Gotta love the French! In yet another provocative move towards Muslims, notorious French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo published a comic book biography of the Prophet Muhammad’s life in its latest edition on Wednesday.
The comic book includes cartoons of the Prophet and his companions and provides distorted information about them. The magazine’s editor-in-chief, Stephan Charbonnier, said Prophet Muhammad is a historic personality and that cartoons of him should be interpreted like those of Jesus, Napoleon and Zorro. Charbonnier said the content of the comic book was prepared by Muslims and that only the images were drawn by the magazine’s staff, so the comic book is considered “halal.”
He said the cartoons are not satirical but are a biography of the Prophet, adding that it was prepared following detailed and extensive research of Islamic history. Charbonnier also said he does not expect Muslims to make any accusations against the magazine, adding: “This publication is not part of the Quran. It is not to humiliate [the Prophet]. If I can read stories about the life of Jesus, why shouldn’t I be able to do the same about Muhammad?”
Charbonnier said during a press conference on Sunday that they have no intention of provoking Muslims and that the cartoons will not be offensive. He made it clear that he does not think that representing the Prophet in picture form should be taken as a provocation. “The ban on the portrayal of the Prophet is just a result of tradition; it’s absolutely not written in the Quran. If people want to be shocked, let them be. But we did not produce this work to shock people,” he said in response to a question.
The publication of controversial cartoons by the magazine drew immediate reactions from the Islamic community.
The president of L’association des Musulmans de Noisy-le-Grand (The Association of Muslims of Noisy-le-Grand) Enis Chabchoub said no prophet is portrayed in Islamic tradition but that everyone is free to portray them in their own minds. “But if some people want to make cartoons of the Prophet, I cannot accept this person as a Muslim,” he said.
Full article (including a few cartoons from the book) at: Bare Naked Islam