France Satirical Mag Charlie Hebdo Sued by Muslims for ‘Blasphemy’

February 19, 2014

 

French Muslims have sued satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo for blasphemy in Strasbourg for publishing a cover page with the headline: “The Koran is shit – it doesn’t stop bullets.”

The League of Judicial Defence of Muslims (LDJM) led by former lawyers Karim Achoui, has brought the case before the criminal court in Alsace-Moselle’s capital.

The region, which was annexed by Germany in 1871 and 1940-45, still retained part of the old German code that includes the “blasphemy” crime – which no longer exist in the rest of France.

The LDJM has also sued Charlie Hebdo in Paris for “provocation and incitement to hatred on the basis of religious affiliation and insult”.

A further complication is that Alsace’s blasphemy laws has no redress for Islam, covering only Catholicism, three forms of Protestants and Judaism.

According to Article 166 of the Alsace-Moselle penal code:

He who causes a scandal by publicly blaspheming against God by disparaging or publicly insulting Christian cults or a religious community established in the territory of the Confederation and recognised as a corporation, or institutions or ceremonies of these cults or which, in a church or other place devoted to religious meetings, has committed offensive and outrageous acts, shall be punished with imprisonment of three years.

Charb, director of Charlie Hebdo, said: “We know in advance that the trial will not go through because Islam is not in the code.”

The last application of the blasphemy law in the region dates back to 1918.

However, Eric Sander, secretary general of the Institute of Alsace-Moselle, told Le Monde that according to by-laws “any religion, statutory or otherwise can invoke Article 166 of the local penal code which is independent of system of worship”.

Crime of blasphemy was abolished after the French revolution by article 10 and 11 of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen in 1789. It was reinstated under the Restoration and again deleted by the law of 29 July 1881.

French courts, however, will consider cases that provoke injury, personal and direct attack against a group of people because of their religious affiliation or incitement to racial or religious hatred in cases involving defamation of individuals.

180 Moroccan Imams sent to France for Ramadan

Au Fait Maroc – August 26, 2011

 

180 imams have arrived from Morocco to assist in the gatherings around the month of Ramadan, a tradition that has taken place over a number of years according to CFCM (French Council of the Muslim Faith) leader, Mohamed Moussaoui. 25,000 copies of Qur’an edited in Morocco have come with these holy leaders. Many will go to the newly opened Mosque of Strasbourg whose 8.7 million euro cost was partially funded by the government of Morocco, assistance which is possible because of the exceptional legal status of the Alsace-Moselle region.

Strasbourg Lays The First Stone Of Its Large Mosque

By Thomas Calinon It is perhaps the end of an old alarm. After two decades of reflection, including four years of impassioned debates, the first stone of the large mosque of Strasbourg was placed Friday, during Ramadan, in muddy ground near the downtown area. “It is time!” said the mayor of Strasbourg, Fabienne Keller, as the ceremony of more than 500 faithful Moslems concluded with “Allah Akbar!”. The event included representatives of the four faiths (Catholic, Reformed, Lutheran and Jew) recognized by the right of Alsace-Moselle, which excuses Alsace from the law on separation of Church and State since 1905.