Charlie Hebdo and the right to offend

National unity march, Paris, January 11. Davide del Giudice/Demotix. All rights reserved.

National unity march, Paris, January 11. Davide del Giudice/Demotix. All rights reserved.

 

The right to offend, which the French secular republic with its long tradition of anti-clericalist satire holds particularly dear, is in everyday conflict with the values of the republic’s second largest religion.

This essay was published on the openDemocracy site on 21 January 2015, and is available here

Charlie Hebdo: Free speech, but not as an absolute value

Paris demonstration against terrorism, January 7. Tom Craig/Demotix. All rights reserved.

Paris demonstration against terrorism, January 7. Tom Craig/Demotix. All rights reserved.

 

Debates over what limits to free speech are acceptable are entirely valid – whether or not we approve of Charlie Hebdo images, or their mass republication.

This essay was published on the openDemocracy site on 9 January 2015, and is available here.