Some of the cartoons can be found here - courtesy of the Pub Philosopher; I have to admit that I don't find them particularly funny and the style is one I consider horribly vulgar but that is, of course, not the issue. Meanwhile Longrider has also entered the fray at Orphans of Liberty with a well-considered post on the subject.
Here in the less intellectual environment of the Tavern, our musings have taken a more melodic turn...
To make fun of the Prophet takes men who are bold
And quite unaccustomed to fear;
The latest example is Charlie Hebdo
And its issue concerning sharia.
Of political satire and scurrilous news
The magazine's made a career
But cartoons of Mohammed and critical views
Of Islamists have now cost it dear.
On Twitter and Facebook the faithful complain
Saying editor Charb went too far;
And of course France's free speech allows them a way
To explain just why 'Je ne veux pas...'
Though Monsieur Charbonnier's not one to hide
When it comes to a verbal fracas,
It was not with debate his opponents replied
But with petrol alight in a jar.
There is always a risk when you want to make fun
Of religions that people hold dear,
But who's to decide if a cartoon or pun
Is high satire or merely a sneer?
Whoever it is who is taking a stand
There is one thing that has to be clear;
The unwritten sign of a civilized land
Is the freedom to speak without fear.
For those who were not raised on the strains of Abdul Abulbul Amir (I must get round to a post of Pa Peachum's favourites one day), the tune can be found here: