Satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo has been accused of hypocrisy after it suspended a journalist who has received death threats for her articles attacking Islamic extremism. Zineb El Rhazoui, 33, was called to a preliminary dismissal hearing to remind her of her ‘obligations’ towards the French weekly following ‘numerous incidents.’
UK Daily Mail The French-Moroccan columnist accused her employers of trying to ‘punish her’ for speaking out about the direction of the magazine four months after the jihadist attack which left 12 dead.
‘I am shocked and appalled that a management that has received so much support after the January attacks could show so little support for one of its employees, who is under pressure like everyone in the team and has faced threats,’ she told Le Monde.
‘My husband lost his job and had to leave Morocco because the jihadists revealed his workplace. I am under threat and having to live with friends or in a hotel and the management is thinking of firing me. Bravo Charlie.’
The move has prompted outrage on social media with thousands calling the decision ‘absurd’ and bewildering’. Mrs El Rhazoui and her husband, Moroccan writer Jaouad Benaïssi, received death threats on Twitter from people claiming to be from Islamic State in February.
Photoshopped images of the couple dressed as ISIS prisoners about to be executed emerged on social media along with a map showing the places the journalist often visited.
Speaking at the time she said: ‘Pictures of my husband, his workplace and geolocation information have been published, as well as various suggestions on how to bump us off.’
The human rights campaigner was one of 15 Charlie Hebdo writers, editors and cartoonists who wrote an open letter criticising the magazine’s owners and management in late March.
Millions of people around the world were inspired to declare ‘Je Suis Charlie’ to show their solidarity. But now thousands, including the magazine’s own writers, have accused the weekly of ‘hypocrisy’ after failing to support its own staff.
Writer Patrick Pelloux said: ‘We are all still trying to cope with life after the attack,’ he said. ‘It is nasty and unfair to call a disciplinary meeting for a member of staff who is still suffering incredibly.’
‘It is paradoxical that the magazine receives prizes for freedom of expression while disciplining a journalist whose life is under threat’.
We could have predicted this following the post Charlie Hebdo attack magazine cover which “forgave the Muslim killers.”