Who Is Charlie? Charlie Hebdo Journalist Zineb El Rhazoui on Freedom of Expression

Good evening. My name’s Jeffrey Stone. I’m a professor here
at the University of Chicago Law School. And it’s my pleasure to welcome
you to this evening’s event. I get the opportunity
to introduce the event because I am a law professor. I specialize in constitutional
law and freedom of speech in particular. And partly for that
reason, this past fall I chaired a faculty
committee university that drafted a statement
on freedom of expression for the University of Chicago. And so it was
thought that I should offer a few introductory
remarks about the freedom of expression. So why do we care
about free expression? Perhaps the simplest
answer is that we believe we can learn
something from one another. If you have some knowledge,
some insight, some perspective, some theory, some argument
of which I am unaware, I want to know it
so I can decide for myself whether knowing
it would enrich my life, or deepen my understanding,
or improve my decisions, or introduce me to
new experiences. Now, of course, it
may well turn out that much of what
you have to say I will find to be stupid, or
pointless, or offensive, or dangerous, or
just plain wrong. But still, I want
the opportunity to decide that for myself. We care about
freedom of expression because we do not trust other
persons, or institutions, or governments, or
religions, or majorities, to decide for us what we should
be allowed to hear, or to read, or to see, or to know. We know that given
the power to censor, and given the realities
of human nature, those with the
authority to censor will inevitably deny us access
to ideas, and information, and theories, and images, not
because we would necessarily find them ourselves to
be stupid, or pointless, or offensive, but because they
don’t want us to know them. As Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes
observed almost a century ago, for those in charge, a
policy of persecution for the expression of
opinion is perfectly logical. For if you want a certain
result, and you have the power, you will naturally sweep
away all opposition. Knowing the dangers
of censorship, Holmes concluded that
the best test of truth is not the dictate
of the censor, but the power of the thought to
get itself accepted by others. We the people,
acting individually, who get to decide what we
think, when we think it. We do not allow a
government, or a university, or a corporation, or a religion
to make those choices for us. That’s the essence of
what it means to be free. Now, of course, a commitment
to freedom of expression does not mean that we endorse
all of the views of others. I will defend the
right of homophobes to oppose same-sex marriage. I will defend the right of
the Nazis to march in Skokie. I will defend the right of
racists to burn a cross. But I can still
abhor those views. And indeed, the
freedom of expression gives me the right not only
to do so, but to say so. As Voltaire observed,
I do not agree with what you have to say. But I will defend to the
death your right to say it. That is the essence
of a true commitment to freedom of expression. A commitment to
freedom of expression also demands of us a
huge dose of tolerance. You may say things that I
hate, that I fear, that shock and offend me that I think
to be dangerously wrong. But the only response
a commitment to freedom of expression allows us is not
violence, not obstruction, not disruption, not interruption,
but more speech– speech that says you are
wrong, and here’s why. As Justice Louis
Brandeis explained, in a system of free expression,
the only permissible response to bad speech is good speech. We deal this evening with a
specific type of expression that has long proved to
be especially vexing, speech that is thought
to be blasphemous towards a particular religion. Blasphemy is defined as the
active insulting or showing contempt or lack of reverence
for God or for holy persons. There’s no doubt that
the Charlie Hebdo cartoons of the prophet
Muhammad constitute blasphemy in the eyes of some people. Blasphemy naturally
makes people furious. During the Middle Ages,
the penalty for blasphemy included death,
cutting off the lips, and burning or tearing
our the tongue. Thomas Aquinas argued that
blasphemy was a worse sin than murder for blasphemy
is a sin committed directly against God. Whereas murder is merely a
sin against one’s neighbor. In the American
colonies, the Puritans whipped, pilloried,
and mutilated those who were found
guilty of this offense. By the time of the
American Revolution, under the influence
of the Enlightenment, the notion that government
could legitimately punish an individual
for disparaging religion had fallen into disrepute. The very concept was seen as
incompatible with the core aspirations of a
society committed to religious toleration, to the
disestablishment of religion, to the principle
of free expression. By 1776, the law
of blasphemy had come to be regarded as
a relict of a dead age. But the concept was not dead. In the evangelical fervor of
the Second Great Awakening in the early decades
of the 19th century, some states aggressively
punished blasphemy. In 1824, for
example, Pennsylvania prosecuted an individual
for deriding the Bible as a mere fable. Men like John Adams and Thomas
Jefferson were appalled. They vigorously condemned
such prosecutions calling them a
great embarrassment to the most fundamental
values of the new nation. But the wave of
blasphemy prosecutions continued until the early 1840s
when they finally dissipated. It was not until 1952 that the
Supreme Court of the United States finally addressed
the question of blasphemy. And the court made clear that
government in the United States cannot constitutionally
restrict such expression. As the court unanimously
held, government has no legitimate interest in
protecting any or all religions from views that are
distasteful to them. And it is not the business
of government in our nation to suppress attacks upon a
particular religious doctrine. And so we come to the
subject of tonight’s event. The question is not
one of technical law, but it is about a principle. As I see it, there are
really two questions. First, as a matter of
principle, should people have the right in a
free and open society to engage in
blasphemous expression that deeply offends members
of a particular faith? And second, also is
a matter of principle and as a matter of common
sense, as a matter of civility, and a matter of
mutual respect, should those who have the
right to engage in blasphemous expression,
in fact, do so? It will be interesting
to discuss this. I’d like now to
introduce Eve Zuckerman. Eve is a fourth year
student in the college majoring in political science. She’s been president
of the French Club for almost three years now. It was Eve who made
this event possible through her tireless
hard work, her ingenuity, and her determination. And we should all be
extremely grateful for her giving us
this evening tonight. Thank you, Eve. [APPLAUSE] Thank you. Thank you very much Professor
Stone for those kind words. And thank you to the
University of Chicago Law School for hosting us in
their beautiful auditorium. Ladies and gentlemen,
welcome to “Who is Charlie? A Conversation on Freedom of
Expression” with Charlie Hebdo journalist Zineb El Rhazoui
hosted by the University of Chicago French Club. Before I say more about
our exceptional speaker and about this
evening, I would first like to thank our outstanding
partners at the University in Chicago, in Washington
DC, and in Paris who made this event possible. We are extremely grateful to
the Consulate General of France in Chicago, to the State
Department, the French embassy in Washington, and
the American embassy in Paris, who worked
together tirelessly to overcome numerous
challenges to bring Zineb El Rhazoui to Chicago. As you saw from the
security walking in, tonight is no ordinary
university talk. It should be. But it isn’t. By bringing Zineb El
Rhazoui to campus, the University of Chicago
has reaffirmed its commitment to free and open discourse,
even and especially, when these freedoms
are under threat. And let me say,
I have never been prouder to be a University
of Chicago student. This event is the results of
collective efforts spanning all levels at the University of
Chicago– from the French club, to the president’s
office, including the Center for Leadership
and Involvement, student government, the
Dean’s Fund for Student Life, and the France Chicago Center. Thank you to everyone involved,
especially the moderator for tonight’s event– our
