Talk:Charlie Hebdo

From RationalWiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Icon media.svg

This Media related article has not received a brainstar for quality. Please consider expanding the article appropriately. See RationalWiki:Article rating for more information.


My parents used to read this--"Shut up, Brx." 13:41, 2 November 2011 (UTC)

far left[edit]

The left wing does not oppose islam or Stalinism so how can the paper be left wing? Talsley (talk) 15:36, 9 June 2012 (UTC)

  • Obvious troll is obvious. --Antee286 (talk) 20:38, 17 September 2012 (UTC)

Charlie hebdo struck by a terrorist strike![edit]

Today, 2 men armed with kalachnikov enterd the building and aimend for som renowned drawers. They killed 12. Today is a black day.

God hates satire. Bongolian (talk) 23:26, 7 January 2015 (UTC)

Charlie Hebdo conspiracies[edit]

I have been referencing this website for a while, and found it... rational.

Only now have I felt the compunction to register, and post.

The Charlie Hebdo incident is fairly self-contained, so it is I think surprising that more on it has not been written on this site.

My main doubts centre around the video that was shown on mainstream media, of the 2 gunmen immediately after the masscre in the office. The broadcast video is edited to omit the moment (as reported) of the injured Muslim policeman's dimise by a shot to the head. However, a 'leaked' unedited video shows this not to be the case. There is no recoil from the AK47, no movement from the police officer as the impact from a shell would cause, and no blood. But, there is a puff of dust about one foot in front of the officer's head - said to be the discharge from a blank shell. Also, the loose shoe incident, the ID in the car, the shouts of vitriol from the killer that no Muslim would phrase that way, the police car that was fired at, backed away in front of the get-away car yet didn't pursue - all don't add up.

As with these things, there are often simpler explanations than what the conspiracy theorists claim - which is where this website comes in... Perhaps someone is planning on adding in a section? I think that this incident is so compact, with plenty of conspiracy fodder, that it would make a good debate - although they rarely happen, because folk seem to be convinced they're right, and nowt else can be... I'm not sure on most things (apart from I like beer), so end up reading views from both sides which rarely lead to a conclusion for me. Often the conspiracies are too far fetched, but there are too many missing details, 'lost' data and refusals to awnswer questions from the official explanations. Maybe I should start a site called WhoKnowsWiki...

Anyhow, my first post, here goes! Unsigned, by Grayarea (talk)18:05, 16 February 2015 (UTC)

It's true that the moment when Ahmed Merabet was executed by Chérif Kouachi was not part of the original news video. Nothing unusual or sinister about that -- it is not general practice for news TV to depict death dramatically. It is also true that when the moment was later shown on youtube it looked as if the shot missed. However, Merabet was just as dead, so it hardly matters. I don't know why you write that the loose shoe incident "doesn't add up." The shoe fell out of the getaway car and the assassin retrieved it. He expected to need it, you see. Ithaca8 (talk) 18:31, 16 February 2015 (UTC)

Ok, sure, sod the shoe. And the ID. It is not general practice for news TV to depict death at all, let alone dramatically. But why fasle report? They had access to the unedited version (different agencies carried out their own editing) - why did they unviersally report that the Merabet was finished off with a shot to the head? No recoil from a powerful gun? No chase from the police car? I must make it clear that I am not in support of any conspiracy, just that there appear here to be a concentration, in a small space of time, of unanswered anomolies... Thanks for taking the time to consider this!

Unsigned, by Grayarea (talk) 16 February 2015 (UTC)

strongly critical of religion, especially Islam?[edit]

The words above apepar in the lede. While I can certainly agree that Charlie Hebdo was (and still is) strongly critical of religion, I couldn't disagree more on the fact that Islam was more aimed than the other religions. In fact the most privilegied target of Charlie Hebdo has always been the Christian religion and in particular the Roman Catholic Church. I refer to this article of the French newspaper Le Monde or this other one from the French l'Express. (talk) 15:57, 2 March 2015 (UTC)

