OnIslam & Newspapers
Almost six months after the deadly attack on Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine, its new editor revealed that he will no longer draw cartoons of the Muslim Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him), to avoid being possessed by its critique of Islam.
“The mistakes you could blame Islam for can be found in other religions,” Laurent Sourisseau, the top editor and publisher of Charlie Hebdo, said in an interview this week with Stern, a German magazine, The Washington Post reported.
“We have drawn Muhammed to defend the principle that one can draw whatever one wants.”
The new editor of the weekly magazine claimed that he did not want to believe that the magazine “was possessed by Islam.”
Announcing his decision to stop prophet Muhammed cartoons, he said: “We’ve done our job. We have defended the right to caricature.”
Last January, France witnessed a blood-soaked week after a series of terror attacks that left 17 killed in the capital, including two Muslims.
Seeing the Charlie Hebdo attack as a betrayal of Islamic faith, leaders from Muslim countries and organizations joined worldwide condemnation of the attack, saying the attackers should not associate their actions with Islam.
Later on, French Muslims called for criminalizing insulting religions amid increasing anger around the Muslim world over Charlie Hebdo’s decision to publish new cartoons of Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him).
Moreover, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation sued Charlie Hebdo over the publication of new cartoons depicting Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him), amid increasing anger among Muslims worldwide.
In its “survivals” edition, Charlie Hebdo magazine featured a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) on the cover, a week after the terrorist attack.
Editor Sourisseau’s decision came three months after another Charlie Hebdo cartoonist, Renald Luzier, told French culture magazine Les Inrockuptibles that drawing the Prophet no longer interests him.
“I’ve got tired of it, just as I got tired of drawing [former French president Nicolas] Sarkozy. I’m not going to spend my life drawing them,” cartoonist Luzier said.
A month later, Luizer quit the magazine after citing overwork and fatigue, saying that working without his slain friends and colleagues was “torture.”
Sourisseau, the editor who owns 40 percent of the company’s shares, survived last January’s terror attack by pretending to be dead.
“When it was over, there was no sound. No complaints. No whining,” Sourisseau told Stern.
“That is when I understood that most were slain.”
He came under fire for garnering large portion of Charlie Hebdo’s recent profits after the attack.
“The most important thing is there’s a real desire to keep getting this paper out every week, it should continue and it will continue,” Sourisseau told the Guardian in May.
“The fact that everyone is watching across the world spurs us on to keep going, helps us not be scared.”
Charlie Hebdo has a long reputation for being provocative.
In September 2012, the French weekly published cartoons displaying a man said to be the prophet as naked.
In 2011, the office of the magazine was firebombed after it published an edition “guest-edited by Muhammed”, which the satirical weekly called Shari`ah Hebdo.