Another reminder that the sword is (generally) mightier than the pen:
AFP: PARIS: Cartoonist Luz, who drew Charlie Hebdo’s front cover picture of Mohammad following the massacre of the satirical weekly’s editorial team by jihadis in January, has told a French magazine he will no longer draw the prophet.
“I will no longer draw the figure of Mohammad. It no longer interests me…I’m not going to spend my life drawing [cartoons of Mohammed].”
Luz’s cover image in January portrayed Mohammad with a sign saying “Je Suis Charlie” under the words “All is forgiven.”
The issue came out a week after the attack by jihadis on the magazine’s office left 12 dead. It had a print run of eight million – a record for the French press.
“The terrorists did not win…They will have won if the whole of France continues to be scared,” [Luz] added, accusing the far-right National Front of trying to stir up fear in the wake of the attacks.”
I don’t blame Luz for declining to draw Mohammed any more. The pressure he was under must have been immense. It’s a shame though that he could not have been more honest about his motives. His ‘boredom’ is less than convincing, and the attack on the National Front is, well, let’s just say it’s a handy reminder that Charlie Hebdo, more a magazine of the soixante-huitard left than any sort of libertarian paragon, once tried to get that party banned.
Far better to take the bleakly straightforward course adopted by Jyllands-Posten (the Danish newspaper that published the original Mohammed cartoons) earlier this year:
“We have lived with the fear of a terrorist attack for nine years, and yes, that is the explanation why we do not reprint the cartoons, whether it be our own or Charlie Hebdo’s,” Jyllands-Posten said. “We are also aware that we therefore bow to violence and intimidation.”
And both approaches are preferable to the widest and most insidious forms or censorship of all, the quiet word in the ear from a nervous editor, or the discreet self-censorship known only to the writer who has decided not to write this, or to the cartoonist who will no longer draw that.