Neither of those are as substantive or academic as the cite we currently have that states that they're more anti-Muslim than anti-clerical. Ikanreed (talk) 16:02, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
IKanreed -- did you read those articles? I'm familiar with both of them from the CH episode, and they're both substantive. also, the first article we had there, the BBC one referencing "more anti-Islam than anti clerical" doesn't actually say that; it's hust a straight news report on some anti-Islamic claims. I'd love to get your take on the L'Express and Le Monde pieces and tell me why you think they're lacking. Peace. AgingHippie (talk) 16:24, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
Neither of the articles actually contest the claim, at least according the the translations I got from google? I dunno why you're holding them up against a professor saying that it's more anti-Islam. But hypothetically accepting that line of argument, what would be a valid rewrite of the intro sentence? Ikanreed (talk) 16:30, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
"Against the translations I got from google..." Sigh. i'm not even going to touch that. "a professor saying that it's more anti-Islam." Never mind the appeal to authority, there. Do you know that professors do very little else besides debate and disagree with each other. I simply inserted the refs after the claim that CH is anti-clerical, which it is, and I will change "especially Islam" into "notably Islam," because, regardless of its general hate-on for religion, it is notable for its attitude towards Islam. I will bet that you and most other Anglo readers of the wiki and Anglos more generally only know it for that reason. Peace. AgingHippie (talk) 17:21, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
I get it, appeal to authority isn't great, but I'm not seeing the contrary evidence. I don't fucking read french, so I don't know what else you expected me to do with those short articles the IP linked. Ikanreed (talk) 17:23, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
I dunno, but not judging the relative merits of something you can't read seems like a reasonable thing. Look, the IP's articles don't undo the idea that CH has a particular hate-on for Islam, but they do set that hate into a generally critical attitude towards religion in general on the part of CH. look, I got my ass handed to me by a bunch of people who know way more about French politics, history, society and culture when I got on my high horse and said a bunch of things about CH after the attack, so I try to remember to default to the side of "read this and shut up, except to ask questions." Which is all I did to the article. Peace. AgingHippie (talk) 17:31, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
Okay, sure. But in what I've got in front of me, I see 4 sources that say Charlie mocked religion(well known fact, and already part of the lede) and one that explicitly expresses the notion that they were particularly hard on Islam. In the face of that, I'd kinda expect an explicit rebuke of that point to remove the notion from the article. Is that too crazy? I'm trying to operate on a source-against-source synthesis approach. I claim exactly zero personal insight here. Ikanreed (talk) 17:40, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
The notion hasn't been removed from the article, the emphasis has merely shifted a tiny bit. You want to really engage with the question? Read a bunch of back issues of CH and a whole bunch of scholarship on French comics (of which there must be a ton, given how important graphic commentary and narrative is to French culture) -- and by "scholarship," I mean stuff that's grounded in a solid knowledge of French history, society, politics and culture, not stuff written by fly-by-night journalists who spend a year or two in a country and are then taken to be experts. See if that prof you mentioned above has a book or some academic articles. And learn French. Peace. AgingHippie (talk) 17:46, 2 March 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── These seem like high standards to meet to accept the statements of a generally reliable source. I think you're being unreasonable in your demands to guide me to be reasonable. Ikanreed (talk) 17:49, 2 March 2015 (UTC)

I'm not sure what we're arguing about here. Go look at my edits to the page and tell me what's the problem. If adding 2 sources about CH's history of anti-clerical satire and changing "especially" to "notably", which, as I argued above, is a more accurate way to put it (the ONLY reason that CH became notable to us was due to the fallout from its anti-Islam satire) is that objectionable to you, propose something better. As for my "demands," I'm not "demanding" anything. I'm merely trying to point out that if you want to make authoritive statements about something, you should have a decent base of knowledge from which to work. One prof saying something is a nice start, but that's all it is. A start. There is a debate at play here, one that you seem interested in. so do the necessary homework to engage with the debate in a critical fashion. One wouldn't use their 8th grade biology lessons to argue with cutting-edge research in the Lancet, right? Well, if you want to make claims about French comics, you should know something about France. And comics. Peace. AgingHippie (talk) 18:06, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
Note: I stand corrected. The article dates back to before the shootings. Nonetheless, I stand by my assertion that, in the Anglo world, CH is generally "notable" because of its relatioship with Islam. Peace. AgingHippie (talk) 18:10, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
Oh, I see the problem. You think I'm objecting to your edits. I'm not. Ikanreed (talk) 18:11, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
I've mostly read the first article linked (I can read French a bit) and it basically sums up population groups and specific organizations they've upset. The graph near the top lists that 12 legal complaints have come from the extreme right, 8 from the media/journalists, 8 from Catholic associations, 6 from Muslim associations and 2 from harki associations (harki is a term applied to repatriated Muslims from Algeria). Not that the number of associations is necessarily that telling, but apparently there's been an equal amount of complaints from Muslims as from Catholics (harki are also Muslims after all). Here's a quote from further down in the article, however, from a representative from a Muslim association, explaining why they're only going to court over 2 of 12 caricatures of Mohammed: « En attaquant deux d'entre elles, nous acceptons que l'on puisse caricaturer le Prophète, mais nous n'acceptons pas leur caractère raciste » Loosely translated: "By attacking 2 of them, we accept that one may caricature the Prophet, but we don't accept their racist characterization." So that would indicate that, while Charlie Hebdo isn't singling out Islam, their caricatures of Muslims sometimes have a racist streak to them. (talk) 18:16, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
...or are perceived as such by the Central Mosque of Paris. Ithaca8 (talk) 18:37, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
I am going to add one more document (sorry, it's in French again) to the discussion. It has been written by two French sociologists and been published in the newspaper Le Monde on 24 February. To summarise the content in a nutshell, they have analysed the CH published covers (i.e. first page) from 2005 to 2015. It appears that the big bulk of the covers was devoted to politics and that religions concerned only 7% of the published covers during this 10 years period. As I said in my first message, the religion which has been the most targeted by CH is the catholic one (50% of the first pages with a religious topic) while islam (alone) has been targeted only 7 time (i.e. 20% o the religious topic on first page). With these data it is really hard to sustain that CB was critical of "especially islam" (and thanks for having chaged this in the article). -- (talk) 16:06, 3 March 2015 (UTC)
Feel free to add the stuff yourself. You may get some resistance from people who are adverse to non-Anglo scholarship. I think, for the English speaking-audience we cater to, the question of what flavor of anti-religious discourse was prominent is a little less interesting than the reaction that the anti-Islam stuff garnered. The threats, the echoes of the "draw Muhammad" stuff, and finally the shootings, are what make CH, as I've maintained all along, "notable" to us, even is CH wasn't actually "especially" critical of Islam. Until the Catholics shoot the place up, the satire directed at them will always be a sideshow. Peace. AgingHippie (talk) 17:06, 3 March 2015 (UTC)

