Thursday, January 3, 2013
Charlie Hebdo's Muhammad comic: It's their right to offend, but they missed the opportunity to do something profound
What a missed opportunity to do something interesting.
First things first – Charlie Hebdo are perfectly within their rights to publish a comic book retelling the life of the Prophet Muhammad. Even though Muslims find any depiction of Islam’s founder to be wrong, they have the right to draw pictures of Muhammad if they choose to.
They’re also entitled to be irreverent, shocking and – yes – even offensive. It doesn’t achieve much but if that’s what they want to do then that’s their prerogative because Charlie Hebdo publishes in a liberal democracy where free speech (which includes the right to be crass) is treasured.