very own Robert Morrissey. Robert Morrissey is the
Benjamin Franklin Professor of French Literature and
the executive director of the France Chicago
Center, a great partner of the French clubs. Tonight, we will hear
about the French conception and experience of
free expression from one of its most courageous
and determined practitioners, Zineb El Rhazoui. Born in Morocco,
Zineb El Rhazoui has shaped her life around
the fight for secularism and women’s rights in her work
both as a human rights activist and as a journalist. Zineb El Rhazoui started
off investigating religious minorities
and freedom of religion in Morocco where she faced very
strong government censorship. She was arrested three
times and never tried. And she had to go into
exile to Slovenia. While in Morocco,
Zineb El Rhazoui co-founded a pro-secularism,
pro-democracy movement called MALI, which translates
to the Alternative Movement for Individual Freedoms. And it was as a participant
of the Arab Spring that she met the
Charlie Hebdo team. She then co-wrote a comic book
called The Life of Muhammad with Charb, the former
editor-in-chief of Charlie Hebdo. And she has been
writing about religion for the newspaper since 2011. Zineb El Rhazoui has
braved many dangers before speaking with
us this evening. And I cannot express how honored
I am that we have her with us tonight. So please join me in giving
a very, very warm welcome to Zineb El Rhazoui. Thanks. [APPLAUSE] Also, this evening we’re here
to have a public discussion. And I’ve been asked
to moderate this and to introduce the subject
with five questions actually just to set up a little
bit of a political context. And so first, welcome. It’s great to have you here. Thank you. And if there might
be some– I will say, when you start asking questions,
remember to speak slowly and to try to be as concise
as possible when you do this. Long questions will be
difficult for Zineb to follow. But the first question I think
is about your irreverent, facetious, some would
say inappropriate humor. It’s a long tradition in French
culture from Rabelais’ long list of [SPEAKING FRENCH]
or ass wipes, to Voltaire’s ferocious attacks
against the Catholic Church. This is very much linked
to the critical tradition of the Enlightenment, but
also to the French notion of laicite. And I was wondering if
you could talk about it. This is often translated
as secularism. But it has a particular
French flavor. And I’m certain it has a very
personal meaning for you. I wondered if you
could begin by talking about that a little bit. OK, thank you, I don’t
know if it works. Is it working? Can you hear it? It sounds OK. Firs,t I would like to thank
Eve and all those who made this event possible. I really thank you. I’m very happy to be
here and to meet you all and have this talk with you. And the second
thing, I would like to apologize in advance
because of my English. My English is not as
good as you may expect. I don’t know it it’s because
I’m French or Moroccan. But it’s only my third
language, so I don’t always find precise words
to say things. So I will ask Robert to help me. Charlie Hebdo, many
people may say that it’s a vulgar [SPEAKING FRENCH]. Some people find it vulgar. Some people don’t appreciate
this kind of humor. But I must say that it comes
in the long French tradition of satiric newspapers. This kind of
journalism, I may say, was born during the
French Revolution. Maybe I’m mistaken. But the further thing I
remember was those cartoons of Marie Antoinette, depicting
her like a [SPEAKING FRENCH]. I don’t know how to
say this in English. Whore. Whore. Yeah. And it was the
anti-monarchists opposition. And it was a clandestine
way to make information. It was born also at the
moment where people didn’t know how to read and write. So it was easier
to shape or spread the information
by making cartoons and satirical cartoons. And after that, in
the 18th century, particularly, I think
the first newspapers– the first satirical
newspapers were born. They are the first
kind of newspapers that are censored under regimes
which are not democratic. And also, we continue to
see that in the countries where there is no democracy. I remind, for example,
that in the Arab countries, cartoonists are the
first journalists to be taken to trial, to be
taken to court, and arrested. And some chief of
states in Arab countries have forbidden– King Hassan
II in Morocco has done that. And it was because
he didn’t want to see his face in a cartoon. But he used a religious
justification. Charlie Hebdo came
after Hara-Kiri was forbidden by the French power. And the newspaper had
to stop certain years and restart again. So today in France, there
is two main newspapers that represent
this old tradition of satiric newspapers– Charlie
Hebdo and Le Canard enchaine. My colleague, Cabu,
Jean Cabut, who was killed the 7th
of January, also worked for the Le
Canard enchaine. And there is still
other newspapers like [INAUDIBLE], which means
in argotic French– shit, which is distributed in certain bars. So it is really a tradition
in France to make satire. And this satire
was always linked to the contestation–
I don’t know how we say that in English. It’s fine. The power. And the power in France was
represented by the church before we had this
magic laicite. Laicite I think we could
not translate it exactly by secularism, because
in French, we say also la secularisacion, the
secularizing [INAUDIBLE], for example, which
is not laicite. Nowadays, some people
want to explain that we have laicite
versus religion or that laicite is a threat
for the freedom of religions. But that’s wrong because
laicite is not an ideology. It’s only a tool. It’s a legal tool
that allows a society to grant universality of
rights to all the citizens either they are Muslim,
Christian, non-believer, Jew. Instead of their
differences, they share the same public space,
and they obey the same laws and have the same rights. And I think those who want to
convince us that the laicite is a threat for the
freedom of religions are wrong because in the
countries where you don’t have this secularism, this laicite. In the countries where you
have a religion of state, let’s say for example, let’s
take the worst example. Saudi Arabia, you cannot even
have a Bible in your pocket. You don’t have the right to
exist as a religious minority. You don’t have the
right to build a church. So on the contrary,
the laicite is the tool that permits to everyone
instead of the differences to share the same society. You were referring to the
origins of Charlie Hebdo. It grew out of the paper that
existed before, Hara-Kiri, that was founded in 1969. So this paper, Hara-Kiri, was
a very satirical paper in 1970. So this was founded in ’69. So you’ve got right after
the student-led uprisings for greater freedom for freedom
from constraints on speech, on constraints on sexuality,
on all aspects of life. So you had this journal
that was very much born of that spirit, a kind
of mocking, testing, of all the possible freedoms. And in 1970, there was a
major fire in a discotheque. There were 146 people killed. And this became a
major news story whereby everyone was talking
about this as a dance that had turned tragic. 10 days later, Charles de Gaulle
died, the great French here, the general, the founding
father of post World War France. He died in his home in
Colombey-les-Deux-Eglises. And Hara-Kiri put as its
headline “Tragic Dance in Colombey: One Dead.” And so this was putting Charles
de Gaulle in perspective of these other dead people. And naturally, this was
considered totally blasphemous. The paper was banned. And the editorial team got
together and said, well, if they’ve banned Hara-Kiri. We will be reborn
again as Charlie Hebdo. So that’s the origins
of Charlie Hebdo. In general, you could
say you have many targets satiric of your satire. I was wondering if you
could give us an example. We all know the kind of
situation with radical Islam now. But do you have other
examples that you know of that might just give
the spirit of what this is like? Yes, you have– let us stay
in the thematic of death when the king of Belgium died, our
cover was [SPEAKING FRENCH]. And I don’t know
how to translate it. I don’t know either. It’s very hard to translate. Yeah, and for
instance, some people identify Charlie Hebdo
only to– some people believe that it is a
newspaper against Islam. Actually, in almost 30
years, three decades, we only have three
covers on Islam. Among all the trials
we had in France, we had one trial with the
UOIF, the association that represents Muslims in France. So these are lawsuits brought