Francois Hollande and No True Scotsman[edit]

Is this really necessary to include? It is not like Hollande was making some outrageous conspiracy-esque claim about the shooting, but mores he was trying to prevent public outrage to the point of riots and retaliatory attacks against Muslims. While it is correct that he used a logical fallacy in saying it had nothing to do with Islam, I do not think that it is relevant to touch on in the context of which he was speaking. Kentuckyball (talk) 04:56, 20 August 2015 (UTC)

I generally think the wiki often makes too big a deal out of No True Scotsman fallacies, though "have nothing to do with" does seem a bit over the top. You're free to point out in the article that he had perfectly good reasons for saying it, though. (talk) 06:33, 20 August 42015 AQD (UTC)

Thanks, I mentioned that it may have been said for that reason Kentuckyball (talk) 03:52, 21 August 2015 (UTC)

I'm sure Hollande had his reasons, but it's just speculation and the although implies it was an entirely reasonable thing to say. We could frame it like this: if he said this to prevent reprisal attacks, this would be an Appeal to consequences. Grim23 (talk) 05:22, 21 August 2015 (UTC)
This wouldn't be appeal to consequences, since those consequences wouldn't have existed yet (thankfully). If that were the case, the whole RW would be making a logical fallacy, since it appeals to consequences of not doing what it does right now. It was simply preventing manslaughter. Sometimes you have to get your hands dirty in order to do something good, or at least prevent something bad. It is doubly true in the Real World(tm) where everybody is expected to be flawed in one way or another. Sorry, but saying "those guys were just as Muslim as any other Muslim in Paris" would have probably sparked a shitfest in whole France, maybe even Europe. Loc (talk) 19:25, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

To demonstrate for the freedom of speech...[edit] totalitarian? What the fuck kind of toilet paper is that?!--Arisboch ☞✍☜☞✉☜ ∈)☼(∋ 19:35, 1 September 2015 (UTC)

I think what's being claimed is that reactionaries and conservatives flocking to the streets to honour their moral superiority under wide support can be perceived as "a glimpse of totalitarianism". I wouldn't support said description of the demonstrations, but that you'd call a congregation of repressive/authoritarian groups "a glimpse of totalitarianism" doesn't seem illogical. (talk) 19:53, 1 September 42015 AQD (UTC)
Why am I not surprised about Mona peddling that kinda rubbish??--Arisboch ☞✍☜☞✉☜ ∈)☼(∋ 20:08, 1 September 2015 (UTC)

" I wouldn't support said description of the demonstrations," In France I absolutely would. Perversely, in the wake of all the "Je suis Charlie" excitement, free speech is actually contracting in France. You can read a transcript of the documentary "Je Ne Suis Pas Charlie" here to see it pretty starkly for yourself:

And what we do with this film, Je Ne Suis Pas Charlie, is show how the liberal values of laïcité, the supposedly liberal values of laïcité and free speech have been wielded in a totalitarian fashion to demonize and marginalize French Muslims. And they've been adopted by Marine Le Pen and the National Front to become one of the three major parties in France. I mean, Le Pen isn't calling for fascist expulsions of French Muslims. She's calling simply for upholding, in an extremely authoritarian, stringent fashion, these values to which it's impossible for them to adhere, because it means that they have to leave their religion and their own identity in the cloakroom by not wearing hijab, by not wearing the dress that they want to wear. No such demand is being made of French Jews who want to wear kippahs in public--and shouldn't be, by the way. But this is clear discrimination against French Muslims using liberal values.


