“The art of caricature is an old tradition that is part of our democracy,” said Iannis Roder, professor of history at the college and member of the Conseil des Sages, created by the government in 2018 to strengthen secularism in schools public.
He added that he was facing increasing difficulties in teaching freedom of expression and the right to caricature due to “a greater penetration of religiosity among many students who call themselves Muslims”.
But Mohammed Moussaoui, the president of the French Council of Muslim Faith, said there should be limits to offensive satire on religious beliefs. Limiting the publication of Muhammad cartoons avoids fueling extremism, he said.
“I don’t think this is the right way to explain freedom of expression to children,” Moussaoui said of the cartoons in an interview with France Info. “The duty of fraternity requires everyone to renounce certain rights.”
In a subsequent statement, Mr. Moussaoui said his suggestion to “waive certain rights” was awkward. But he added: “If free speech gives the right to be satirical or humorous, we can understand that cartoons putting a fundamental prophet for millions of believers in suggestive and degrading postures cannot fall under this. law.”
Since the cartoons have acquired a strong symbolic meaning since the 2015 attacks, it has become politically difficult to wonder about them.
Clémentine Autain, a far left member of the France Unbowed party, declared that the debate on terrorism and secularism “is dominated by emotion and is no longer rational”.