(New York, NY 09/08/2020) Charlie Hebdo, a French satire magazine known for provoking various marginalized communities with offensive cartoons, has recently republished insulting and derogatory images of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in wake of the upcoming trials against the gunmen responsible for murdering Charlie Hebdo staff in 2015. While they claim to republish such offensive imagery as acts of free expression and bravery, such actions are nothing but cowardice and the maligning of an already marginalized community in France. Majlis Ash-Shura: Islamic Leadership Council of New York denounces the vulgar hateful expressions of Charlie Hebdo and the hypocrisy of French leadership.
The French expression of “Freedom, Equality, and Fraternity” has proven to be a misnomer for racism, Islamophobia and xenophobia. French leadership and Prime Minister Macron have refused to condemn Islamophobic hate speech while having no issues with denouncing anti-Semitism. This double standard clearly demonstrates French hypocrisy on matters of equality and respect for their Muslim counterpart. Such Islamophobic sentiments are not exclusive to Charlie Hebdo, as Islamophobia and systemic racism are deeply rooted in French society and politics. However, Charlie Hebdo symbolizes the deep-seated hatred felt towards Muslims and Islam in popular French culture.
While freedom of expression is respectable, the freedom to openly hate already-oppressed communities without any public condemnations or remorse is detestable. Majlis Ash-Shura: Islamic Leadership Council of New York, an umbrella organization for over 90 Muslim-led organizations, condemns Charlie Hebdo’s publishing of offensive images of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and French Islamophobia.