Open Letter: On Blasphemy, Islamophobia, and the True Enemies of Free Expression (Hardcover)

Open Letter: On Blasphemy, Islamophobia, and the True Enemies of Free Expression Cover Image
By Adam Gopnik (Foreword by), Charb
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An impassioned defense of the freedom of speech, from Stéphane Charbonnier, a journalist murdered for his convictions.

On January 7, 2015, two gunmen stormed the offices of the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo. They took the lives of twelve men and women, but they called for one man by name: "Charb."

Known by his pen name, Stèphane Charbonnier was editor in chief of Charlie Hebdo, an outspoken critic of religious fundamentalism, and a renowned political cartoonist in his own right. In the past, he had received death threats and had even earned a place on Al Qaeda's Most Wanted List. On January 7 it seemed that Charb's enemies had finally succeeded in silencing him. But in a twist of fate befitting Charb's defiant nature, it was soon revealed that he had finished a book just two days before his murder on the very issues at the heart of the attacks: blasphemy, Islamophobia, and the necessary courage of satirists.

Here, published for the first time in English, is Charb's final work. A searing criticism of hypocrisy and racism, and a rousing, eloquent defense of free speech, Open Letter shows Charb's words to be as powerful and provocative as his art. This is an essential book about race, religion, the voice of ethnic minorities and majorities in a pluralistic society, and above all, the right to free expression and the surprising challenges being leveled at it in our fraught and dangerous time.

About the Author

Charb (Stephane Charbonnier) (1967-2015) was a French journalist, political cartoonist, and satirist. Born and raised outside of Paris, Charb honed his drawing skills as a teenager and contributed illustrations to his college newspaper and local publications. He joined the staff of Charlie Hebdo in 1992 and held the position of editor in chief from 2009 until his death in 2015. An atheist, pacifist, and staunch advocate of free speech, Charb was known for cartoons that mocked political figures and organized religion.


Praise For…

"As the first anniversary of the Charlie Hebdo massacre approaches--fresh off the recent attacks in Paris, new cries of Islamophobia and new debates over Muslim immigration --Charb's final words will have to stand in for him. They do so, ably."
Michael Cavna, Washington Post

Coverage from NPR

Product Details
ISBN: 9780316311335
ISBN-10: 0316311332
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication Date: January 5th, 2016
Pages: 96
Language: English