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Murdered Charlie Hebdo Editor: I’d Prefer Dying Standing Than Living on My Knees

January 8, 2015  |  Posted by: Giovanni DePhillips
Murdered Charlie Hebdo Editor: I’d Prefer Dying Standing Than Living on My Knees Stephane Charbonnier - Image courtesy of isidewith.com

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Charlie Hebdo’s cartoonists understood the dangers of poking fun at radical Islam, but didn’t let the death threats stop them from speaking out for what they believed in.

The French satirical paper — where 12 people were slaughtered by Muslim terrorists Wednesday — never stopped mocking the hate and hypocrisy of Islamic fanaticism, even after their Paris offices were firebombed in 2011.

Just this week they sent a mocking tweet to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and ran a front-page story about a new novel called “Submission,” that imagined France under a Muslim president.

Editor Stéphane “Charb” Charbonnier also ran a cartoon taunting jihadis. Titled “Still No Attacks in France,” it had a caricature of a Muslim fighter saying “Just wait — we have until the end of January to present our New Year’s wishes.”

Charbonnier was aware such satire put the publication in the radical’s cross hairs — and he said he didn’t care.

“I am not afraid of retaliation,” he told French reporters in 2012. “I have no kids, no wife, no car, no credit. It perhaps sounds a bit pompous, but I prefer to die standing than living on my knees.”

He did just that. The 47-year-old Charbonnier was among the eight Charlie Hebdo staffers shot dead by terrorist in their Paris office, along with four others, including two policemen.

Charbonnier said that he believed satirists had a duty to take on any subject — Charlie Hebdo had run more than one cover tweaking the pope — and that included Islam.

The magazine was so bold that they continued to mock Islamists just a week after a firebomb was thrown at their offices in 2011 in retaliation for a cover showing the prophet Mohammed.

The cover that week showed a male Charlie Hebdo cartoonist passionately kissing a bearded Muslim man in front of the charred aftermath of the bombing, The Guardian reported.

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