'Charlie Hebdo is the first anti-racist magazine in France'
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French journalist Caroline Fourest speaks to FRANCE 24’s Sylvain Attal. The author and former writer at Charlie Hebdo is a keen defender of secularism and free speech and has just published a new book, "L'éloge du blasphème" ("In praise of blasphemy").
This week, several leading authors boycotted the PEN American Center gala awarding French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo its Freedom of Expression Courage Award, four months after the deadly terrorist attacks in Paris.
In an interview with FRANCE 24, Fourest rejects the view that Charlie Hebdo insulted Muslims with its cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed. "Charlie Hebdo is only doing what we did for centuries with the Catholic Church, using for example the face of Jesus to criticise Christian fanaticism", she says. "When I hear some writers explaining that Charlie Hebdo wants to mock Muslims, this is absolutely wrong. Charlie Hebdo is an anti-racist magazine, it’s probably the first anti-racist magazine in France".