[MAX] BLUMENTHAL: [Addressing obstacles to his speaking at a university in post-"Je suis Charlie" France] Well, the administration of University 8 in Paris claimed that I was a controversial speaker, which is exactly the kind of person that students should hear from, unless that person is preaching racism or bigotry, although I don't think there's a criteria for that, considering that half the French government is doing that, and that Jewish Defense League thugs would come on campus and attack the talk, and so there was a security issue, which is a tactic the JDL uses to create the specter of fear even if they're not planning on doing anything. And they weren't anywhere near my talk.

So it was initially canceled. We promoted, we publicized the cancellation. And so there was a lot of public pressure on the university. And so they allowed me in. The talk went on. Everything was fine. Same thing happened at the University of Bordeaux when I went down there to speak. A number of Jewish groups condemned the talk, one of which was sponsored by the government, and the other was the JDL. And one of the sponsors of my talk, which is an antiracist group, had their offices vandalized after the talk, and video that they--CCTV video showed that neo-Nazis had actually attacked their office, which is highly unusual. But there's a disturbing atmosphere in Bordeaux.

That night, I went out into Bordeaux with my hosts, one of whom was a hijabi woman. She wears a veil. And these are the people who are the most targeted in French society, because it's obvious that they're Muslim, whereas someone else, an Arab Muslim male, it's harder to know that he's religious. And we were with some of her friends who are Algerian and Moroccan, and we were walking down a street in the old city of Bordeaux, and she comments to me, I'm glad you're with me because usually I get insulted on this street. And I said, well, it's nice to be your white savior. And right then, a man throws a lit cigarette directly onto her. And I moved to confront him, and he's sitting at a bar. And one of our friends pulls me back and says, don't go there. It's a fascist bar. You'll be attacked. And that's the atmosphere that they're living in.

And from then on, we went on a tour of bars in this area, which they'd explained to me were essentially whites-only bars. People of immigrant background would not be allowed these bars without being harassed or attacked. So the atmosphere in southern France was much more extreme than even in Paris. And that's the base of support for Marine Le Pen.

I highly recommend this film to see why a rational person would invoke the word "totalitarian." (I disagree with the brief characterization of the Charlie Hebdo magazine in the movie, which I think is a morally good and brave publication. It's the "support" movement that's deeply troubling.)---Mona- (talk) 21:24, 1 September 2015 (UTC)

Uhh...France bans the wearing of Kippahs in primary and secondary school (as well as hijabs and crosses). CorruptUser (talk) 21:38, 1 September 2015 (UTC)
Yes, other groups sometimes also inadvertently become the victim of laws mostly targeted at Muslims. Like zentai-wearers and furries with France's burqa ban. (talk) 22:08, 1 September 42015 AQD (UTC)
"other groups sometimes also inadvertently become the victim of laws mostly targeted at Muslims." Exactly. The French have long had a bizarre and repressive understanding of what laïcité requires, but that's been put on steroids in the enforcement department with the rise of anti-Muslim animus.---Mona- (talk) 22:23, 1 September 2015 (UTC)
Max Blumenthal, Mona's favorite token Jew for smearing anything even remotely critical of Islam, Islamists or so-called Pro-Palestinian activists as Islamophobic, Anti-Arab-racist, reactionary and a whole lot of other cute snarl words. That's extreme nutpicking you seem to regurgitate onto this talkpage.--Arisboch ☞✍☜☞✉☜ ∈)☼(∋ 11:31, 2 September 2015 (UTC)
That's a deeply disgusting, truly vile way to describe Max Blumenthal. He's nobody's token anything. You are offensive and repugnant.---Mona- (talk) 02:28, 3 September 2015 (UTC)


...what an amount of victim-blaming, whataboutism and implied solidarity with Islamic terrorists, although I honestly am not surprised to read that kinda horseshit from the like of Glen Greenwald, Max Blumenthal and other wastes of oxygen who routinely defend people who'd happily and readily would string them up for a number of reason if they would get their hands on them (being Liberals and/or Leftists, Jews and in case of Greenwald, gay and married to another man).-- (talk) 17:31, 13 March 2018 (UTC)

