Charlie Hebdo Editor Didn’t Fear Threats

Jacky Naegelen/Reuters

Three years before gunmen killled him and at least 11 others at his magazine, Charlie Hebdo Editor Stéphane Charbonnier said he wasn’t afraid of threats against the magazine for criticizing Islam. “If we worried about the consequences of each of our drawings in each of our 1,057 issues, then we would have had to close shop a long time ago.”

“Extremists don’t need any excuses,” he said following the 2011 firebombing of his magazine. “We are only criticizing one particular form of extremist Islam, albeit in a peculiar and satirically exaggerated form. We are not responsible for the excesses that happen elsewhere, just because we practice our right to freedom of expression within the legal limits.”

“If they are not amused by our cartoons, they don’t need to buy our magazine. Of course they are allowed to demonstrate. The right to protest needs to be protected, so long as one abides by the law and refrains from violence.”