Charlie Hebdo Chief on Censorship of Controversial Cartoons: ‘They Blur Our Democracy’

“This cartoon is not just a little figure. It’s a symbol,” Gerard Briard says

Last Updated: January 19, 2015 @ 9:30 AM

Appearing on “Meet the Press” Sunday, Charlie Hebdo Editor-in-Chief Gerard Briard claimed media who censor his satirical magazine’s cartoons are part of the problem.

“This cartoon is not just a little figure. It’s a symbol. It’s the symbol of freedom of speech, of freedom of religion, of democracy and secularism,” he told Chuck Todd. “When they refuse to publish this cartoon, when they blur it out, when they decline to publish it, they blur out democracy, secularism, freedom of religion and they insult the [citizenry].”

The editor, who was not at the Charlie Hebdo offices when a terror attack killed 12 staffers on January 7th, expressed understanding for smaller newspapers operating in totalitarian countries that withhold publishing Charlie Hebdo cartoons.

“We cannot blame newspapers that already suffer much difficulty in getting published and distributed in totalitarian regimes for not publishing a cartoon that could get them at best jail, at worst death,” he said.

But he wasn’t as understanding of newspapers in Democratic nations, suggesting that the censorship of such cartoons flouts the principles for which those countries stand.

“This cartoon … is a symbol of freedom of religion, democracy and secularism. It is this symbol that these newspapers refuse to publish.”

Watch the video below.

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