Having read your complaint, it is quite obvious that you didn't actually read the article. Please kindly f**k off back to /pol/. With the utmost respect, RoninMacbeth (talk) 17:37, 13 March 2018 (UTC)
Fuck off yourself, kindly or not. /pol/ can roast in the same hell as any left-wing, right-wing, religious or other extremist, terrorist or whatever. Cool example of Jonanism, not really unexpected, though. I read this retarded article and at the very least the parts below the last two paragraphs before the "see also" do exactly that. And why did you censor the word "fuck", that looks totally dumb and childish. You sitting behind some company or school censorship software?-- (talk) 17:44, 13 March 2018 (UTC)
I'm sorry but you lost any credibility around the point where you starting spouting Homophobia and antisemitism. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 17:48, 13 March 2018 (UTC)
(editing conflict, how annoying)@GrammarCommie It is antisemitic or homophobic to laugh about people who defend religious extremists who'd kill them for being gay and/or Jewish? What kinda bullshit is that? I call anyone doing that, no matter who they are, idiots, but in their case, it just adds extra lulz (like a black man defending the KKK or Confederate apologists and such people do exist and are made fun of on this site).-- (talk) 17:59, 13 March 2018 (UTC)
[EC] First, apologies for the Jonanism. It is a flaw of mine, and one I try to work on. Second, the two paragraphs you mention discuss what happens when "free speech" advocates find themselves the target of satire. Where and how, exactly, do we imply solidarity with Islamists? Also, the censoring is me trying to break an old habit. [Edit:] Also, GC, he's not spouting homophobia and antisemtism. He's pointing out that Islamic terrorists often are homophobes and antisemites. RoninMacbeth (talk) 17:54, 13 March 2018 (UTC)
@RoninMacbeth I see, in that case I apologize to @ ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 18:14, 13 March 2018 (UTC)
No problem.--2A02:8070:E93:E800:20C8:C523:E6B0:3E09 (talk) 18:39, 13 March 2018 (UTC)

Structure of the article[edit]


as a Frenchman I'd like to point out that the article is getting some facts wrong. While it is true that CH "strongly criticises religion", the "notably Islam" part is wrong. Charlie Hebdo has been criticizing (or, actually, insulting) christianity for a very long time, but the criticism of islam is fairly recent and does not represent a majority of its content. Of course, it has become more frequent after the 2015 attacks, but CH is not, historically, an "anti-muslim" newspaper : antireligious, yes, but not specifically against islam.

Also, I'm surprised to see the "Accusations of racism" and "Accusations of antisemitism" sections come first, as if they were strongly associated with the newspaper's public image. The "racism" accusations are very recent and the controversy about antisemitism was internal to the newspaper and led to the dismissal of a cartoonist (who later won his lawsuit against CH). Charlie Hebdo has always been hostile to religions and to the far right, but it has seldom been considered racist and antisemitic. The problem with this article is that it seems to give an image of Charlie Hebdo based essentially on the last 4 years and on anglo-saxon criteria (both things are understandable). It would probably need more informations about the newspaper's history in order to give a fuller picture... Flax94 (talk) 13:26, 27 June 2019 (UTC)