against you, essentially. Sorry? These are lawsuits. You’re being accused. Yes, the Union des Organisations
Isalamique de France– the Union of Islamic
Organizations in France in 2006– and they
lost the trial. But we and more than 10 trials
with radical with integrist Catholics with the Church. But no one speaks about that. We also had one trial
with Marine Le Pen, because I must remind that
when our building was burned in 2012, Marine Le Pen was
one of the first people to support us publicly
and say that she is for freedom of speech,
while at the same time, she was taken us
to court because we made an [SPEAKING FRENCH]. I forgot. A campaign poster. A campaign poster. It was during the
elections in France. So this is a fake campaign
poster that they made. We made a fake campaign
poster for all parties. But the one for
the far right party was you had a French flag
with a big piece of shit in the middle. And the slogan was Marine
Le Pen [SPEAKING FRENCH]. The candidate that
is most like you. So it was written on this. So she took us to
court because she didn’t believe in
freedom of speech when it was a concerning her. But the caricature
is not something that has to please people. No one , even me, when I
am drawn by my colleagues, sometimes we know when
we have our meeting, they draw each other. When Wolinski drew me in a
sexual position, for example. I don’t necessarily
appreciate the work. But it is the definition of
satire and of caricature. It is [SPEAKING FRENCH]. It’s there to make you
feel uncomfortable. Yeah, it must feel
uncomfortable, because sometimes you
can say without drawing. You can give a summary of
something that you cannot say in a long article. And the caricature
is by definition, the contestation of the
power of the institutions and of the dogmas. Dogmas. So there’s an interesting
anecdote about Wolinski, who was basically
completely sexually obsessed and constantly drawing things. And I was wondering
if you could share that to give an idea of
what the spirit was like. Wolinski, who was
an old man when he was killed the 7th of January. He was when Charlie Hebdo–
he was in Hara-Kiri before. He was in the team of Hara-Kiri. And at this time,
in Europe, freedom was still about sexual freedom. So Wolinski is the main figure
as a cartoonist of this moment of sexual liberation. And he was really obsessed
by sex till his death. And when he died, one
cartoonist from the team suggested that we throw
our underwear on his grave because he would have
appreciated that. I think two or three
years before he died, he wrote a famous
letter to his wife and told her when I die,
incinerate me and throw me in the toilet. Like that, I will see your ass
each time you go to the toilet. So I am going to ask a
more serious question now. But that is one of the
lessons of Charlie Hebdo is that you should be
able to laugh at anything. So France has the
largest Muslim community in the European Union. There’s no doubt that
there is a population that is the object of racially
based discrimination and marginalization. You yourself are Moroccan. You have worked for human
rights for the dignity of women. I was wondering
if you could just tell us how you ended up coming
to Charlie Hebdo and why. Why is this so important to you? No one of my colleagues
came to Charlie Hebdo because he sent a CV or because
he wrote a cover letter. All of us came to this
scene because of– Commitment. Our commitments. I met with Charlie Hebdo
the first time in 2011. I met them because they
wanted to interview me about the Arab Spring. And it was just an
extraordinary meeting because I identified
myself to this team. And they just felt that they
wanted to work with them. And I met Sylvie Coma. At this time, she was a one
of the editors-in-chief. And she told me, you
must meet the guys. And two days later, I had
lunch with Charb and Riss. Charb was killed
also 7th of January. And Riss now in the hospital. He was injured in his right
shoulder, unfortunately. But he still can
move his fingers. So he will draw again. And they told me OK, start
to come when you have time. We meet Wednesday. And we decide what we write. We did. And I started
immediately working in the project of this
book about Muhammad’s life with Charb. So I wrote all of
his autobiography from Islamic sources. I mean, his life
is extraordinary. You don’t have to add anything
just so find the good books. And I joined the team
in a permanent way the 1st of January, 2013. Actually, people, when this
terrible crime happened, the 7th January, and
when people discovered the names of the victims on
television and the media, they were surprised to discover
that inside Charlie Hebdo there was Mustapha
who had been killed. Mustapha was an extraordinary
man from Nigeria. And he had the best French. He was the corrector–
the one who was correcting the newspaper. He was killed also. And they saw my face also
speaking, women from Morocco, as a member of the
team of Charlie Hebdo. And actually, there
is also a policemen called Ahmed who was
killed by the terrorists because he was defending
Charlie Hebdo even if he died before to know
what he was defending exactly. But people discovered that
this newspaper that some wanted to describe as a
racist newspaper, because you know the
fundamentalists– they want to convince us that
criticizing Islam is racism, while it is not. And I hope we will
have the opportunity to talk about that later. But it is important to say that. So they discovered
that this diversity that you have in
France– you also have it inside Charlie Hebdo. And actually, we in Charlie
Hebdo, in our editorial line we consider we
encourage [SPEAKING FRENCH]. I don’t know how to
say this in English. Integration of
various tendencies. Yeah, and we considered
that the Muslim community, if we can call that a community,
because it is not a community where people are all the same. The Muslim community
belongs today to France. It is a demographic reality. It belongs to the history
of the French nation. And if we talk
about integration, it means that the Muslim
religion in the French nation must accept to be treated just
like the other religions are treated. In French, we are as
mustn’t be ruined by religion. Right, so we’re coming
to the end of my part. I think that one question
that will probably be raised is, yes, but if Charlie Hebdo
was a creation of the post 1968 spirit of pushing
for freedom, maybe that cycle is coming to an end. And maybe more civility is
needed than brash affirmation of freedom. And I was wondering if
you see for the future as your situation has changed
so radically– you now have become very wealthy people. The greatest political cartoons
of France have all died. Many have been killed that
published not only for Charlie Hebdo, but other places. You’re going to have
to recruit new people. You’re seen as in a kind
of mano-a-mano with Islam. Do you think the type of
humor, [SPEAKING FRENCH], that grossing out people– and
I would just say that there is an exhibit at the Smart
Gallery where there’s actual installation where every person
that comes in is asked to see the grossest thing he’s ever
seen on the dinner table. So do you think this
kind of grossing out is the way to go about it? Do you think it’s important? I can see political satire. But I was wondering
what you thought about the kind of particular– I think, the first thing
we must keep in mind is that we work under the French
law, not under sharia law. OK if there is a
minority among Muslims who are able to kill because
we don’t respect a rule that is inside their belief, we
mustn’t as a journalistic team accept the rules of the
game that are imposed to us by guns and by crime. And I think that if we accept
to create this new chapel inside freedom of speech, it means
that we may create also others . Shall we respect, even when
it is defended by the guns, what is sacred for the others? What is sacred for certain
people is not sacred for us. Charlie Hebdo is
a poor newspaper. It was a poor newspaper–
suggested to sell. Those who don’t
appreciate it– I understand that certain people
don’t appreciate our work. But they’re not
obliged to buy it. And it is very important
for us because it is our job as a satiric newspaper. When you do an
esoteric newspaper, it is not only
about information. You have agents de presse,
information agencies. I don’t how to say
that in English. They do information. But a satirical newspaper
must criticize dogmas. It must criticize the power. How could we accept– how
could we call it something else but censorship if we
cannot talk about Islam, which is still a religion
