While the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo is being heralded as a bold voice for free expression around the world, it’s important to remember that the same magazine fired a writer for making a joke about Nicolas Sarkozy–implying that his son planned to convert to Judaism for financial success. The cartoonist was then charged with a hate crime. Some topics are simply off limits it seems.
Despite this episode, in 2012 the magazine made a similar point with a cover depicting a Muslim and a Jew saying, “we can’t be mocked!” Think hate crime laws aren’t coming to the U.S.? They are. (Scroll down to end of article for more on hate crimes in the U.S.)
(From 2009 UK Telegraph) Maurice Sinet, 80, who works under the pen name Sine, faces charges of “inciting racial hatred” for a column he wrote last July in the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo. The piece sparked a summer slanging match among the Parisian intelligentsia and ended in his dismissal from the magazine.
“L’affaire Sine” followed the engagement of Mr Sarkozy, 22, to Jessica Sebaoun-Darty, the Jewish heiress of an electronic goods chain. Commenting on an unfounded rumour that the president’s son planned to convert to Judaism, Sine quipped: “He’ll go a long way in life, that little lad.”
A high-profile political commentator slammed the column as linking prejudice about Jews and social success. Charlie Hebdo’s editor, Philippe Val, asked Sinet to apologise but he refused, exclaiming: “I’d rather cut my balls off.”