Charlie Hebdo publishes on
One week after the attack on Charlie Hebdo, the new issue of the satirical weekly came out today, Wednesday, with a record run of three million copies. Some commentators praise the editors for defending freedom while sending a message of reconciliation. Others feel the magazine again failed to show due respect.
A fitting message of reconciliation
The front page of the new issue of Charlie Hebdo shows a weeping prophet holding a "Je suis Charlie" sign with the headline "Tout est pardonné" - everything is forgiven. The liberal daily Svenska Dagbladet praises the editors' tact: "This front page manages the amazing feat of combining a message of forgiveness and reconciliation with resolve and courage. The paper holds firmly to its right to portray and caricature whoever and whatever it wants. At the same time it refuses just as firmly to engage in a polarising war with the terrorists. ... And it stresses that it is by no means certain that the prophet Muhammad is happy about the deeds terrorists commit in his name. An elegant balancing act that hits the nail on the head."
True Islam a religion of brotherhood
The left-liberal daily Libération, in whose offices the new issue of Charlie Hebdo was produced, also praises the satirical weekly's cover: "Charlie's cover? A model of political intelligence. Many people expected a provocation, others feared it would lose its bite. Neither is the case. It features the prophet Muhammad, but in a positive role, with a hint of tenderness. Muhammad says 'Je suis Charlie'. In other words, true Islam is brotherly, egalitarian, cleansed of the belligerent legacy of the Koran that ignorant killers and not Islamic scholars have made the order of the day. The true caricature of Muhammad is that championed by the Islamists. True Islam is the faith of the mass of believers in France, where it has every right to exist."
Long live Charlie!
In its Wednesday edition the liberal daily Le Soir also prints the front page and several other cartoons from the current issue of Charlie Hebdo. Journalism lives on, the paper rejoices: "Today the famous Charlie is back in its rightful place: not on the front pages of the press but in the news stands, book shops and letterboxes of subscribers. Taken in (and protected) by the French daily Libération, Charlie's survivors joined forces to bring out their paper. Because what doesn't kill us makes us stronger. Because failure to publish would have been like a second death for the victims, and an even more painful one in the eyes of these campaigners and free people. This is not a question of agreeing or disagreeing with the contents of the French satirical magazine. ... This is about defending a principle and forming a link in the chain that proclaims: Charlie is not dead, life goes on as it did before."
Lack of respect still prevails
With their latest edition the team of Charlie Hebdo unfortunately once again disregards the feelings of Muslims, the left-liberal daily The Independent criticises: "If society is to function, rights must be balanced by responsibilities, and liberty is one half of an equation. So, as far as freedom of expression is concerned, the other part of the equation is respect. This means we shouldn't go out of our way to offend and insult one sector of society just because we are expressing our inalienable right to say what we like. In that respect, this week's front cover of Charlie Hebdo is particularly troubling for those of us of a liberal bent. We will be more successful in protecting the freedoms we hold dear, and which will come under increasing threat in the decades to come, if we treat them with respect now."