of state in many countries. In many countries, women
don’t have the right to show their hair. In many countries, if
you’re steal an egg, they cut your hand. In many countries
when you belong to a sexual or religious
minority, you are executed. In many countries, women
are not equal as men. So how can we accept
as defenders of freedom just to close our eyes on
that and not talking about it. And today, everyone knows
that we face a danger. This danger is called terrorism. We could not say that we
are going to fight terrorism only a military way. We have also to do pedagogy. And the pedagogy
is also the fact to deconstruct the
integrist ideology. And you deconstruct it by
criticizing, which is sacred. And those who want the three
world to forbid blasphemy– if we forbid blasphemy, we
have to forbid religions, because each religion
is a blasphemy for the other religion. So what did you think of
the New York Time’s refusal to basically print– the
world press picked up the new cover of Charlie Hebdo–
the one that came out right after. And we’ll talk about it. And maybe you can
explain it a little bit. But what did you think about
the New York Times refusing to really publish this image? My colleagues have
been killed because of something similar to this. It’s nothing. That’s my copy. Because of that, my
colleagues have been killed. My colleagues were simple
people, intelligent people, nice people– humans. They had lives. And they have been
killed by two stupid men. I just feel that the
[SPEAKING FRENCH]. Incredible stupidity has
killed brilliant intelligence. That’s what happened. So for us, making this
cover all the team could meet the first time
Friday, the 9th of January, two days after the attack. All the team could
meet altogether. And, of course, we were crying. We were happy to see each other. And we just started to work
immediately to make this issue. And the cartoonists
started to draw. In Charlie Hebdo, they
all sit in the same table and start to draw and
put the cartoon on a wall so everyone sees the cartoons
and gives his opinion about it. I haven’t seen one Muhammad from
Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. And Monday is the
[SPEAKING FRENCH] day. We finish the newspaper Monday. Deadline. So on Monday afternoon,
Luz drew this and cried. And for us, in this,
I see first of all, a message of forgiveness because
we forgave the two stupid guys who killed my colleagues. We feel no hatred towards them. And we understand the problem
is not them as two individuals, but the ideology that produces
such machines to kill. And Muhammad is saying, “Je
suis Charlie,” and it’s nice. He’s sad and crying. But this was described
as a provocation even by a guy like Dalil
Boubakeur, the imam of the Paris Mosque, who
is a guy who is supposed to be a moderate Muslim. So I must remind that
the problem of those who say that they are
shocked– that they feel offended by that. Why do they feel offended? We are not insulting
the prophet or anything. On the contrary, I see
Muhammad as a human. I see humanity on him when he
says everything is forgiven. I am Charlie and when he
cries after this crime. But they are not
happy not because we make offensive cartoons, but
only because we depict him, because the radicals don’t want
people to depict the prophet or to depict anyone. Today, I heard on the radio
that ISIS, the Islamic State, in Iraq destroyed some
archeological statues because for them, it’s
[SPEAKING FRENCH]. It’s [SPEAKING FRENCH]. It’s against religion. So they are mad people. They don’t accept that
the prophet is depicted. As someone who has studied
Islam during more than 16 years, I have never seen only
one sentence in the Koran forbidding to depict Muhammad
or to depict anyone else. And in the Sunnah, I also
I found nothing forbidding a depiction of Muhammad . And the Muslim Shia
depict the prophet. So shall we kill all of them? And we as Charlie Hebdo,
even if it was clear in Islam that we are not allowed
to draw Muhammad, I remind that we don’t
work under Islamic law, but under French law. So I think maybe
this is a good time to open this up to discussion. And do we have people
that would like to– OK, why don’t you start? So the idea is to speak clearly. I am French myself. [INAUDIBLE] Are you a cartoonist? Or are you writing? I am a reporter. I write. I don’t draw. So you are in collaboration
with cartoonists in writing? It depends because
in Charlie Hebdo you have some,
for example, here, it’s only a cartoonist’s work. But you also have articles that
are illustrated by cartoonist. So you have both. I forgot to say something
because you asked me, Robert, about the New York Times, the
fact that they didn’t– the New York Times, but also I think
all the American media. For us, because
of our colleagues have been killed because
of that, first of all, it is also censorship. And it is a way to
say, OK, what they have done is something bad. I think in Charlie
Hebdo, we were really disappointed by this attitude. I know the freedom of
speech– the approach is not the same in France
or in the United States. For example, in
France, people don’t understand how racism could to
be considered as an opinion, for example, in
the United States. In France, racism is not
consider as an opinion. It’s forbidden to
have racist speech. But for this, to
decide to not show it, it means that our colleagues
have done something bad and [SPEAKING FRENCH]
they deserved– What that got. So is there a microphone? OK, can you hand
the microphone to– Hello? Yeah, OK, good for me. Hi, my question
is what would you like to see happen
in France to end the sense of disenfranchisement
that many French Muslims feel? I think the problem in France–
why our society produced guys like the
Kouachi brothers– I think there is a problem
of identification to state for certain
categories of the population. So I think integration
must take in consideration many dimensions– education,
but also economic integration. This is something important. I think also that
we all ask ourselves why did we produce such guys? Of, there is stupidity. Of course, there
is a radicalism. But if you put a stupid guy
and radicalism in the room, it doesn’t automatically
give a terrorist. We talk about school. But French school, also
produced brilliant people. We talk about a marginalization. But we also have people
from immigrant communities in the government. So we always have
the counter example. I think one of
the main problems, and Western societies
must face this reality, this ideology of
terrorism is something that is financed
by certain states, by Qatar, by is Saudi Arabia. And I think it wouldn’t
have grown this way if we could cut these finances. So I think now in France,
as we said five minutes ago, of course the Muslims are
a part of the society. It’s maybe the
youngest immigration, because it came after
the independences, especially in North Africa. So it takes time to
integrate people, especially economically. But it is time
also for those who present to talk in
the name Muslims to tell them now it is more
important for you, if you want to integrate in
France, so leave you or religious identity at home. And when you are outside,
you are a French citizen. And you are a Muslim
at home, if you want. Good evening. Thank you for being here. In France, as elsewhere,
freedom of speech has limits. And I’m thinking about
all the speech which offends the Jewish community. And it’s very clear
in the French law that there are things
that we can say and things that we
can’t say, because it’s going to be interpreted
as anti-Semitism. So according to you, where
should we draw the line when we know that
there is a risk to offend the Muslim community? I think it’s not about offense. It is about making the clear
difference between criticizing the ideas and criticizing
the person’s, the people. This is very important
to understand. When I criticize an ideology–
when I criticize a religion, for instance, either it
is Islam or Christianism. It doesn’t mean that I humiliate
individually each person belonging to this religion. I always give the example
with the Islamic veil. As a woman who grew
up in a country where I don’t have the
same rights as men, I am fundamentally
against the veil, because I believe
it is something humiliating for women. But the fact I think
that, it doesn’t mean that I deny their
dignity and their rights to each woman who
wears the veil. But philosophically,
I am against it. I don’t like it. This is the same with
criticizing the ideas and criticizing the people. If I say I’m not going to
employ this person because he is Muslim, this is called racism. But if I criticize
