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Jakarta Post

Protect freedoms, combat hatred

  • Olivier Chambard


Jakarta   /   Fri, October 2 2020   /  01:00 am
French national Peter Cherif (C) alleged associate of the Kouachi brothers, perpetrators of 2015 Charlie Hebdo attack, steps out a car as he is extradited to France at Djibouti International Airport in Djibouti on December 22, 2018. Cherif was arrested the Djibouti national police in December 16, 2018. Houssein Hersi / AFP(AFP/Houssein Hersi)

The opinion piece published on Oct. 1, 2020, "Killing for the sake of something called art", sparks some comments from my side. France defends fundamental rights and freedoms, including freedom of expression and freedom of religion or belief, for all individuals, regardless of their religious affiliation. This holds true also for French people of the Muslim faith, as it does for all citizens. In fact, many have shown their solidarity with the murdered cartoonists, even though they did not necessarily approve the stance of Charlie Hebdo. However, defending freedom of expression in France does not mean that everything is permitted: The law is there to protect every citizen. A clear distinction should be made between debating over any system of thought, religion or belief, which includes the possible use of criticism or humor, on the one hand, and inciting religious hatred o...