The Muhammad Cartoon Trial in France
Cartoon by Cebu, cover of Charlie Hebdo: Muhammad exasperated by the radicals. It's not easy having these assholes as your faithful.
Plantu in Le Monde: "I must not cartoon Muhammad, I must not cartoon Muhammad...!"
France Soir: "Quitcher whinin', Muhammad, we've all be cartooned up here!"
Cartoonist Cebu heads toward the courtroom.
The Muhammad Cartoon Trial is claiming the media space in France. The satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo has been sued by the Grand Mosque of Paris, the Union of Islamic Associations in France and the World Islamic League for publishing anti-Muhammad cartoons of its own as well as reprinting the infamous series of cartoons originally published in the Danish populist newspaper Jyllands-Posten. The trial opened yesterday, as students jammed the spectator galleries waving their own cartoons of Muhammad in front of the judge. Judge Jean-Claude Magendie made no effort to control the tumultuous courtroom, as both side engaged in nine hours of outbursts, laughter and repartee.
There was even an expert witness: Antoine Sfeir, Director of Les Cahiers de l'Orient, an Arab-Muslim review. Mr. Sfeir declared that faith resists all and that the lawsuit should be dismissed.
Of course, the sensational trial drew in the presidential campaign. Candidate Nicholas Sarkozy couriered a letter of support to the defense, which read it aloud. Socialist Party Chairman François Hollande entered the courtroom himself and chided the plaintiffs for undermining their cause in bringing the matter to trial.
To add to the fireworks, big bad Suspect No. 1, Fleming Rose, the Editor-in-Chief of Jyllands-Posten, is expected to make an appearance.
The courtroom hijinks may go on for some time but it is likely that the tribunal will rule against the plaintiffs. How this will play to French Muslims and the rest of the Muslim world remains to be seen.
[Info for this post gathered from this article in Le Monde.]