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Iranian Ali Khamenei turns furious at Charlie Hebdo

Charlie Hebdo, Ali Khamenei, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian

Opinion

Iranian Ali Khamenei turns furious at Charlie Hebdo

The murderer of innocent people and champion violator of women’s rights and human rights, Iranian Supreme Mullah Ali Khamenei has turned furious at French satirical publication Charlie Hebdo for publishing several highly entertaining cartoons of Khamenei on January 5, 2023. In response to these publications, Ali Khamenei and the notorious members of the Iranian regime have threatened to “retaliate”. Mullahs in Tehran have directly threatened France and Charlie Hebdo, despite that in a free country like France, journalists enjoy freedom of expression.

Iran’s foreign minister, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, tweeted: “We will not allow the French government to go beyond its bounds”. What Amir-Abdollahian really meant was:  We will not allow the French government to go beyond IRAN’S bounds. This was a ridiculous remark that could only be dignified by any sort of response from France. Unless France intends to bow to Iran, it will do well to ignore it. But this incident demonstrates that the radical Islamic determination to destroy the freedom of speech in the West has not lessened in intensity.

According to AFP, Iran has summoned the French ambassador over publication of caricatures of the country’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

The weekly magazine published dozens of cartoons ridiculing the highest religious and political figure in the Islamic republic as part of a competition it launched in December in support of the protest movement that began in Iran last September.

Later, on Wednesday, Iran’s foreign ministry said it had summoned the French ambassador, Nicolas Roche.

“France has no right to insult the sanctities of other Muslim countries and nations under the pretext of freedom of expression”, said a foreign ministry spokesperson, Nasser Kanani. “Iran is waiting for the French government’s explanation and compensatory action in condemning the unacceptable behavior of the French publication”.

Iranian foreign minister, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, tweeted: “The insulting and indecent act of a French publication in publishing cartoons against the religious and political authority will not go without an effective and decisive response”.

Without spelling out the consequences, he added: “We will not allow the French government to go beyond its bounds. They have definitely chosen the wrong path”.

A bold and courageous Charlie Hebdo

Seen by supporters as a champion of freedom of speech and by critics as needlessly provocative, Charlie Hebdo is controversial even within France. But the country was united in grief when in January 2015 the magazine was targeted in a deadly attack by jihadist gunmen.

Charlie Hebdo’s latest issue features the winners of a recent cartoon contest in which entrants were asked to draw the most offensive caricatures of Khamenei, who has held Iran’s highest office since 1989.

One of the finalists depicts a turbaned cleric reaching for a hangman’s noose as he drowns in blood, while another shows Khamenei clinging to a giant throne above the raised fists of protesters. Others depict more vulgar and sexually explicit scenes, one where it is seen a female Iranian is urinating on Ali Khamenei another showing mullahs in queue walking into a female’s vagina.

Commenting on the Ali Khamenei cartoons, Charlie Hebdo’s director, Laurent Sourisseau, known as Riss, wrote in an editorial: “It was a way to show our support for Iranian men and women who risk their lives to defend their freedom against the theocracy that has oppressed them since 1979”.

All the cartoons published had “the merit of defying the authority that the supposed supreme leader claims to be, as well as the cohort of his servants and other henchmen”, he added.

Nathalie Loiseau, a French MEP and former minister loyal to France’s president, Emmanuel Macron, described Iran’s response as an “interference attempt and threat” to Charlie Hebdo.

The magazine said the cartoons were part of a competition it launched in December in support of the protests triggered by the September 16 death in custody of Mahsa Amini, an Iranian Kurd who was arrested for allegedly violating the country’s strict dress code for women.

Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury

An internationally acclaimed multi-award-winning anti-militancy journalist, research-scholar, counter-terrorism specialist, and editor of Blitz. Follow him on Twitter Salah_Shoaib

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