I think Flax94 has a good point. I'm only a minor editor so I don't think I can take it on but I wish someone else would. Ithaca8 (talk) 14:59, 27 June 2019 (UTC)
Historically, the newspaper has always had a leftist image : the article gets that right, but it should be emphasized more. It has always been anti-christian, because christianity was (and still is) the majority religion in France. The criticism against islam has only gradually developed in its pages since the mid-2000s, because of the growing problems it causes with France's secular tradition.
The article really needs to flesh out the parts about the newspaper's history, in order to have more context. The gist of it is that CH as always been 1) leftist 2) anti-religious 3) not racist (quite anti-racist, actually, and very hostile to the far right, precisely because of its racism) 4) very prone to using gross-out humor (which can be considered offensive in Anglo-saxon contries : it's also offensive in France, but maybe less so because we expect that).
There have been many misconceptions in English-speaking countries about CH and the brand of humor it uses because the newspaper was not known there before the 2015 attacks. This article explains it quite well. Unfortunately, the Rationalwiki article seems to reflect that. This could be corrected by fleshing out the page. Flax94 (talk) 09:16, 28 June 2019 (UTC)
@Flax94 Well, why don't you edit the article in order to correct it? It looks like you'll make a few grammatical mistakes. (By the way, in English we always write "Christianity", "Christian", "Islam" and "Muslim" with capital letters.) But don't worry too much about that. I should be able to correct any mistakes you make. Spud (talk) 11:29, 28 June 2019 (UTC)
@Spud thanks. Since I didn't know how friendly this wiki was to beginners, I thought it would be sensible to adress those issues first on the talk page.
I may indeed do it myself, hopefully next week if I find the time to do so. My written english is a bit rusty right now, so I will welcome any necessary corrections on my grammar and syntax. Flax94 (talk) 16:02, 28 June 2019 (UTC)
@Spud I don't know if I'll find the time to actually rewrite this article this week or next week, but in the meantime is it ok if, on the basis of this conversation, I remove the "notably Islam" bit from the intro ? That's blatantly false. Flax94 (talk) 13:35, 1 July 2019 (UTC)
I don't see the point of changing the intro if the article will be rewritten anyway. I'm myself a native french-speaker and I've read CH for a while. I've stopped few years before the attack because I was more and more disappointed of their positions (partially on Islam, partially on being in their obsession on Christianity while not attacking proportionally the institutions that have partially replaced it). I also think that their tendency to focus on Islam was/is subject to debate also in the french-speaking world. I agree it should be rewritten to give more context, but I disagree on not mentioning that even in the french-speaking community a non-negligible amount of people considered it became in the recent years obsessed with Islam. (talk) 23:34, 1 July 2019 (UTC)
Maybe it'll be better to just show in the past few years how many articles the magazine has showcased Islam as opposed to the other religions? --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 23:38, 1 July 2019 (UTC)
@Flax94 Since the "notably Islam" bit was supported by references from both the BBC and The Guardian, it could not simply be removed. I have rewritten it to say, "Its criticism of Islam in particular has drawn the attention of the English-language media." I hope that is more accurate. But it looks like there's more to be discussed here. Spud (talk) 07:12, 2 July 2019 (UTC)
True, there is more to be discussed. However, I think it's a bit inaccurate to write that "Its criticism of Islam in particular has drawn the attention of the English-language media". It has also attracted a lot of attention in the French-language media, for several reasons : first they were sued by muslim organizations for publishing the Muhammad cartoons (2006) then their offices were destroyed by a firebomb (2011) then of course they were massacred (2015). The intro should actually mention the attacks. I'd really like to stress the fact that they didn't do more against Islam than against Christianity : actually they did less, but their attacks against Islam attracted attention because nobody gave a damn about what they wrote about the Catholic church (they had been doing so for decades, so one gets used to that) and the Christians did not sue or murder them.
There is indeed an article from the Guardian which says that they are essentially anti-islamic but this article from Le Monde proves the opposite : Islam is not that present in Charlie Hebdo. Simply, it attracted attention for the obvious reasons mentioned above.
@LeftyGreenMario indeed, as the article from Le Monde showed, between 2005 and 2015, seven Charlie Hebdo covers made fun of Islam (including the ones around the Muhammad cartoons controversy, when the magazine was being sued) vs twenty-one which made fun of Christianity. All in all, only 1,3% of the magazine's covers mentioned Islam : hence, CH was hardly "obsessed" about that particular religion. Of course, since 2015, they have been paying a little more attention to radical Islam, but since part of their staff was slaughtered, you kind of expect them to be concerned.
Le Monde also stressed that while CH does mention religion, it is far from being its main subject (in 10 years, only 7% of the magazine's covers have mentioned religion). The magazine actually satirizes everything in the news, and it's more about politics than about religion. Flax94 (talk) 07:53, 2 July 2019 (UTC)
I just made a few changes to the intro. Let me know what you think. Flax94 (talk) 08:02, 2 July 2019 (UTC)
Seems good to me. I made some minor changes to those changes. I made it say its criticism of Islam has drawn "significant attention" just so that the word "particular" wasn't used twice in one sentence. Spud (talk) 08:54, 2 July 2019 (UTC)
