‘‘The suggestion that you can laugh at everything, except certain aspects of Islam, because Muslims are much more susceptible than the rest of the population, what is that, if not discrimination?’’ : Stephane CharbonnierLEFT-WING intellectuals who accused the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo of going too far by publishing drawings of the Prophet Mohammad are guilty of “disgusting paternalism”, the satirical weekly’s murdered editor claims in a book published posthumously.
Stephane Charbonnier’s message from beyond the grave will rock the sense of national unity following the Paris terrorist attacks in which three terrorists shot dead 17 people before being killed.
Charb, as he was known, finished Open Letter to the Fraudsters of Islamophobia who Play into Racists’ Hands two days before he was among 12 killed in the first attack by Islamist extremists to “avenge” the publication of drawings.
The book accuses the media of fomenting hatred against the magazine and the former Right-wing French president Nicolas Sarkozy of “freeing up” racism in France.
It criticises Islamists who apply the Koran to the letter as if they were “putting up Ikea shelves”, and are ready to “cut the infidel’s throats along the dotted line otherwise God will deprive me of Club Med in the afterlife”.
But it saves its heaviest salvos for Left-leaning intellectuals, described as “ridiculous demagogues” for accusing Charlie Hebdo of going too far by publishing the drawings. Many of those intellectuals joined mass street demonstrations after Charb’s death under the “Je Suis Charlie” banner.
“The suggestion that you can laugh at everything, except certain aspects of Islam, because Muslims are much more susceptible than the rest of the population, what is that, if not discrimination?” it asks.
“It’s time to finish with this disgusting paternalism of the white, Left-wing bourgeois intellectual seeking to prove himself among the ‘poor unfortunate undereducated’.”
Seeking to explain what he saw as intellectuals’ condescension masquerading as solidarity, Charb writes: “Since I am educated, I understand that Charlie Hebdo is using humour. But out of respect for you [Muslims], since you haven’t yet discovered second-degree humour, I will denounce these Islamophobic drawings that I pretend not to understand. I will put myself at your level to show that I love you.
“These ridiculous demagogues just have a huge need to be the centre of attention and want to satisfy their formidable fantasy to dominate others.”
Extracts from Charb’s book appeared in L’Obs, the weekly magazine.
The Daily Telegraph, London