Open Letter: On Blasphemy, Islamophobia, And The True Enemies Of Free Expression by CharbOpen Letter: On Blasphemy, Islamophobia, And The True Enemies Of Free Expression by Charb

Open Letter: On Blasphemy, Islamophobia, And The True Enemies Of Free Expression

byCharbForeword byAdam Gopnik

Hardcover | January 5, 2016

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An impassioned defense of the freedom of speech, from Stéphane Charbonnier, a journalist murdered for his convictions

On January 7, 2015, two gunmen stormed the offices of the French satirical newspaperCharlie Hebdo.They took the lives of twelve men and women, but they called for one man by name: "Charb."

Known by his pen name, Stéphane Charbonnier was editor in chief ofCharlie Hebdo,an outspoken critic of religious fundamentalism, and a renowned political cartoonist in his own right. In the past, he had received death threats and had even earned a place on Al Qaeda's "Most Wanted List." On January 7 it seemed that Charb's enemies had finally succeeded in silencing him. But in a twist of fate befitting Charb's defiant nature, it was soon revealed that he had finished a book just two days before his murder on the very issues at the heart of the attacks: blasphemy, Islamophobia, and the necessary courage of satirists.

Here, published for the first time in English, is Charb's final work. A searing criticism of hypocrisy and racism, and a rousing, eloquent defense of free speech,Open Lettershows Charb's words to be as powerful and provocative as his art. This is an essential book about race, religion, the voice of ethnic minorities and majorities in a pluralistic society, and above all, the right to free expression and the surprising challenges being leveled at it in our fraught and dangerous time.
Charb (Stéphane Charbonnier) (1967-2015) was a French journalist, political cartoonist, and satirist. Born and raised outside of Paris, Charb honed his drawing skills as a teenager and contributed illustrations to his college newspaper and local publications. He joined the staff of Charlie Hebdo in 1992 and held the position of editor ...
Title:Open Letter: On Blasphemy, Islamophobia, And The True Enemies Of Free ExpressionFormat:HardcoverDimensions:96 pages, 7.25 × 5.5 × 0.75 inPublished:January 5, 2016Publisher:Little, Brown And CompanyLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0316311332

ISBN - 13:9780316311335


Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Small but Powerful Work that Shows the Absurdity of Blasphemy Laws and Awfulness of Islam This is a short but well-written work that is eerily prescient considering that it was finalized two days before he was shot to death in the Charlie Hebdo massacre. It details the importance of free speech the threat of radical Islam in a succinct 80 pages. The author also makes interesting points about blasphemy arguing that atheists by definition cannot blaspheme because they do not acknowledge God's existence. He also worryingly details the alliance between Christians and Muslims to punish blasphemy which has unfortunate implications for free speech. Christians, after all are the victims of blasphemy laws all around the world. The forward is also of great value. While it is too short for five stars and has a couple of dead pages, it's still a valuable book. Recommended
Date published: 2017-01-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Searingly Honest He is so searingly honest, so articulate and clear in his viewpoint that I would call this a manifesto on free speech. It's unfortunate he paid with his life but it is evident that his cause was one he staunchly believed in. His words really gave me pause for thought on what we decry as discrimination and what we should just leave alone. Really, Charb is very bold and brave. He does not pander to the preponderance of offence that seems to absorb so much of our society. He calls it exactly what it is- petty and ridiculous.
Date published: 2016-12-26

Editorial Reviews

"As the first anniversary of the Charlie Hebdo massacre approaches--fresh off the recent attacks in Paris, new cries of Islamophobia and new debates over Muslim immigration --Charb's final words will have to stand in for him. They do so, ably."-Michael Cavna, Washington Post