As the IP noted, there has been some controversy in France about Charlie Hebdo's attitude towards Islam, in part because it is a left-wing publication and because traditionally part of the French left or far left has been favorable to Islam as a "minority" religion (this may be considered part of the regressive left controversy). However, it would be very misleading to have the reader think that it is widely considered a racist publication. Indeed, the newspaper has always had a brash, abrasive style and has been using gross-out humor which can be occasionally controversial in France and seems to be very much unlike what you usually see in the Anglo-saxon press. This has led to various misunderstanding such as this one which may have made people think "OMG, it's a racist magazine after all !". I am not myself a fan of Charlie Hebdo (actually, I find it often irritating) but I think the rationalwiki article should try to avoid feeding such misconceptions. Flax94 (talk) 14:18, 2 July 2019 (UTC)
I disagree with Flax94, the debate on CH's attitude towards Islam was real, proof being the LeMonde article that Flax94 provides: why writting an article to explain that CH is not obsessed by Islam if it's apparently not point to debate. The article provided by Flax94 reacts to another article pretending that CH is indeed reacting non-proportionally towards Islam, article published in the same newspaper, signed also by academics. Let's also notice that Flax94's article was criticized on its methodology, in yet another tribune in the same newspaper. The situation is summarized here, in IMHO a more balanced way, as the conclusion is just "so, let's wait for a fourth article", which in itself prove my point: there WAS a REAL and legitimate debate on the position on CH. Flax94 seems also to provide only negative explanation for the criticisms ("if they criticized, it's probably because the obvious reasons of regressive left"). Maybe Flax94 would appear less biased without directly painting one side as nutjobs. For example, on my particular case, I was disappointed with jokes (sorry, "satires"), not because they were about Islam, but because unlike attacks on christian institutions that pointed to real dysfunctions, the one about Muslims was, too often for my taste, just doing the lazy job of saying "they are goat-fuckers" or similar clichés, with absolutely no social comment or social debate behind it. Flax94 would have looked more neutral if he/she would have not totally missed this simple (and "obvious"?) explanation for a possible criticism. Again, let's be clear, I'm not saying that CH is anti-Islam, just that there was a REAL debate, less negligible than Flax94 seems to think (amongst 3 articles in LeMonde, Flax94 apparently did not see 2 of them) and not as caricatural as "probably part of the regressive left" or "probably because not caring about christianity". (PS: looking around, there are other reactions, including collaborators of CH (which invalidate the argument of "not understanding the style"), for example Zineb El Rhazoui or Olivier Cyran, defending opposite positions. Once again, proof that there is debate and that people considering CH is "criticizing notably Islam" are not negligible) (talk) 20:17, 2 July 2019 (UTC)
There IS some degree of debate, one of the reasons being that some people in the French left are uncomfortable when Islam is being criticized because that's supposed to be "racist". I'm simplifying, but that's the gist of it. Also, CH's satire of religions has ALWAYS been crude, even insulting : personally, I've never been a fan of that. I think it goes beyond the legitimate criticism of organized religion, and often amounts to insulting individual people's faiths, or portraying believers as cretins. In case anyone cares about my personal opinions and bias, I do not approve of this kind of agressive atheism, even when it's supposedly for laughs. However, few people - at least on the left - gave a damn when they criticized Christianity. When they started to apply the same style to Islam, it suddenly became "problematic".
Anyway, that's not the point : I'm not saying that there never was a debate. There has been one. What I want to stress is that the casual reader, giving a quick look at this page's current summary, will be under the impression that CH is widely considered a racist newspaper. Which is not the case at all. That's why the article should have more content about CH and its history. Flax94 (talk) 10:11, 4 July 2019 (UTC)
"There IS some degree of debate": exactly, proving that people who consider that CH is racist are not negligible. "one of the reasons being that ..." this is the usual argument to just discredite all debate. The reality is that in a large majority of the cases, when you dig up a bit, the person accused of having this behavior does NOT have this problem. Again, in ALL the article I've mentioned before, NONE are prone to do that (the first LeMonde article was from academics, based on analyses of CH publications, the second LeMonde article was pointing REAL methodology flaws in the one you have provided, the Acrimed article is not taking side, the Cyran reaction is certainly not about being incomfortable about criticizing Islam, the guy doing it all the time). "However, few people - at least on the left - gave a damn when they criticized Christianity. When they started to apply the same style to Islam, it suddenly became "problematic"": the large majority of the people reacting about Islam explained clearly that they observe a DIFFERENCE OF TREATMENT, and that they don't defend Islam, they would have reacted the same way if the SAME behavior was applied to Christianity. "Which is not the case at all": this is not an unbiased view on the current situation: I personally believe that a non negligible amount of people have taken their distance with CH because they consider that it is racist. I can be wrong, but your personal opinion, based on biased observations, is not more legitimate than mine. The fact that there was a real debate demonstrate that a non-negligible amount of people consider CH as racist, which is in contradiction with your wish to present the situation as if CH is widely not considered a racist newspaper. (talk) 17:39, 6 July 2019 (UTC)

