Satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo has been accused of hypocrisy after it suspended a journalist who has received death threats for her articles attacking Islamic extremism.
Zineb El Rhazoui, 33, was called to a preliminary dismissal hearing to remind her of her ‘obligations’ towards the French weekly following ‘numerous incidents’.
The French-Moroccan columnist accused her employers of trying to ‘punish her’ for speaking out about the direction of the magazine four months after the jihadist attack which left 12 dead.
‘I am shocked and appalled that a management that has received so much support after the January attacks could show so little support for one of its employees, who is under pressure like everyone in the team and has faced threats,’ she told Le Monde.
‘My husband lost his job and had to leave Morocco because the jihadists revealed his workplace. I am under threat and having to live with friends or in a hotel and the management is thinking of firing me. Bravo Charlie.’
The move has prompted outrage on social media with thousands calling the decision ‘absurd’ and bewildering’.
Mrs El Rhazoui and her husband, Moroccan writer Jaouad Benaïssi, received death threats on Twitter from people claiming to be from Islamic State in February.
Photoshopped images of the couple dressed as ISIS prisoners about to be executed emerged on social media along with a map showing the places the journalist often visited.
Speaking at the time she said: ‘Pictures of my husband, his workplace and geolocation information have been published, as well as various suggestions on how to bump us off.’
The human rights campaigner was one of 15 Charlie Hebdo writers, editors and cartoonists who wrote an open letter criticising the magazine’s owners and management in late March.
They raised fears that the left-wing and anti-religious magazine might succumb to the ‘poison of the millions’ of euros that had flooded in since with terrorist attack in Paris in January.
The group called for the magazine to become a ‘co-operative’ and asked for its new found riches to be placed in a trust to guarantee the magazines’ survival for ’30 years’.
Killers Saïd and Chérif Kouachi targeted Charlie Hebdo after the controversial paper published cartoon images of the Prophet Mohammed.
But now thousands, including the magazine’s own writers, have accused the weekly of ‘hypocrisy’ after failing to support its own staff.
Writer Patrick Pelloux said: ‘We are all still trying to cope with life after the attack,’ he said. ‘It is nasty and unfair to call a disciplinary meeting for a member of staff who is still suffering incredibly.’
‘It is paradoxical that the magazine receives prizes for freedom of expression while disciplining a journalist whose life is under threat’.
Oliver Farry tweeted: ‘The lack of self-consciousness among Charlie Hebdo management is bewildering.’
Romain Burrel said: ‘Even Charlie Hebdo is no longer Charlie. Zineb El Rhazoui is laid off.’
A spokesman for Charlie Hebdo said there were no plans to fire Ms El Rhazoui.
He said the journalist was suspended and called to an ‘interview’ to remind her of her ‘responsibilities’.
h/t Jihad Watch, who writes:
These are defining days. Many, many people whom I had thought to be clear-sighted, strong and courageous have proven to be cowardly, pusillanimous and self-serving, eager to betray the supporters of free speech and free society in exchange for a few more years of their miserable slave existences. Even Charlie Hebdo, the international symbol of defiance against violent intimidation and censorship-by-murder, has folded and submitted to the jihad force.
Another success for the jihad: