24 Jun 2024

Charlie Hebdo has come under fire, once again!

Charlie Hebdo has come under fire, once again!


Atif Hussain
Atif Hussain works as a Publishing manager for a leading Islamic publisher. With a background in teaching and education, Atif has a passion for inspiring the next generation of Muslims to become good role models in society.

Charlie Hebdo has come under fire, once again!

Charlie Hebdo, the notorious French satirical magazine, has come under criticism for a cartoon showing the Queen kneeling on Meghan Markle’s neck, drawing comparisons to George Floyd’s death.

The magazine, which has previously been criticised for its provocative illustrations, has caused new controversy only days after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex said they were subjected to open bigotry and racism from family members and staff of the Royal Family.

The picture appears to be a mischievous recreation of George Floyd’s tragic death, which happened after police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes amid Floyd’s cries for help, “I can’t breathe”, last summer.

The video appeared online which caused a worldwide uproar. Black Lives Matter protests were held across the world against racism and police brutality.

The latest front page title read, ‘why Meghan quit Buckingham’ and depicts the Queen kneeling on Meghan Markle’s neck as the Duchess says ‘because I couldn’t breathe anymore’.

People on social media and activists have branded the cartoon ‘wrong’ and ‘appalling’. 

A Twitter user wrote: ‘Is this the free speech that Charlie Hebdo is so passionate about? Racism, disrespect and offence passed off as satire? I’m sorry but no Je suis for me. 

‘This is nothing but racist bigotry and inciting hate. Do better with your platform and grow up.’

This isn’t the first time the magazine has made such outrageous and controversial remarks, the publication has repeatedly come under scrutiny for being Islamophobic in the past.

It published cartoons demeaning and insulting Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in 2012, 2015 and again in 2020 which sparked fury within the Muslim community.

However, many readers defended the magazine by advocating for ‘free speech’ and the hashtag ‘Je Suis Charlie’ was trending which means ‘I am Charlie’.

Ahmed Belim, Fundraising Manager at Karimia Institute said: “Many will have looked the image and recalled Gorge Floyd straight away, what was the intention of the article? What consideration was given to how this may have impacted on George Floyds family and friends? Is the Queen being compared to the Minneapolis Police Department?”

“What is even more disturbing about is that some media outlets have showed their discontent at the caricature of the Queen and Meghan and rightly so.”

“Lets rewind to 2015 when Hebdo demonised the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in a disturbing, disrespectful and demeaning caricature, where was the media frenzy then? Did we overlook the media venting their discontent over the Prophet’s (PBUH) caricature? Or was it a case of free will and speech of the British media?”

This incident just proves that the Muslim community has always been a victim of partiality when it comes to defending their rights, their belief and their faith.

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