricity.
But the issue will appear as scheduled and the magazine’s website appears to have been restored.
Charbonnier said the magazine had received “quite a few letters of protest, threats, insults” on Twitter and Facebook before the attack, but not as many as in 2007 when the publication, with a track record of offending all religions, was criticized by Muslims for reprinting the infamous “Danish cartoons” that caused violent outrage around the Muslim world.
The editor did not see the attack as the work of French Muslims, but of “idiot extremists,” though he did not clarify what kind. He said the attackers could not even have read the offending magazine:
The arsonists haven’t read this paper, nobody knows what’s in the paper except those who buy it this morning. People are reacting violently to a paper without knowing anything of its contents, that’s what’s most abhorrent and stupid.
Actually, what’s most abhorrent and stupid is that Islamic fundamentalists like the 57-member (56 Muslim nations and the Palestinian territories) Organization of the Islamic Cooperation have made the criminalization of any criticism of Islam their top priority, and too many dhimmis in the West, like the Obama administration, are facilitating their demands.
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