Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP/Getty Images
By Ishaan Tharoor
In the aftermath of the deadly assault on the offices of Charlie Hebdo, a French satirical newspaper, much of the world has rallied in solidarity with the publication, its irreverent cartoonists and their right to free speech.
But not everyone is so supportive. Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League, a U.S. organization that “defends the rights of Catholics,” issued a statement titled “Muslims are right to be angry.” In it, Donohue criticized the publication’s history of offending the world’s religiously devout, including non-Muslims. The murdered Charlie Hebdo editor Stephane Charbonnier “didn’t understand the role he played in his [own] tragic death,” the statement reads.
“Had [Charbonnier] not been so narcissistic, he may still be alive,” Donohue says, in what must be one of the more offensive and insensitive comments made on this tragic day.
“Killing in response to insult, no matter how gross, must be unequivocally condemned. That is why what happened in Paris cannot be tolerated,” says Donohue. “But neither should we tolerate the kind of intolerance that provoked this violent reaction.”
The statement says Charlie Hebdo has “a long and disgusting record of going way beyond the mere lampooning” of religious figures. “They have shown nuns masturbating and popes wearing condoms,” Donohue says. “They have also shown Muhammad in pornographic poses.”
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