Origin of the name[edit]

The intro mentions the fact that the magazine's name is a reference to Charles de Gaulle. Yes... and no. Actually, the name is officially derived from... Charlie Brown (yes, the character from Peanuts). However, it is also an oblique reference to de Gaulle. To make a long story short, the story and connection are explained on the English-language Wikipedia. That's one of the things I noticed when I said that this article was lacking in historical context. Flax94 (talk) 08:07, 2 July 2019 (UTC)

Since I am also am admin on Peanuts Wiki, it also struck me today (the first time I read the intro) that what it said about the origin of the name was not entirely accurate. Charlie Hebdo is the spiritual successor to Charlie Mensuel ("Charlie Monthly"), a comics magazine that was pretty obviously named after Charlie Brown because it was also pretty obviously an imitation of the Italian magazine Linus. Spud (talk) 08:39, 2 July 2019 (UTC)
@Spud actually "Charlie Mensuel" (originally just called "Charlie") was a more than an imitation, it was pretty much an official French version of Linus. The latter magazine was innovative in Italy for its time because it featured comics aimed at adult readers, and translations of American comics which were treated as serious works of art (a relative novelty in Europe at the time). Linus' contents consisted of American comics translated or retranslated into Italian (Peanuts of course, but also Lil' Abner, the Popeye stories of the 1930s, etc) and original Italian comics. You might call Charlie an "imitation" of Linus as it certainly was very similar, but they must have had an agreement of some sort with their Italian colleagues, because it featured not only original French comics but also French translations of various American and Italian comics which were originally published in Linus. "Peanuts", which had seldom been translated into French until then, was considered an "intellectual" comic strip and the Charlie guys were real fans.
"Charlie", despite its "adult" tone was essentially a comics' magazine : at the same time, however, the editorial team was publishing the monthly satirical "Hara-Kiri" (created in 1960) and its weekly version, "Hara-Kiri hebdo" (created in 1969).
Actually, "Charlie Hebdo" was not really a "spiritual successor" to Charlie Mensuel (which remained in existence until the 1980s), it was a direct successor to Hara-Kiri hebdo after the latter publication was banned in 1970 because of its sarcastic (and quite benign in hindsight) commentary on Charles de Gaulle's death. CH was created purely in order to sidestep this ban : they merely recreated the magazine under another title with nearly-identical content, although it was supposedly the weekly version of Charlie Mensuel. So officially, "Charlie Hebdo" referred to Charlie Brown (and indeed, the first issue featured a Peanuts strip in order to justify the name) but it was also an oblique nod to Charles de Gaulle. Basically, the title meant "fuck you" to the French authorities.
I think it might be useful to synthetize all this in the article (you may also find it interesting for Peanuts wiki). Flax94 (talk) 13:52, 2 July 2019 (UTC)
@Flax94 I think all of that could go into the article pretty much as you wrote it. A history section would probably be the best place to put all that. I think the introduction could simply say in one sentence, "The magazine is named after both the former French president Charles de Gaulle and the American cartoon character Charlie Brown." The full explanation would come a bit later in the article.
And I really should create an article about Charlie Mensuel for Peanuts Wiki this summer. But I think that first I'd better create one about the Italian magazine Linus, which I see is still going after 54 years. Spud (talk) 07:05, 3 July 2019 (UTC)
@Spud indeed, that would be useful for the Peanuts wiki. I think it has been quite a long time since "Linus" has featured Peanuts material, though.
I read somewhere that a few Peanuts strips had been translated before in "Spirou", a French-language (Belgian) magazine for children, but it was with "Charlie" that French grown-up readers were really introduced to the strip. On the other hand, I'm not sure if "Linus" was Peanuts' first Italian translation...
As a sidenote : at some point, the director of the monthly "Charlie" was Georges Wolinski (who participated, in one capacity or another, to all versions of "Hara-Kiri" and "Charlie", monthly, weekly, etc) who was one of the victims of the January 2015 attack.
As for the exact relationship between "Linus" and "Charlie" : in one interview, Wolinski said something like "we basically ripped them off" but it may have been a joke since, as I said above, "Charlie" featured part of "Linus" material so there was obviously a great deal of interaction between the two magazines. Charlie translated some of Linus' original Italian material and, in turn, Linus translated some of Charlie's original French material. It is possible that Charlie started as a rip-off of Linus then reached a friendly agreement with them, or maybe they had a contract of some sort from the very beginning. You might want to check that detail when you write your articles.
Regarding the history of Charlie Hebdo, I'd have a question regarding this article : there was a feud between two of the major co-founders, François Cavanna and Professor Choron, because the latter (whose idiosyncratic management had been instrumental in the magazine's closure) was not included in the new version of CH when it was recreated in 1992. So later on, the "Cavanna" side was at war with the "Choron" side, Choron's supporters arguing that the new Charlie Hebdo was sanitized, politically correct, etc, and that Choron had been robbed of his creation by Philippe Val (director of the new CH) with Cavanna's complicity.
Later on, there were some major controversies about Philippe Val's management of CH. First, Val was accused of sectarianism, either because of his strict leftist attitudes or when he fired veteran cartoonist Siné whom he accused of antisemitism (Siné later won big way in court against CH). And, later, Val was accused of "betraying" the left as he became closer and closer to the "moderate" left and eventually repudiated the radical left's pro-palestinian positions which he equated with antisemitism. It seems that Val was particularly disappointed by the attitude of many people in the French left at the time of the 2006 trial : basically, he considered that they were unsupportive of free speech and had a pusillanimous attitude towards radical islam. Finally, in 2009, Val was nominated by (right-wing) president Nicolas Sarkozy as head of the state-owned radio station France Inter. This was viewed as a complete betrayal, especially since Sarkozy was one of Charlie Hebdo's favorite targets. All this contributed to the decline in Charlie Hebdo's sales. Eventually, in 2015, less than one year after the attacks, Denis Robert published the book "Mohicans" , a study of the history of "Hara-Kiri" and "Charlie"'s various incarnations, centered on Cavanna and Choron's relationship : in that book, Val was accused of being a tyrant and an opportunist, and of having basically emptied the magazine's vaults by granting to himself and his friends unduly inflated salaries.
I'd like to know if all of this (the Choron/Cavanna feud, and the Val controversies) is interesting in the context of this article ? Flax94 (talk) 11:50, 3 July 2019 (UTC)
@Flax94 The staff split into two over political differences and over how offensive they could be? You can certainly mention that. It definitely falls within RationalWiki's mission. Please feel free to add a history section and go into as much detail as you like! Spud (talk) 06:00, 4 July 2019 (UTC)
@Spud thanks. I was just wondering how these infos would be relevant to this particular wiki. Flax94 (talk) 10:13, 4 July 2019 (UTC)