Je pense donc je suis Charlie – I think therefore I am Charlie.
Nous sommes TOUS Charlie – We are ALL Charlie.
These taglines identify supporters of freedom of expression and resisters of religious threats. In this context, AAI est Charlie.
In solidarity we stand proudly with the people of France and her cartoonists who worked for Charlie Hebdo magazine and who were victims of religion-inspired terrorism on the 7th January 2015. Organised religion has always had a great deal on its conscience and now it has even more to answer for. In the case of Charlie Hebdo, seventeen people have been shot and killed and eleven more wounded. Minutes after this following cartoon that lampooned religion was published and tweeted from Charlie Hebdo magazine, religious terrorists stormed the magazine office and opened fire.
After murdering Charlie Hebdo staff, the gunmen shouted “Allahu akbar” and “The Prophet is avenged!”. But the pen always has and always will be mightier than the Kalishnakov. We at AAI – like Charlie Hebdo – stand up for our right to free expression and a life without pandering to fear-mongering and censorship. We will not be silenced by brutal, savage threats from censorious fanatics. Our tribute to Charlie Hebdo is to re-publish the cartoons for which their publisher Stephane Charbonnier (“I’d rather die on my feet than live on my knees”) gave his life.
In some interpretations of the Islamic religion there is a ban on illustrating Mohammed, a view that satirizing or critiquing Islam is “blasphemy”, and that defaming Mohammed is a crime punishable by death.
We believe that drawings – no matter how offensive – do not justify death. To think otherwise is an insane ideology.
Noted for its irreverence, the satirical Charlie Hebdo magazine has been the target of two terrorist attacks – in 2011, and now in 2015 – because of lampooning Islam in their cartoons. In 2006 they controversially re-published the Danish Jyllands-Posten depictions of Mohammed.
Here is the issue with the re-published Jyllands-Posten cartoons. The headline states “Mohammed overwhelmed by fundamentalists”. The Prophet is saying, “It’s hard being loved by idiots.”
Here are some of the controversial depictions of Mohammed published by Jyllands-Posten and again by Charlie Hebdo:
The following are other controversial Charlie Hebdo covers from past years:
This one from 2001 translates as "Love is stronger than hate".
Charlie Hebdo’s offices were firebombed in 2011. This 2011 cover states that this issue is “guest edited by Mohammed” (calling the magazine “Charia Hebdo”). Mohammed is depicted saying, “One hundred lashes if you don’t die of laughter."
Christianity gets its fair share of satire and mockery too. Here is the birth of Jesus...
This cover is particularly apt in light of the recent tragedy. "Charlie Hebdo must be veiled!”
they all shout.
Media responses to the terrorist attack have been varied but cartoonists around the world have lead the way, brandishing their pencils. Here are five of AAI's favourites:
Albert Uderzo of Asterix fame came out of retirement to publish this response.
By David Pope.
By R. Crumb.
By Lucille Clerc.
Liberty leading the people!