Charlie Hebdo was not 'witty satire they were simply gratuitous'

1 September 2020, 22:23 | Updated: 1 September 2020, 22:26

EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

A French journalist has told LBC Charlie Hebdo's controversial Mohammed cartoons are not witty satire they are simply "highly inflammatory."

French journalist Nabila Ramdani told LBC during debates like this one there was a tendency to brand people "pro-terrorist" if they are critical of magazines like Charlie Hebdo.

She told Iain Dale the cartoons were "highly inflammatory" and "incited violence and hatred" against Muslims.

The conversation comes as the French satirical paper whose Paris offices were attacked by Islamic extremists in 2015 has reprinted caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed cited by the gunmen who opened fire on its editorial staff.

The Paris native told LBC that the history of the cartoons was "hugely important."

She told Iain that the images were not the kind of "witty satire that British readers are used to seeing in Private Eye."

But instead, she branded them "gratuitous" and said they were designed to rile up "intense hatred of Islam, its followers and all it stands for."

When LBC host Iain pointed out that often political cartoons are gratuitous and depict politicians in all kinds of ways.

Nabila said she had never laughed "at a single Charlie Hebdo cartoon" branding them "bland" at best and "disgusting" at worst.

She said the cartoons presented Muslims as "vermin, as sub-humans as the enemy within."

She told LBC that the cartoons were the very definition "of bigotry."

"This is an offence" the French national said.

The January 2015 attacks against Charlie Hebdo and, two days later, a kosher supermarket touched off a wave of killings claimed by so-called Islamic State across Europe.

Seventeen people died - 12 of them at the editorial offices - along with all three attackers.

Thirteen men and a woman accused of providing the attackers with weapons and logistics go on trial on terrorism charges on Wednesday.

In an editorial this week accompanying the caricatures, the paper said the drawings "belong to history, and history cannot be rewritten nor erased".

As the attackers, brothers Cherif and Said Kouachi, walked away from the carnage, they cried out: "We have avenged the Prophet."