Italy Imam Condemns Charlie Hebdo Reprint of Mohammed Cartoons

A muslim imam prays in the mosque in downtown Sofia on April 5, 2013. Bulgaria is hoping to stop protest-driven suicides, including self-immolations, that have swept the country in recent weeks by organising prayers for all faiths and free psychological counselling.

Imam Yahya Pallavicini, president of the Italian Islamic Religious Community (Coreis), has condemned the republishing of Charlie Hebdo Mohammed cartoons.

The Muslim leader told Italian media the publication was “a confirmation of their insensitivity and their crude pursuit of notoriety based on provocation and unintelligent satire”.

Ezzedin Elzir, who serves as Imam of Florence and is a former president of the Union of Islamic Communities and Organisations in Italy, also criticised the move, saying, according to Il Giornale: “Unfortunately, for the umpteenth, time freedom of expression is confused with the offence of another. Charlie Hebdo has offended millions of Muslims. This is not satire, which is needed in society.”

According to a new poll taken by the French Institute of Public Opinion (Ifop), the French public has a very different view on the cartoons.

The Ifop poll revealed that 59 per cent of the French public were in favour of the publication of the cartoons, a result 21 per cent higher than a similar survey taken in 2006.

Charlie Hebdo reprinted the cartoons ahead of the trial for those alleged to have been involved in the attack on the satirical newspaper’s offices in January 2015 that saw radical Islamic terrorists kill 12 people, many of them on the newspaper’s editorial team.

Hebdo‘s director Laurent Sourisseau, known as “Riss”, commented on the publication, saying: “There was a need for a good reason to do it, a reason which has meaning and which brings something to the debate… to [reprint the pictures] this week at the opening of the trial of the January 2015 attacks, seemed essential to us.”

The magazine has seen many criticisms and threats over the years due to its caricatures, including from supporters of scholar Tariq Ramadan who was accused of rape by a woman in 2017, accused by another woman in 2019, and two more women earlier this year.

This week, the former Oxford scholar announced he would be launching a new centre to teach feminism.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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