Macron defends the right to blasphemy in France

To start the process with the attack Charlie Hebdo the satirical newspaper wants to republish Mohammed cartoons. President Macron emphasized that he did not want to judge the decision.

Before the start of the Paris trial of the attack on the satirical newspaper “Charlie Hebdo” in January 2015, French President Emmanuel Macron defended the right to blasphemy in his country. The right to blasphemous statements and statements falls under the freedom of conscience in France, Macron said on Tuesday during a visit to the Lebanese capital Beirut.

His role as president is to “protect these freedoms,” Macron stressed at a news conference. It is not the job of the French President to judge the editorial decisions of a journalist or editorial team.

In the trial of the attack on “Charlie Hebdo”, 11 suspects will have to appear before a jury from Wednesday 10 am for “membership of a terrorist group”. Three other men have been charged in absentia; they are wanted with an international arrest warrant.

Twelve people were killed in the attack

The suspects are said to have supported the Islamist brothers Chérif and Saïd Kouachi, who stormed the “Charlie Hebdo” editorial offices and murdered twelve people in cold blood, including some of the most famous cartoonists in France.

In addition, the suspects are said to have supported another Islamist in the Paris trial, who subsequently murdered a policewoman and four customers of a supermarket visited by Jews. The defendants can be sentenced to life imprisonment. The Kouachi brothers themselves were tracked down and killed after a two-day chase by elite police officers

Newspaper wants to republish Mohammed cartoons

At the start of the trial, “Charlie Hebdo” wants to republish the Mohammed cartoons, which had given rise to severe criticism among Muslims. “We will never rest. We will never give up,” wrote response leader Laurent Sourisseau aka “Riss” in the online edition on Tuesday.

The cartoons of Mohammed appear on the cover of Wednesday’s edition. It will feature a dozen or so cartoons first published in 2005 by the Danish daily “Jyllands-Posten” and reprinted by “Charlie Hebdo” in 2006. Many Muslims around the world felt aroused by the prints.

A drawing of the Prophet by the “Charlie Hebdo” caricaturist Jean Cabut – known as “Cabu” – will also be featured on the cover of the new issue. Cabu was one of the killed in the attack.

The government in Pakistan is critical

The government in Pakistan sharply criticized the reprint of the Mohammed cartoons by “Charlie Hebdo”. Pakistan condemns this “in the strongest possible way,” it said in a statement posted to the Foreign Ministry’s Twitter internet service. The republication would deliberately hurt “the feelings of billions of Muslims.” This cannot be justified with the freedom of the press or the freedom of expression.

There are strict laws against blasphemy in Pakistan. Insults to the Prophet Muhammad can be punished there with the death penalty.

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