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Writer Says Charlie Ebdo Artists Were Kind Of Like Neo-Nazis

An editorial in The Guardian decries PEN American Center’s decision to give Charlie Hebdo the Freedom of Expression Courage Award, comparing the cartoonists to Nazis.

Under the headline, “I Admire Charlie Hebdo’s Courage. But It Does Not Deserve A PEN Award,” contributor Francine Prose explains her position. “As a friend wrote me: the First Amendment guarantees the right of the neo-Nazis to march in Skokie, Illinois, but we don’t give them an award,” she said.

Six writers have withdrawn from PEN’s annual gala event in protest of the award. Their argument? “Charlie Hebdo’s satirists were racist and Islamophobic—no less so because they were killed for their cartoons. To honor them, so the criticism goes, would signal support not only for their right to free expression but also the powerful bigotry that speech served,” writes Daily Beast reporter Jason Siegel.

Prose says the events surrounding the killing of Charlie Ebdo artists contribute to stereotypes that permit foreign policy missteps.

“The narrative of the Charlie Hebdo murders – white Europeans killed in their offices by Muslim extremists – is one that feeds neatly into the cultural prejudices that have allowed our government to make so many disastrous mistakes in the Middle East,” wrote Prose, former president of the PEN American Center.

Who did Charlie Hebdo mock most? Not Muslims. A telling survey of 10 yrs of cover stories: http://t.co/9pNDY3MbCa pic.twitter.com/THPYFFR0Lz

— Philip Gourevitch (@PGourevitch) April 28, 2015

Prose says Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden and journalists exposing Mexican drug cartels or covering the Middle East are more deserving of an award than Charlie Hebdo satirists.

Cartoonists were “drawing crude caricatures and mocking religion” rather than speaking an important truth about the world, according to Prose.

The Charlie Hebdo office in Paris was stormed by armed jihadis in January, killing police officers, cartoonists and editors, leaving 12 dead. It had garnered controversy for publishing caricatures of Muhammad. Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula claimed responsibility for ordering the attack. (RELATED: This Is Why Jihadis Massacred Writers And Cartoonists At A French Humor Magazine)

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Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.



 

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