This morning the offices of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo were destroyed as two firebombs were thrown through its windows. The attack came as its “Sharia edition” was set to be released. Fortunately, there was no loss of life and no injuries were reported.
This “Sharia edition” featured the Prophet Mohammed as a guest editor with commentary on the recent Tunisian elections in which Islamists claimed victory.
It is worth noting that in 2006 Charlie Hebdo also reprinted the infamous Prophet Mohammed cartoons which were originally published in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten. Two Muslim organizations sued Charlie Hebdo for their publication but their case was dismissed the following year.
The attack has been condemned across the political spectrum in France and the City of Paris has said they will help Charlie Hebdo find a new home.
Now I have no doubt there are French Muslims who are genuinely offended by this publication. But there is a proper way to express one’s indignation. Acts of terrorism, hooliganism and intimidation simply cannot be tolerated in any way, shape or form. Do French Catholics and Jews behave in this manner in the face of an affront? If France’s Muslim community wishes to gain broader acceptance then it needs to reign in not only those who would commit violence but those who would incite it.