A spirit of unity amongst surviving members of Charlie Hebdo has been shattered by its founder who has rounded on the magazine’s murdered editor for bringing about his death and those of his staff by ‘overdoing’ cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad.
Henri Roussel blamed Stephane Charbonnier for ‘dragging the team’ to their deaths by publishing the controversial images.
Referring to publish a cartoon of Mohammed on a front page cover in 2011, which led to their offices being torched, Roussel wrote in left-leaning French magazine Nouvel Obs: “What made him feel the need to drag the team into overdoing it. He shouldn’t have done it, but Charb did it again a year later, in September 2012.”
Responding to the accusation Charlie Hebdo’s lawyer, Richard Malka, labelled the column a ‘polemical and venomous piece’ but Obs editor Matthieu Croissandeau defended it, saying: “We received this text and after a debate I decided to publish it in an edition on freedom of expression, it would have seemed to me worrisome to have censored his voice, even if it is discordant. Particularly as this is the voice of one of the pioneers of the gang."
The comments come as the so-called ‘survivors edition’ of the title is on course to sell 5m copies, complete with another prominent depiction of the Islamic prophet on its cover.