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Je Suis Charlie Hebdo: When the NUJ stopped the Daily Star lampooning radical Islam

by | 21st, January 2015

Pallbearers carry the casket of Charlie Hebdo cartoonist Bernard Verlhac, known as Tignous, decorated by friends and colleagues of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, at the city hall of Montreuil, on the outskirts of Paris, Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015

Pallbearers carry the casket of Charlie Hebdo cartoonist Bernard Verlhac, known as Tignous, decorated by friends and colleagues of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, at the city hall of Montreuil, on the outskirts of Paris, Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015

 

The NUJ’s general secretay Michelle Stanistreet was on the ‘Je Suis Charlie’ march following the murders of Chartlie Hebdo staff.  The NUJ made this announcement:

“This is not the first time that enemies of press freedom have attempted to muzzle journalists who use their pens to ridicule all purveyors of hatred. Beyond the massacre committed at Charlie Hebdo, the principles of liberty of expression are at stake: freedom to criticize, the caricature and to denounce. It is appropriate to quote Albert Londres: ‘Our job is neither to please people or to do them wrong, it is to use our pens to go to the heart of things even if it hurts.’…

“The extraordinary upsurge of solidarity in France and in many other European countries is a wonderful boost for defenders of these treasures liberties – above all the freedom of expression.”

In October 2006, things were a bit different:

A staff revolt at the Daily Star prevented publication of a spoof Islamic version of the paper called the “Daily Fatwa”. Muslim commentators said yesterday that the newspaper’s attempt on Monday evening to mock Sharia law could have sparked international protests similar to those that followed publication by a Danish newspaper of cartoons of the prophet Muhammad.

The mock-up “Daily Fatwa”, which promised a “Page 3 Burkha Babes Special” and competitions to “Burn a Flag and Win a Corsa” and “Win hooks just like Hamza’s”, was prepared to run as page 6 in Wednesday’s edition of the Daily Star…

The page also included a spoof leader column under the headline “Allah is Great” but left blank save for a stamp with the word “Censored”.

The Daily Star could have been Charlie Hebdo. But:

But shortly before the Star was due to go to press on Tuesday evening, concerned members of the National of Journalists (NUJ) called an emergency meeting in the 9th floor canteen of Desmond’s Northern & Shell building beside the River Thames.

After 25 minutes, the NUJ chapel passed a motion saying that the article was “deliberately offensive” to Muslims.

The motion read: “The chapel fears that this editorial content poses a very serious risk of violent and dangerous reprisals from religious fanatics who may take offence at these articles. This may place the staff in great jeopardy. This chapel urges the management to remove the content immediately.”

Je Suis Charlie Hebdo? Not quite…



Posted: 21st, January 2015 | In: Reviews Comments (3) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink