Stéphane Charbonnier, the editorial director of the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, was often pictured with his fist aloft.
Mr. Charbonnier, 47, a cartoonist known professionally as Charb, was among 12 people killed Wednesday when gunmen attacked his newspaper’s offices in Paris. He had been instrumental in a series of defiant campaigns that divided public opinion — some saw them as powerful stands for free speech, and others as needless provocations.
He oversaw the publication of a spoof issue in 2011, advertised as guest edited by the Prophet Muhammad, which led to the paper’s offices being firebombed.
Is it really sensible to want to fight to preserve Western traditions of free speech at a time when so many jihadis with hair-trigger tempers are at large? Damn right it is--if you don't want to end up in permanent posture of submission to Islamic traditions, that is, and you think "all the news that's fit to print" should include a discussion re the problematic aspects of Islam.In 2012, Mr. Charbonnier defied the advice of the French government and published crude caricatures of Muhammad, shown naked and in sexual poses. Depictions of the prophet, even if reverent, are forbidden under Islamic law. One of the people killed Wednesday was a police officer assigned to guard the paper’s offices after those episodes.
“Is it really sensible or intelligent to pour oil on the fire?” asked Laurent Fabius, the foreign minister at the time, when he closed French embassies, consulates, cultural centers and schools in about 20 countries...