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French Magazine Firebombed Over Muhammad Cartoons Goes For Round Two

LE MONDE, i-TELE ( France), RTL (Luxembourg)


PARIS - Riot police have been sent to guard the offices of controversial French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, in preparation of their publication of cartoons mocking Islam's Prophet Muhammad Wednesday.

The French weekly yesterday announced it would publish satirical cartoons of the prophet in this week's edition. The cartoon portrays the prophet in a wheelchair pushed by a caricature of a Jewish man. The publication is a response to the continuing violence in the Muslim world over the film the Innocence of Muslims, and a move to promote the freedom of the press.

Charlie Hebdo last year similarly ran an issue that was "guest-edited" by the Prophet Muhammad, dubbed Sharia Hebdo. The publication provoked a scandal in France and the magazine's offices in Paris were subsequently firebombed.

French officials have announced they will close embassies and French schools in 20 countries around the world, fearing the publication will inflame tensions.

URGENT - CARICATURES DE MAHOMET : #Paris fermera ses ambassades et ses écoles dans 20 pays vendredi f24.my/S5nAtc #CharlieHebdo

— FRANCE 24 (@FRANCE24) September 19, 2012

French politicians have appealed to the magazine to change direction. Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, who is currently in Cairo, has condemned the magazine's publication in a time of such hostility, reports i-Télé. However, Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault has affirmed that freedom of speech is a fundamental principle.

The magazine's editor, who goes by the name Charb, spoke to European-wide radio RTL: "If we start to ask questions now about whether or not we have the right to draw Muhammad, if it's dangerous or not, the next questions is going to be: "Can we show images of Muslims in the paper?" Then the question after that will be: "Can we show images of people in the paper?" etc. And then at the end, we won't be representing anything and this form of extremism that is happening around the world will have won."

This week, American weekly news magazine Newsweek also provoked derision over its insensitive coverage of the continuing violence and its sensationalist headline "Muslim Rage," reports Le Monde.

The magazine asked readers to give their opinions, however the move backfired with netizens rather using the hashtag "#MuslimRage" to poke fun.

Man next to me on subway reading Koran on his Samsung Galaxy tablet just offered his seat to an older lady. #MUSLIMRAGE truly affects us all

— Andy Greenberg (@a_greenberg) September 18, 2012

You lose your nephew at the airport but you can't yell his name because it's JIHAD. #muslimrage

— Hijabi Girl (@HijabiGrlPrblms) September 17, 2012

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New Study Finds High Levels Of Anti-LGBTQ+ Discrimination In Buddhism

We tend to think of Buddhism as a religion devoid of commandments, and therefore generally more accepting than others. The author, an Australian researcher — and "genderqueer, non-binary Buddhist" themself — suggests that it is far from being the case.

Photo of a Buddhist monk in a Cambodia temple, walking away from the camera

Some Buddhist spaces can be highly heteronormative and show lack of understanding toward the LGBTQ+ community

Stephen Kerry

More than half of Australia’s LGBTQIA+ Buddhists feel reluctant to “come out” to their Buddhist communities and nearly one in six have been told directly that being LGBTQIA+ isn’t in keeping with the Buddha’s teachings.

These are some of the findings from my research looking at the experiences of LGBTQIA+ Buddhists in Australia.

✉️ You can receive our LGBTQ+ International roundup every week directly in your inbox. Subscribe here.

I’m a genderqueer, non-binary Buddhist myself and I was curious about others’ experiences in Australia since there has been no research done on our community before. So, in 2020, I surveyed 82 LGBTQIA+ Buddhists and have since followed this up with 29 face-to-face interviews.

Some people may think Buddhism would be quite accepting of LGBTQIA+ people. There are, after all, no religious laws, commandments or punishments in Buddhism. My research indicates, however, this is not always true.

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