Dopers francais---is the new Hebdo cartoon of Mohammed what I think it is?

In the new Hebdo newspaper, the cover features Mohammed.

Now my interpretation per my broken high school French is that Mohammed is crying ‘crocodile tears’ while holding the “I am Charlie” sign----with the phrase “All is forgiven” above.

Is this a correct interpretation?

PS, I believe that other threads are dealing with the pros/cons/etc. of free speech, Islam, etc.

I’m just looking for a “correct” interpretation of the Mohammed cartoon from a French speaker.


At first glance, it looks like he is forgiving those who do violence in his name. Not mocking the religion at all.

Here is the answer from the cartoonist

So basically the paper forgives the cartoon depiction of Mohammed for all the trouble he caused, and makes him hold a I am Charlie sign because they can.

I’ve read this twice, and I still don’t understand what he is saying. Who is forgiving who, and for what?


I interpreted the tear as sincere. Why would it be a “crocodile tear”?

I understood what he was saying until Buck Godot explained it. “It’s not really supposed to mean anything. It just made us chuckle when we were sad.”

I read it the same way as Czarcasm initially, and I suspect that’s what most of the editorial staff were thinking.

Zineb El Rhazoui, who works for Charlie Hebdo, has revealed the meaning behind the controversial front cover:

mainly because Mohammed isn’t exactly drawn reverently. Look at how “South Park” drew Mohammed in the episodes “Super Best Friends”. south park super best friends mohammed - Bing images

The Hebdo cover’s Mohammed looks like, for lack of a better description, “a big-nosed Arab guy in a turban” and draws parallels between unflattering drawings of Jews as big-nosed Shylocks in yarmulkes. which was why I was confused as to the intent of the cartoon.

again that’s only to my eyes and I appreciate the above links quoting the actual cartoonist----but still leaves me confused. does the cartoonist not understand that he could put a bit more effort into making Mohammed look more reverent?

and thanks for the links quoting the cartoonist.

So, then, what’s the debate?

Sure, but they don’t revere him. The irreverence is a big component of the message.

Do you understand what cartoons are?

Please explain why this particular religious leader should get preferential treatment over all the other religious leaders that have been drawn in that style of caricature in that magazine over the years? How they made him look is how they make everyone look, pretty much-it is a caricature, not a portrait.

Why would Muhammed forgive the gunmen? And what is the significance of the “Je suis Charlie”?

On preview - never mind. I am trying to have a joke explaned, and that never works.


To me it makes sense if I replace “all is forgiven” with “now we’re even.” IOW, Mohammed needs to pay a little penance for what his followers did in his name, and the penance is being cartooned holding a “je suis Charlie” sign.

Of course, there are those who are claiming that the headpiece resembles a penis.

IMO, it works best with no headline at all. I’ve read the explanations, and like Shodan I’m still a bit baffled by the implication of forgiveness. I’m not convinced that they were even clear what they meant by it.

I thought the headpiece resembled a butt - like it’s an asshat. But I don’t know if that was the artist’s intention.

And yes, I thought Mohammed was telling Charlie that he (Mohammed) was forgiving them (Charlie Hebdo) for making fun of him. But I guess reading the artist’s explanation - it’s the artist (and the magazine) saying Everything Is Forgiven, to the terrorists who hurt them. So sort of a repeat of their Love Will Conquer All message from that cover they did where Mohammed and Charlie are kissing.

Frenchie here, and that was indeed my interpretation of the cartoon as I wrote elsewhere on the board. i.e. That the “All is forgiven” was dripping with sarcasm, and that the caricature itself was mockery of the crocodile tears of Muslims who now join the solidarity thing. Because he really look like he’s pulling something like the Puss In Boots face, right ?
Or, possibly, another way to read the cartoon I figured was that it could be mocking how the “Je Suis Charlie” slogan has been co-opted and instrumentalized by just about everyone by now and already doesn’t mean anything at all.

But apparently neither is how Luz (or what’s left of the Charlie team) intended it at all. Communication is hard.

I don’t get how you guys are reading this as anything other than “We forgive the attackers.” It’s the most natural meaning of the cartoon, and it’s exactly what both explanations have said it meant. Who else could “All is forgiven” be addressed to? Who else did anything wrong?

Yes, maybe if there were Muslims going around saying they forgave Charlie Hebdo for their actions, maybe it would make sense to mock them. But they aren’t. There’s no forgiveness for the title to be satirizing.

Well Charlie covers have basically always used antiphrase, sarcasm and irony to get their points across, so that’s how I took it. If they suddenly start saying exactly what they mean and meaning exactly what they say, it catches me off-balance :p.

There’s also the fact that while Charlie’s been criticized by many political sides for many reasons over the years, #JeSuisCharlie has become a whole… *Thing, *so it could have meant “hey, now that something horrible as happened to us the same guys show up and say they’ve always supported us, look what wonderful forgiveness they found in their little hearts”, that kind of thing.