Islam, it is my right. It is my freedom of speech. And I think even it is
my duty as a journalist. I wanted to know what was your
reaction to the Pope’s remarks after this attack when he talked
about certain speech logically bringing these kind
of violent reactions? After what happened in Charlie
Hebdo, just the day after, we discovered that we have a lot
of new friends like the Pope, Putin, the Saudis. What I was talking about
is because I don’t think he was precisely friendly
with your position, because he said– Yeah, the first
position was friendly. And then came the position
you are talking about. So it was not surprising for
us that he shows what he always been– religious. And we know, actually, it’s not
surprising for us as Charlie Hebdo that we are condemned
by the attitude that’s shocking for the Pope. But I think it is
important to remind that in certain conditions,
we can really see and touch the fact that all the
fundamentalists are the same. For instance, we had
in the manifestations against same-sex
marriage in France, we had a very strange
marriage between the Church and the most radical
Christians with the Muslim fundamentalists. They were agreeing about this. They were working together. Also, in the international
institutions, for example, the states who vote
against blasphemy, against certain
women’s rights, you find the Vatican
and Iran perfectly agreeing with each other. So certain people now in
France believe that if it is the Muslim fundamentalists
who are doing the [SPEAKING FRENCH]. The dirty work. The dirty work. It doesn’t exclude the fact
that maybe a certain wing of the Church will come
after and take benefits from this dirty work made by
the Muslim fundamentalists. So yes, the Pope
is not our friend. And it’s not surprising. He’s playing his role. Hi, I’d like to ask if
Charlie Hebdo promoting this secularism in French
society and the right to offend all religions,
then why in 2009 was a cartoonist in
Charlie Hebdo fired for an anti-Semitic column? And why was the column labeled
as offensive and inciting racial hatred when
cartoons depicting Islam in an offensive manner
are upheld under free speech? You are talking
about l’affaire Sine. Sine was this cartoonist. I think one once again,
we have to remind that criticizing
ideologies of religions is not the same as
criticizing people because they belong
to this religion. If I say, for example,
oh, he must be a thief because he is Arab. Or he must be rich
because he’s a Jew, this is considered in
France as a racist opinion, because I suppose that
because you belong to a supposed community,
or ethnicity, or race, you are automatically
like that or like this. This is racism. The article written
by Sine at this time, I was still not on the team. But I know what happened. In this article he was talking
about person in particular and talking about the
environment of this person– a Jew environment. So it means for him that
this person automatically had relations– I mean,
[SPEAKING FRENCH]. Yeah, relations. So it is the same, for
example, if I consider if someone writes about
me, for instance, saying, oh, her name is
Zineb El Rhazoui. She must be linked to terrorism. That’s stupid. That’s supposing that because
of my race, in brackets, I automatically belong
to a cliche of this race. That’s racism. But it has nothing to
do with criticizing Judaism or Islamism or the
fundamentalists in Judaism or in Islam. So you’re saying this was
considered an ad hominem attack. It was attacking a
particular person. Exactly, it was an
attack ad hominem. During the talk– You’ll have to speak louder. It was satire and the
idea of secularism, and how it’s related to
France and French history, French society. But now with the age of
internet, like the drawings and the newspaper
and other newspapers are received in other parts of
the world– in the Middle East and here in the US and
Asia– how much do– and it’s received in different
ways with different societies. How much does the newspaper
take into consideration the larger
international audience that receives such drawings
in such categories? OK, first of all,
we as Charlie Hebdo are not sold, not
because we choose it. But for instance, let’s take
North Africa– francophone countries like Morocco,
Nigeria, and Indonesia, Charlie Hebdo is forbidden. They don’t allow us to
sell our newspaper there. Now, the internet, that’s a
big question in Charlie Hebdo because most of the colleagues,
especially the oldest ones. They don’t even
have a mobile phone. And they don’t understand
anything through the internet. So they were like– you
have a kind of conservatism against the internet. So you have this generational
struggle inside the newspaper. But now I think the youth won. And we start to be more and
more present on the internet. We had last week for the
first time, an application for the iPad, the tablets, and
that’s the miracle for Charlie, because yeah, look
I think it took three years to make the
site or something like that. So taking into consideration
the mentalities abroad, I think it would
be difficult if we adapt our content to every–
as a journalist, when you work, you don’t always think about
the person who will read you. And when you talk about freedom,
freedom must be intrinseque. Intrinsic. It mustn’t necessarily be
adapted to the environment. Otherwise, in certain
countries, for example, things that are
normal for us are shocking for these countries. But we must say that
we don’t understand it. I don’t understand how it can
be shocking in Saudi Arabia to show my hair, for example. So I don’t agree with it. I don’t go to Saudi Arabia. And I criticize it where I am. But for us, we make
the newspaper each week as we feel it, as we think it. Sometimes we do a good job. Sometimes we do
an excellent job. But we cannot adapt our
work to all the mentalities, especially certain mentalities. No, I think from Saudi
Arabia, for example, we prefer when we
talk about it, it’s to support Raif Badawi, for
example, the blogger who has been flagellated. Whipped. Whipped because he criticized
religion in his blog. And anyway, we cannot adapt
to certain mentalities. It’s not possible. Madame Zineb, thank you so much
for joining us this evening and for your courage. Thank you so much for
joining us this evening and for your courage
and for your willingness to share with us your opinion. My question relates to
the power of language. I think throughout
history we can find many examples of
both the creative capacity and destructive
capacity of language. You could look to perhaps Nazi
Germany or a regime in Rwanda where you see how language can
be used to marginalize a group, to create a sense of the other,
or to otherwise negatively impact a particular community. So given that, or
considering that power in trying to look beyond
simply the Muslim community within France, do you believe
media agencies, media outlets, inherits any sort
of responsibility as their viewership grows,
as their voice grows louder and more expansive? Charlie Hebdo will never
become an academic newspaper. Here we have [SPEAKING FRENCH]. “We’re not responsible.” That’s what we would say. We said that after our
building was burned in 2012 and some people said because
they are irresponsible. They are not responsible. So now [SPEAKING FRENCH]. We warn people. We warn people. Is that a word? Yeah, we warn people. Warn people that we
are not responsible. So they not obliged to buy. Today, yes, we have more
than two 200,000 subscribers, which is a change for us. Before the attacks, we had
less than 10, 000 subscribers. I think every media
in the world will be always happy to have
more people who read it. Of course, all of
us, we would have preferred to stay
poor and rent instead of paying the very
expensive price that we paid to have 200,000 subscribers. Now, it gives us
just consciousness that we must show people that
we keep the sense of humor. And we do our work
responsibly, because you know, it’s not because it is
a satiric newspaper. But you can write
anything inside. We have the limits of freedom of
expression in France are clear. For us as journalists,
we have a deontology. We have ethics. And if we don’t respect it,
we can be taken to court. So no defamation– not calling
to violence against a person or a group of people,
not insulting people, not lying, not putting in
danger children or a category of people and not calling
to racism or hatred against a person or
a category of people. These are the limits of freedom
of expression in France. And everything which is not the
things I said, we can do it. We can talk about it. We always have to talk
