Having “drawn Muhammad to defend the principle that one can draw whatever one wants,” the editor and publisher of Charlie Hebdo says the satirical magazine will no longer publish cartoons that depict the Islamic prophet. Laurent Sourisseau made the announcement in an interview with German magazine Stern.
Charlie Hebdo lost 12 journalists when two Islamic radicals shot up the paper’s Paris offices January 7. The Yemen branch of al-Qaeda later claimed responsibility for the murders, saying the attack was in retaliation for Hebdo’s satirical depictions of Muhammad.
In announcing the magazine’s new policy, Sourisseau said, “The mistakes you could blame Islam for can be found in other religions,” and that Charlie Hebdo was not “possessed” by its stances on Islam.
Charlie Hebdo became a worldwide symbol of free speech – and its endangerment under the threat of Islamist terrorism – within hours of the shootings. At the Golden Globe Awards on January 11, “Je Suis Charlie” buttons and signs were prominent as Hollywood adopted the slogan of solidarity.
“We’ve done our job,” Sourisseau told Stern. “We have defended the right to caricature.”