It is all a misunderstanding from a bad translation by the German journalist who misunderstood the words spoken by his interviewee last July and generated a sea of protests and outrage throughout the world. To counter a little bit the avalanche of criticism, all of Charlie Hebdo cartoonists refuted the alleged information and said that what had happened is that the German journalist did not understand French very well and he translated whatever he wanted. Here are some excerpts of what the CH staff said during the days following the scandal:
“That declaration is the result of a misunderstanding truly caused by a problem of translation. The German journalist misunderstood the statements of Laurent Sourisseau“.
“Contacted by Les Inrocks, the chief editor of Charlie Hebdo, Gérard Biard, confirms: he did not say anything of that sort. He simply said that we can not be the only ones to do so. We can not be in the frontline. The journalist who interviewed him misunderstood and mistranslated”.
Apparently in the interview with Stern this was what the interviewee meant (I leave the French original in case I happen to be wrong in something, someone can correct my Stern-ation).
“Nous avons dessiné Mahomet pour défendre le principe qu’on peut dessiner ce qu’on veut. C’est un peu étrange : on attend de nous d’exercer une liberté d’expression que plus personne n’ose exercer. On a fait notre boulot. On a défendu le droit à la caricature. Maintenant, d’autres prennent le relais”.
“We draw Muhammad to defend the principle that we can draw whatever we want. It is a bit strange: everyone expects us to exercise a freedom of expression that no other dares to exercise. We do our job. We defend the right to caricature. Now others take the lead”.
Even Coco, one of the CH cartoonists answered in a tweet where she said everything but nice things about Stern magazine and the media that published that information without even contrasting it.
— Corinne (@cocoboer) julio 21, 2015
Other media outlets that echoed the response to Stern:
However, outside the French-speaking world, it seems, those replies were not taken into account by the media
Well, I can say with relief that Charlie Hebdo remains Charlie. This is very good news.
(image: Charlie Hebdo —after the Stern interview—)