about things intelligently. And the people who
buy the newspaper are the ultimate judge. And you told me
Robert a few minutes ago that now we
became a rich company. Of course, we were
a very poor company. And now we are a rich company. But we stay realistic. We will never sell seven
million issues again. It was totally exceptional
because we were facing a very particular tragic event. We will never sell
this number again. And we know that there
is a logic of the market, of the printed press. The printed press, I think,
will disappear after I don’t know how many years. But it will disappear and
be replaced by internet. And this is a challenge for
all the press, the printed press in all over
the world almost, is how to negotiate this
transformation– how to find an economic
model on the internet because the paper
will disappear just like a good old object
belonging to the past. Hi, I’m from the Netherlands
and not unlike in France we have similar issues
with the problem being the Islam not
really being a problem, but people dragging it there. Just like you said, not the
people, but the ideology. How do you think the media,
and I guess also as people, can avoid the
debate going there? So going from we
don’t like what you’re doing to the Dutch
politician who said, I will make sure
there’s less Moroccans. How do you keep the debate
to be about the ideology and not the people, who per
se, follow the religion? I think it is clear
that– let me take the example of Islamophobia. Now, people are afraid to talk. They think that certain
things aren’t normal, but if they talk with
it– Islamophobia. So Islamophobia, I
asked many times. But I couldn’t obtain
a satisfying definition of this word. Actually, I understood
that Islamophobia was a kind of racism. OK? So I cannot understand how
we could accept the idea that criticizing a Middle Age
ideology written 15 centuries ago can be considered as racism. And actually, the
word Islamophobia when it was used the
first time in France, it was used not
by secular people, not by freedom defenders. It was used by fundamentalists,
because in France they have no tool to shut
the mouths of those who criticize their religion. In France, we have
this famous laicite. We have secularism. So they, as fundamentalist,
they can exist in the country because it’s a laique country. But the same who exist
owe to laicite France, they call to vote
another in Tunisia. And they are not
for the laicite. And the countries where
Islam is a religion of state. But in France, they have no
tool, as it is a laicite, they have no judicial
[SPEAKING FRENCH]. Judicial tools. Legal tools. No legal tools to
shut the mouths of those who would criticize
legitimately their religion. So they want to make this
ideological imposteur. Imposter. Imposter. To convince people that
if you criticize Islam, then you are racist. That’s wrong. For me, racism is to
say, OK, I don’t want to be a neighbor of a Muslim. I don’t want to
work with a Muslim. I deny his rights as a
human being to a Muslim. Or a Muslim is not the same
French citizen that I am. This is racism. And I will tell you
what is racism also. The people who accepted
this ideological imposter of Islamophobia
mainly the far Left– what we call in France
[SPEAKING FRENCH]. It’s a certain kind
of Left in France. Because they are
afraid to seem racist, they accept it to
apply different rules to the communities. I’ll give you an example. In France, we believe in
certain universal values– equality, equality
between men and women, universality of rights. But those who are afraid to be
described as racist– they say, OK, we are going to accept
that a minority of this society will be ruled by its traditions. They are not capable
of universalism. They need to be
ruled by their thing. We don’t understand it. But we accept. Otherwise, we are racist,
because if we don’t expect people exactly how they are– if
we don’t accept fundamentalists exactly how they are–
it means we are racists. As someone who comes come
from the French diversity, I feel that this
is exactly racism. The fact to say that those
people, those minorities, are not capable of universalism. They are not capable of sharing
the same universal values as us that what is good for
us is not good for them. This is exactly racism. We cannot talk about integration
and at the same time, allow people to live
exactly the same way, the same Middle Age way
for certain as they did in the countries
where they come from. And where there
is not democracy, no human rights, no secularism. So this is very
important to say. And this is what helps
us to say that there is a universal citizenship. And I will not
listen to those who cry because they are
stigmatized under a burka or under a beard and
a jihadist dress. So, no. And the majority of
the Muslims in France. They don’t care if
we draw Muhammad. They are just normal people
who want to work and grow up their children. And they don’t care
either about Muhammad. They don’t have a beard. And their wives
don’t have a burka. So why always manage the
most fundamentalists. So since the murder of Theo
van Gogh and the threats made against the Danish
cartoonists who depicted Muhmma. Ayaan Hirsi Ali is talked about
spreading the risk in the media to try to combat
Islamic blasphemy law. So I was wondering
if you could talk about what the
Western media can do to try to fight this risk
together instead of just like one newspaper like Charlie
Hebdo publishing Muhammad like you talked
about before how most newspapers in the
Western media refused to publish the cartoons after. I feel more [SPEAKING FRENCH]. Anger. Anger against– not
against the two monkeys who killed my colleagues. I wanted to say
donkeys, I think. I feel more anger against
those who use their pens and don’t use guns, but who give
an intellectual justification to these kind of crimes. And I also feel anger with
those who agree with us but who do nothing. For those who just keep silent
and accept this world where journalist are executed because
they have written or drawn something. If free people don’t
understand today that not only Charlie Hebdo is threatened. Charlie Hebdo because it
was the top satanic thing for the Islamists. It is the top of the
blasphemy of the heretic. [SPEAKING FRENCH] Heretical. Heretical people. Maybe they imagine that we
have the [SPEAKING FRENCH]. And a tail. The devil’s tail. But once they will be
sure that no one will draw the prophet again, they
will find another target. If in Paris they
killed my colleagues because they have done
this, in other countries they kill homosexuals. They kill women who
don’t put the veil. They kill guys who drink
a beer, people who smoke. They we always find
of pretext to kill. So if those are free
don’t understand today that they have to share
this struggle with those who do this struggle–
with my colleagues who are more tired of this
struggle who have been killed for such a stupid thing. And today everyone says,
oh, you’ve become a symbol. That’s extraordinary. But actually, it’s
a very sad symbol. Do we need such a
symbol today in 2015? In France, do we need a
symbol of something that we thought was [SPEAKING FRENCH]. It was embedded– Something we thought
that we have a long time ago– freedom of speech. We thought in France
it was granted. So it is a tragic symbol. And we don’t need such a symbol. And it is the duty
of all of us, even those who don’t like the
work of Charlie Hebdo must understand that there
is a war against an ideology. And we have to take position,
because OK, we can debate. We can have a dialogue if
we appreciate this work or don’t appreciate it. But we have to understand that
the other side don’t dialogue. And they don’t talk. They just kill. So first, we have
to face this danger. And after that, we can
have this dialogue. Hi, thanks for coming. My first question
is about freedom of expression in France. First, you mentioned that Sine
was fired because of an ad hominem attack. But I understand
that his work was published before he was fired. Does that mean that Charlie
Hebdo published an ad hominem attack knowingly? Also, do you agree
with the fines and the arrests of Dieudonne? You know, in the
newspaper, things don’t go like in a
mathematic machine. Charlie Hebdo is a small team. And in a newspaper,
you have individuals. You have people, and
you have also struggles and differences inside
the same newspaper. Inside Charlie Hebdo,
sometimes we have arguments, because we don’t agree. We don’t all think the same
thing about animal protection, about prostitution, about
[SPEAKING FRENCH]– surrogacy. We don’t have the same
