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Fears Mohammad cartoon triggered firebomb att -

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The French Prime Minister Francois Fillon has condemned an arson attack on the Paris offices of
satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. The magazine cover featured a cartoon of a turban-clad Prophet
Mohammad for a special 'Charia' edition. The attack has shaken France at a time when it is trying
to balance religious freedom and secularism in a country with Europe's largest Muslim population.

TONY EASTLEY: The French prime minister Francois Fillon has condemned an arson attack on the Paris
offices of a satirical magazine.

The magazine "Charlie Hebdo" had published a cartoon with a turban-clad Prophet Mohammad on its
front cover.

The attack has shaken France at a time when it is trying to balance religious freedom and
secularism in a country with Europe's largest Muslim population.

Here's Bronwyn Herbert.

BRONWYN HERBERT: The offices were burnt down on the same day the magazine published a special
edition slugged "Charia Hebdo."

The front page showed a cartoon-like bearded man saying "100 lashes if you don't die laughing."

A back page cartoon came with the caption: "Yes, Islam is compatible with humour."

Charlie Hedbo's editor-in-chief Stéphane Charbonnier says the fire was triggered by a Molotov
cocktail.

CHARLIE HEDBO (translated): The fire spread and luckily the firemen intervened in time before the
whole building was burnt down.

BRONWYN HERBERT: The magazine's editor says the issue was focusing on recent political gains by
Islamists in Tunisia and Libya.

CHARLIE HEDBO (translated): As everyone tells us not to worry about Libya or Tunisia, we wanted to
imagine what a mild version of Charia would look like, a Charia not rigorously applied.

BRONWYN HERBERT: The French prime minister Francois Fillon said the perpetrators will be brought to
justice.

Interior Minister Claude Guéant says press freedom is sacrosanct for the French.

CLAUDE GUEANT (translated): We'll do everything to find those who did this attack because it is an
attack. If some believe they can impose their views on the French republic, views that the Republic
refuses, they are mistaken. We'll fight them. The French reject this imperialism.

BRONWYN HERBERT: Mohammed Moussaoui heads the French Council for the Muslim Faith. He condemned the
attack but says he deploys what he calls the paper's mocking tone.

MOHAMMED MOUSSAOUI (translated): I am also vigilant regarding the perpetrators because I am already
hearing here and there that Muslims did it. But I think it is better to wait for the results of the
investigation.

BRONWYN HERBERT: Not everyone is convinced the attack was the work of Muslims. Some believe
right-wing activists might be behind it.

Iman Edgalie is a civil rights campaigner.

IMAN EDGALIE: It is quite amazing to see how everyone draws conclusions in the French political
parties when the investigation is still at point zero. We always tend to associate Islam with
violent reactions.

BRONWYN HERBERT: Danish cartoons of Mohammed caused outrage in the Muslim world in 2005 with at
least 50 people killed in the ensuing unrest.

Charlie Hebdo was taken to court by Muslims in 2007 for "racial insults" after reprinting the same
cartoons, a decision then-French President Jacques Chirac condemned as overly provocative.

TONY EASTLEY: Bronwyn Herbert the reporter there.