The editors of the French magazine Charlie Hebdo seem to have a death wish. Not content with publishing Mohammed cartoons (twice), having their offices fire-bombed, and living under police protection, they are now preparing to publish a biography of Mohammed in cartoon form.
We’ve all heard of “suicide by cop”. Is this a new syndrome, “suicide by fatwa”?
The editor of Charlie Hebdo proclaims that his new project should be acceptable to Muslims, given that it will be a sober account based on the factual history of the prophet’s life, as recounted in Sirat Rasul Allah, the traditional authoritative compilations comprising the biography of Mohammed.
Unfortunately, “mere facticity” may not be enough to save Charb’s skin. As Steve Coughlin has demonstrated, a non-Muslim may state the exact truth about Islam while quoting correctly from authentic Islamic sources, and still be guilty of “Islamic slander” — and thus deserve the death penalty.
If the words of an infidel cause harm to Islam, then they violate Islamic law — period. And nothing is more hurtful to the Islamic cause than revealing the life of Mohammed in all its gory details to non-Muslims.
Memo to Charb: invest in Kevlar, and consider plastic surgery.
Many thanks to Hermes for translating this article from RTL.fr:
Charlie Hebdo will publish a “halal” biography of Mohammed
Charlie Hebdo has done it again. The magazine will publish a special edition on Wednesday with the title “The Life of Muhammad”, a “perfectly halal” cartoon biography made up from texts of Muslim chroniclers. It was Charb, the editor of the weekly satirical magazine, who announced this on Sunday to AFP. But the newspaper’s management promised that this time the tone will not be provocative.
“Neither a cartoon nor a satire”
It will be neither a cartoon nor a satire, but a detailed account taken from serious bibliographical sources. This fact is certificated in a foreword by “Zineb”, a Franco-Moroccan sociologist of religions and co-author of this publication.
“This is a biography authorized by Islam since it was written by Muslims. It is a compilation of what was written about the life of Muhammad by Muslim chroniclers and it has simply been drawn in pictures,” Charb added, rejecting the idea that his action constitutes a provocation. “I do not think that (even) the most learned Muslims will find anything substantial to complain about,” says Charb, whose magazine has caused a stir several times after publishing Mohammed cartoons.
As for criticism that will surely be voiced regarding the fact that depicting the prophet is blasphemous, Charb replies that “It’s just the tradition; it is absolutely not found in the Qur’an. Insofar as Mohammed is not ridiculed, I do not see why one could not read this publication as one read the stories of the life of Jesus in the Catechism.”
“Muslims are willing to laugh at themselves”
In November 2011, after the publication of a special issue of the magazine named “Sharia Hebdo” which containing caricatures of Muhammad, the headquarters of the satirical newspaper were burned, its website hacked, and Charb received death threats. Since then he has lived under police protection. More recently, new cartoons published by the magazine Charlie Hebdo sparked strong criticism on the part of many Muslim countries to the point that the French government had to take steps.
Although this time the approach is quite different, Charb expects that he will not please everyone. “If people want to be shocked, they will be shocked, but this will not be done in order to shock. Muslims themselves are also willing to laugh. If we begin to think of them as people handicapped in their capacity to laugh, then one cannot link them with a peaceful Islam, but with an extreme one. One should stop being afraid of Islam, (because) the more you fear Islam, the more scary Islam will be,” he says. He thinks that “it would be a good idea to bring it to the schools; even Muslim children can read it in that they accept that Muhammad is represented (in the cartoons).”