Civil Liberties

Catholic League President Bill Donohue on Charlie Hebdo: 'Muslims Are Right to Be Angry'


Spanish Inquisition
Public Domain

Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League, blamed the horrific murders of a dozen employees of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo on… Charlie Hebdo.

No, really.

"It is too bad that he didn't understand the role he played in his tragic death," said Donohue of Stephane Charbonnier, Charlie Hebdo's publisher. "In 2012, when asked why he insults Muslims, he said, 'Muhammad isn't sacred to me.' Had he not been so narcissistic, he may still be alive. Muhammad isn't sacred to me, either, but it would never occur to me to deliberately insult Muslims by trashing him."

In his statement—titled "Muslims Are Right to Be Angry"—Donohue stridently condemned the killing of journalists over "gross" insults. But he condemned the insults with equal fervor:

Killing in response to insult, no matter how gross, must be unequivocally condemned. That is why what happened in Paris cannot be tolerated. But neither should we tolerate the kind of intolerance that provoked this violent reaction.

Those who work at this newspaper have a long and disgusting record of going way beyond the mere lampooning of public figures, and this is especially true of their depictions of religious figures. For example, they have shown nuns masturbating and popes wearing condoms. They have also shown Muhammad in pornographic poses.

While some Muslims today object to any depiction of the Prophet, others do not. Moreover, visual representations of him are not proscribed by the Koran. What unites Muslims in their anger against Charlie Hebdo is the vulgar manner in which Muhammad has been portrayed. What they object to is being intentionally insulted over the course of many years. On this aspect, I am in total agreement with them.

Long-time readers of Reason know that Donohue has been pro-censorship for years, despite his claims to the contrary. His Catholic League has repeatedly tried to get the FCC to shut down anyone who offends his religion, even in trivial ways. And Donohue previously supported media efforts to protect the sensibilities of Muslims by censoring cartoons that blasphemed them.

But this is cold, even by Donohue standards.

Hat tip: Chuck Ross / The Daily Caller