A French newspaper published a cartoon depicting a naked Mohammed, and now the nation is shuttering embassies across the Arab world.
There’s nothing more juvenile than mocking someone else’s religion. Whether it’s Christianity, Judaism, or Islam, people need to respect each others’ beliefs. It’s obvious the editors of Charlie Hedbo, a French weekly publication, are intentionally attempting to incite hatred in the world’s Muslims. Charlie Hedbo wants to provoke a reaction, and will surely receive one.
Having said all that, they have every right to do so. Free speech is celebrated in the West, so they should be allowed to publish anything they choose, even content mocking Mohammed. If you don’t like their message, don’t buy their newspaper. This cartoon is certainly not a valid reason to start destroying property and harming other people.
“In the current climate, the prime minister wishes to stress his disapproval of all excess and calls on everyone to behave responsibly,” Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault stated Tuesday.
The cartoon appeared in print Wednesday, but France will close the 20 embassies Friday, after Muslim prayers are over. The drawings feature a naked Mohammed, and also reference Innocence of Muslims, an American film which ridicules the Islamic prophet.