One of the early founders of satirical French magazine Charlie Hebdo has accused its slain chief editor of dragging the team to their deaths after turning the weekly into a Zionist, Islamophobic mouthpiece.
“I really hold it against you,” Henri Roussel, 80, who contributed to the first issue of the satirical weekly in 1970, wrote to the slain editor in the Left-leaning magazine Nouvel Obs, Daily Telegraph reported.
“I know it’s not done,” Roussel, who publishes under the pen name Delfeil de Ton, added.
He went further to blame Stéphane Charbonnier, or Charb, of “dragging the team” to their deaths by releasing increasingly provocative cartoons.
“What made him feel the need to drag the team into overdoing it,” he said, referring to Charb’s decision to post a cartoon depicting Prophet Muhammad in an offensive way.
“He shouldn’t have done it, but Charb did it again a year later, in September 2012,” he added.
He published the articles as Charlie Hebdo published five million copies of the so-called “survivors” edition after 10 journalists were killed by two gunmen ten days ago.
In its Wednesday’s edition, Charlie Hebdo magazine featured a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) on the cover.
This is not the first time Delfeil has disagreed with the modern Charlie.
He also accused Charb’s predecessor, Philippe Val, of turning it into a Zionist and Islamophobic magazine after firing one of its historic figures, Maurice Sine, for publishing a cartoon on the marriage of Nicolas Sarkozy’s son, Jean, to a Jewish retailing heiress, which he considered anti-Semitic.
“I have refused to speak to the TV and radio, to everyone. I kept my message for Obs, and I am not prepared to open this subject again,” he said.
Freedom of Speech
The accusations were criticized by Richard Malka, Charlie Hebdo’s lawyer for the past 22 years, who sent an angry message to Mathieu Pigasse, one of the owners of Nouvel Obs and Le Monde.
“Charb has not yet even been buried and Obs finds nothing better to do that to publish a polemical and venomous piece on him.
“The other day, the editor of Nouvel Obs, Matthieu Croissandeau, couldn’t shed enough tears to say he would continue the fight. I didn’t know he meant it this way. I refuse to allow myself to be invaded by bad thoughts, but my disappointment is immense.”
Matthieu Croissandeau, Nouvel Obs’ editor, said he decided to publish the article to protect the freedom of expression France has always bragged.
“We received this text and after a debate I decided to publish it in an edition on freedom of expression, it would have seemed to me worrisome to have censored his voice, even if it is discordant,” Croissandeau said.
“Particularly as this is the voice of one of the pioneers of the gang.”
Over the past years, the satirical weekly succeeded in offending all faiths.
In September 2012, the French weekly published cartoons displaying a man said to be the prophet as naked.
In 2011, the office of the magazine was firebombed after it published an edition “guest-edited by Muhammad”, which the satirical weekly called Shari`ah Hebdo.
Other cartoons made fun of the Pope, Muslims’ niqab or burqa, Vladimir Putin, Angela Merkel and many world leaders.