Charlie Hebdo cartoons act of provocation: Ex-UK spy chief

Charlie Hebdo cartoons act of provocation: Ex-UK spy chief

HomeEuropeFrance Wed Jan 21, 2015 7:0AM

The former British spy chief says French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo’s cartoons depicting Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) were an act of provocation, which showed a lack of respect for other peoples’ religion in the West.

John Sawers, who recently stepped down as the head of the UK’s Secret Intelligence Service (MI6), made the remarks on Tuesday in the wake of the deadly attack against the magazine’s offices in the French capital of Paris two weeks ago.

Sawers added that the backlash against the magazine’s sacrilegious publications should have been expected.

The former spy chief said the Paris attack “cannot be justified on any basis whatsoever;” however, “there is a requirement for some restraint on the side of those of us in the West.”
In addition, Sawers backed Pope Francis who recently spoke out against “provocateurs” on religious matters, saying that it was wrong to provoke others by insulting their religion and that one could “expect” a reaction to such abuse.

“I rather agree with the Pope… that respect for others peoples’ religion is an important part of this,” said Sawers, adding, “If you show disrespect of others’ core values, then you are going to provoke an angry response.”

On January 7, two gunmen attacked Charlie Hebdo’s Paris offices, killing 12 people. The al-Qaeda branch in Yemen claimed responsibility for the attack.

The French magazine has repeatedly provoked Muslim anger by publishing cartoons of the Prophet.

In the wake of the January 7 attack, Henri Roussel, a founding member of Charlie Hebdo, blamed slain editor Stephane Charbonnier for the incident, saying he “dragged” his team to their fate.

The magazine published its first cartoon depicting Prophet Mohammed four years ago. Following the 2011 publication, the magazine’s offices were targeted in a firebomb attack.

Leave a Reply