opinion, the same approach, for environment. So this event with Sine. It was a [SPEAKING FRENCH]. It was like you had two
camps inside the newspaper. At this time the director was
a man called Phillipe Val. Phillipe Val left
the newspaper in 2009 because most of the team didn’t
agree with Phillipe Val’s work. And in the newspaper,
it’s a permanent debate– a permanent polemic. It’s not just something OK, we
all think the same or we know before we write that we all
have to write the same . Ideas so this is the kind
of things that can happen. And I can’t know if in this
world, in any newspaper, even in the biggest newspapers–
I say that as a journalist, even in the biggest
newspapers, sometimes people publish things, even if
the majority of the team doesn’t agree with. And we have those discussions
between journalists, even with journalists
work in Le Monde, or in Liberation, or in
big newspapers in France, sometimes people
don’t agree with what is decided to be published. Your second question
was about Dieudonne. Dieudonne in France
was shot off. Shut off, not shot off. Shut off. Because of his opinions
or because of what was supposed to be his opinions. It’s not the debate for me. I’m not here to say my opinion
about the work of Dieudonne. But for me personally,
as a person, my own opinion is that Dieudonne
should have the right to work. I think everyone has the right
to say that the Earth is not [SPEAKING FRENCH]. It is not round. The Earth is not round. People should have the
right to say stupid things. And the public judges. This is my own opinion. As a freedom of speech defender,
I don’t agree with the fact that his shows were forbidden. But I must remind
that in France, we have an independent justice. And that Dieudonne
sometimes was condemned. And sometimes he won the
trials and could finally make his show. So the French justice
is independent. And Dieudonne
continues today to work and continues to
make shows that mean that even if he
has difficulties, he still can express himself. And personally, I
appreciate that. I appreciate that any person
can express his opinions, even if it’s stupid opinions. So I want to start
off by saying you seem very concerned
about women’s rights and even went on to say that the
faith is humiliating to women. And I just want to reassure
you that as a Muslim woman who practices her faith and
chooses to cover up, I am very empowered. And nothing empowers
more than my faith. Could you speak just a
little a bit more slowly? Yes, I can repeat myself. So I just wanted to say that
you seem very agitated by Islam. And you seem very concerned
about women’s rights in our faith. And I just wanted
to kind of reassure that as a some woman who
chooses to cover herself, nothing empowers me
more than my faith. I also wanted to ask you a
question about the comments you made about the New
York Times choosing to not republish the cartoons. And so you also
mentioned related to that, that satires
role is to criticize power and the powerful. And you’re right. That’s exactly what
good satire does. However, Charlie Hebdo
is not good satire. What Charlie Hebdo does
is deliberately hurt and salt and smear
the identities of the already marginalized
and already oppressed. And so my question
to you is why can’t I say I condemned–
which I’ve been asked many times do I condemn. Yes, I condemn the
acts of terror. But why can’t I also say
that I am not Charlie Hebdo? Some people in
France immediately after the events,
of course, they condemned because it’s
very difficult for them to say, oh, we feel happy. No one can say that
except the ISIS guys because they say this is
from Iraq or from Syria. We condemn. But we are not Charlie Hebdo. Of course, not everyone
can be Charlie Hebdo. When Tariq Ramadan says,
I am not Charlie Hebdo. We say, thank you, guy. We know you are
not Charlie Hebdo. And we are also
not Tariq Ramadan. Being Charlie Hebdo, meaning
today, being Charlie Hebdo means to die because of a
drawing, because its own ideas and because of a
certain idea of freedom. And not everyone, excuse me, has
the balls to die for his ideas. And no, not everyone
can be Charlie Hebdo. OK? Today, me for instance,
I am threatened. I live with six
guys permanently. Because I am threatened, I
didn’t even draw Muhammad. I draw no one. I write– only write. And I am threatened. I’m not even threatened. Today, it is a duty to kill me. And this massive
campaign calling to kill me by the guys of ISIS
who also have their relatives and friends everywhere
in the world. I think you said you don’t
like the work of Charlie Hebdo. I don’t know if you read French
if you read Charlie Hebdo. But I think the ugliest
caricature of Islam is the caricature given by those
guys who killed my colleagues and not by drawings. I think really the ugliest
image of your religion is the image given
by the terrorists. And you should really
feel anger against them– more anger than you feel
against Charlie Hebdo. It was just a general thing. It wasn’t just talking about
Islam or the depictions you have of Islam,
but just generally, the depictions you’ve had of
like the Trinity, for example, and other things like that. Please, slowly,
my English is bad. I was referring to–
you were telling me that I should be angry. And I am angry. That’s a thing I said already
that I do condemn the acts. And the fact that you feel
that you are threatened and that you are probably
threatened is a horrible thing. And nobody would ever
say that it’s acceptable. But I also feel threatened. And so I don’t understand why I
can’t say that I condemn this, but also say that I will
never be Charlie Hebdo and not celebrate your work. Of course, I answered to that. You are not obliged
to be Charlie Hebdo. As I told you, it’s
not easy for everyone. Of course, everyone
is not Charlie Hebdo. Being Charlie Hebdo has
a particular meeting. And the people who said I am
Charlie Hebdo, Je suis Charlie Hebdo, are not
necessarily people who share all the ideas
published in Charlie Hebdo. They say, je suis Charlie Hebdo. And I don’t negotiate with the
fact that I am Charlie Hebdo. I am definitely
Charlie Hebdo because I am against– I am
unconditionally against what happened. I condemn this crime
without any condition. And I agree with you. But I am still
not Charlie Hebdo. Sorry, I didn’t
hear what you said. But please, don’t
interrupt me, please. I am saying I am not Charlie
Hebdo– that I do not feel that way. Could you please don’t
interrupt me because I didn’t finish the answer? I’m trying to answer you. And I don’t interrupt
you when you talk. I think I answered this
part of your question. Please, don’t interrupt me. I didn’t interrupt
you when you talked. If you want to talk,
I listen to you. Just continue talking. But if you want me to answer,
please don’t interrupt me. You talked about
[SPEAKING FRENCH]. And I told you I answered
this part of your question. The second part
is stigmatization of a poor population. I think once again,
I think that those who have stigmatized
this population is those who commit
criminal acts in the name of this
community and not people who are anti-racists, who
are for a mixed society, and who are for universal rights
for everyone in the society. Charlie Hebdo was
and is still one of the biggest fighters
against the far right, the Front National in France. Charb, my dear colleague,
Charb, and director of Charlie Hebdo who was killed
by– these cartoonists who made a bad guy caricature
of your religion. Charb was in the
French media, he was the most pro-Palestinian
voice in the media. And he was a guy who
traveled many times to occupied territories
and was friends with a lots of Palestinian
people and organizations. But of course, you
don’t read Charlie Hebdo and the terrorists don’t
read Charlie Hebdo, then they couldn’t
know that there is this diversity
in Charlie Hebdo. I must add also about
this stigmatization that saying it’s a poor
population, Charlie Hebdo used to sell less
than 30,000 issues. So how could you say that the
biggest problem of Muslims in France is Charlie Hebdo. I think the problem is that this
religion today must ask itself why it produces criminals,
why it produces terrorists. And not only in France– also
in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, in Iraq, in Syria. I think in your religion,
you have other priorities than Charlie Hebdo. You have problems that are much
more urgent than Charlie Hebdo. Thank you to everyone
for your questions and please join me
in thanking Zineb El Rhazoui and her
moderator, Robert Morissey for that amazing
conversation we just had. [APPLAUSE]

