Charlie Hebdo Editor ‘Dragged the Team’ to Their Deaths
One of Charlie Hebdo‘s founding members has spoken out about murdered editor in chief Stéphane Charbonnier, who was known simply as “Charb,” saying he “dragged the team” members to their deaths. (Twelve people, including two police officers, were killed in the attack at the Charlie Hebdo office on Jan. 7.)
Henri Roussel, a cofounder who worked on the very first issue in 1970 and goes by the pen name Delfeil de Ton, made the comments that appeared in the left-leaning French magazineL’Obs on Wednesday.
“I really hold it against you.“
Roussel called Charb an “amazing lad” in his comments but also a stubborn “block head.” He also referred to the decision to print a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammed in 2011 accompanied by the caption “100 lashes of the whip if you don’t die laughing” and the headline “Sharia Hebdo,” saying that Charb dragged the team into “overdoing it.”
Charlie Hebdo‘s Paris office was burned down by arsonists in a firebombing shortly after the printing of that issue. But the magazine continued to depict images of Muhammed that many viewed as inappropriate and offensive.
“Charb has not yet even been buried and Obs finds nothing better to do than to publish a polemical and venomous piece on him,”
“Charb has not yet even been buried and Obs finds nothing better to do than to publish a polemical and venomous piece on him,” Malka said in a message to Mathieu Pigasse, one of the owners of L’Obs.
“The other day, the editor of Nouvel Obs, Matthieu Croissandeau, couldn’t shed enough tears to say he would continue the fight,” Malka added. “I didn’t know he meant it this way. I refuse to allow myself to be invaded by bad thoughts, but my disappointment is immense.”
Croissandeau defended the decision to publish Roussel’s comments, citing freedom of speech.
Salman Rushdie also spoke out in defense of Charlie Hebdo on Thursday, insisting that freedom of speech must be absolute. Pope Francis disagreed, stating there were limits to free expression while he was en route to the Philippines. “If my friend says a curse word against my mother, he can expect a punch,” the Pope said. But he added that one must not kill in the name of God.
This week’s issue of Charlie Hebdo, the first since the attack, depicts the Prophet Muhammed once again. Five million copies are being printed in six different languages, and huge queues formed across Paris on Wednesday when the issue dropped. It sold out instantly, but newsstands will be refilled throughout the week.