The French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo has declined a request by the Danish political party New Right to re-publish its cartoons depicting Prophet Muhammad, the Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet reported.
The newcomer to the Danish parliament, led by parliamentarian Pernille Vermund, sought to publish newspapers ads in Danish with the exact cartoons that were shown by French teacher Samuel Paty before he was beheaded in what the country’s president Emmanuel Macron has classified as a terrorist attack.
By Vermund's own admission, this was intended in support of the victim's family and the freedom of speech.
“The killing of Samuel Paty triggered the campaign, we want to show our support for his family and for freedom of speech,” Vermund explained.
Danish newspapers Berlingske and Weekendavisen responded affirmatively and agreed to publish the New Right's advertisements. By contrast, Ekstra Bladet and Jyllands-Posten refused, despite in 2005 unleashing the Muhammad cartoons controversy by publishing caricatures of the principal figure of Islam. The newspaper then explained it was an attempt to contribute to the debate about criticism of Islam and self-censorship. Muslim in Denmark and across the world complained, starting violent demonstrations, riots and boycotts. This time, Jyllands-Posten declined, citing concerns for the security of its staff.
However, Charlie Hebdo flatly rejected the New Right's request to use the cartoons in newspaper advertisements.
“Following consultation with the cartoonists, Charlie Hebdo has not made such an agreement with this political party, with which they do not share any form of viewpoints,” the magazine told Ekstra Bladet.
Despite its disappointment, the party didn't lose its optimism.
“These are Charlie Hebdo's drawings, and they do what they want with them,” New Right press manager Lars Kaaber told Ekstra Bladet. “It's a shame. But we still hope to bring the drawings, and we think we will too,” he added.
The New Right was formed in 2015 by former Conservatives and first entered parliament in the 2019 election with 2.4 percent of the vote.
The party criticises the immigration policies of the right-wing Danish People's Party as “too lenient” and advocates stepping out of the UN refugee convention and deporting all immigrants who live on temporary residence or are not able to support themselves. Danish citizenship should be restricted to people who “contribute positively” to society, whereas Islamic headscarves should be banned from public institutions. The New Right also want to terminate Denmark's membership in the European Union they deem a “monstrosity of rules and laws” that threatens Denmark’s “prosperity, progress and democracy”. Economy-wise, the New Right is libertarian and calls for the abolition of all corporate taxes.
Charlie Hebdo is a French satirical weekly belonging to the non-conformist left. It is arguably best known for publishing cartoons mocking religion and has been the target of three terrorist attacks (2011, 2015 and 2020) all of which are presumed to be in response to the Muhammad cartoons.