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"Touching, tasteful, unifyingly defiant" - Dr Charles Walton on Charlie Hebdo front cover

Commenting on the news that this week's edition of Charlie Hebdo will feature a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed on its front page, Dr Charles Walton said: “Touching, tasteful, unifyingly defiant. It manages to ‘blaspheme' with its depiction of the Prophet but without alienating Muslims by making their religion appear to be the inevitable source of terrorism.

"Instead, it conveys a moral message that cuts across Islam, Christianity and Judaism: forgiveness. It is the message that France needs to hear now. It is ironic, though, that the editors of this stridently atheistic (or agnostic?) and irreverent newspaper are digging deep into the treasure chests of religious tropes in its effort to heal France… and themselves.

"The Muslim version of forgiveness in the Koran is quite eloquent: ‘We have sent you [Mohammend] as a mercy for all the worlds’ — and this mercy was extended even to those who tried to kill the Prophet. There are all sorts of interesting parallels going on here.”

Dr Charles Walton from the University of Warwick’s Department of History. His research focuses on Old Regime, Enlightenment and Revolutionary France, with emphases on democratization, rights and obligations, liberalism and socio-economic justice.

Note to editors:

Dr Charles Walton is available for interviews (including DTL TV and radio interviews from the University of Warwick’s broadcast studio). Contact Lee Page, Communications Manager, Press and Policy Office, The University of Warwick. Tel: +44 (0)2476 574 255, Mob: +44 (0)7920 531 221. Email:


Lee Page, Communications Manager

Tel: +44 (0)2476 574 255

Mob: +44 (0)7920 531 221