26 thoughts on “Who Is Charlie? Charlie Hebdo Journalist Zineb El Rhazoui on Freedom of Expression

  • people get mad because it is ungrateful for the beauty of existence, but it does pass away, or you don't have to look. It is a question though if this has negative effects on the less awakened, eventually working to harden ignorance. I don't know much though, but I like conversation.

  • Thank you for posting this! That is one courageous and intelligent human being that we should all learn from. I feel terribly sorry for the person who thinks she is free by having to cover herself because people with outdoor plumbing are not expected to control themselves in the doctrine she claims to prescribe to.

  • According to many Muslim scholars,the Muslims' prophet was mocked , criticized even when he was alive and he never ordered to kill anybody for that.

  • Zineb rhazoui is an apostate woman who wants to make from her opinion, an universal opinion. She had to respect people who don t think like her. I can t understand this woman.

  • She pretends that her opinion is some kind of universal truth and then she lectures you on freedom of speech.

  • This stupid broads the acomplice of Dajjal (till todsy no muslimds ever. mocked Jesus) so why this Stopid Bitch does it even shes well versed on islam inviting Death Wish 5 upon herself n others too

  • American people, islam is a political system! Islam is incompatible with western freedoms. Refuse those assholes! I am French and my country becomes idiot with muslims. They create political parties! Not the arabs, but MUSLIMS. Mohamed or François. You do not like communism? You shall love even less islam.

  • Zineb El Rhazoui, born and raised in Morocco is a frustated feminist not brave enough to fight her battle in her home country. She takes advantage of the platform that is offered to her by the western mass media to take out her hatred and frustration on anyone who reminds her of the conservative men of her country. Zineb, if you were genuine in your beliefs you would be fighting for women's rights back home in Morocco. You wouldn't be hiding in France… You could even ask André Azoulay (Moroccan Jewish adviser of the king Mohamed VI of Morocco) to help you 😉



  • Notre Epoque she would be executed in Morocco. Can a murdered woman fight for women's rights, in any conceivable context?

  • Mina Daoub, she has a human right to share her opinion does she not? Issuing a fatwa against a person exercising their own human free speech cannot be tolerated, Salman Rushdie death Fatwa for writing The Satanic verses… acceptable to you? If so, why?

  • tu es une femme brillante courageuse intelligente tu défend humaines et l'islam tu m'as donné beaucoup de volonté soutenus l'islam jusqu'à à ma mort je prie pour toi que dieu veiller sur toi de toute ta vie et protéger antierement

  • If the west allows freedom of expression as permitted, they cannot be held guilty of it. If Muslims hold freedom of speech not permitted and if they do it, then they are guilty if they do so to others.

  • I think that this women is dangerous. Her battle against terrorism, is our battle but her insult against muslim women will never be our battle. She dont know the religion and say her interpretation which is very bad and dangerous, because she lie and mix every idea.

  • when she says : no insults (for respect the french laws)
    the election poster where is writen "a candidate who looks like you" and that represents a design of excrement, isn't it an insult to millions of voters ?
    Moreover, Marine has complained precisely because it is an insult to millions of French people.
    so, there is a fact you need to know about the events of Charlie Hebdo.
    15 days before the attack, the last issue of the newspaper represented, on the cover, the biblical trinity in a pornographic position.
    even if I do not approve of the deaths of people, even if they were enemies, these designers and journalists were leftists who criticized and insulted the Christian faith, but never Judaism, it says a lot about those who hold the joysticks

  • She should not be worry about her English it is pretty good. she is the few (former Muslim) who has the courage to go after Islam. where are the others Muslim to follow her? for the last question Zined told her "yes you can condemn and not be charlie hebdo." so i don't get why this girl keep coming back to the same question.

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