The trouble with the Charlie Hebdo drawings

AUDIO: Pakistani cartoonist Shahid Mahmood spoke to Newstalk this morning

The trouble with the Charlie Hebdo drawings

Shahid Mahmood's "The Birth of Bin Laden"

The Charlie Hebdo cartoonists were given several warnings about the offensive drawing publications, yet the events of this week were still a huge shock.

Shahid Mahmood, Pakistani cartoonist based in Canada, suffers similar death threats from the Taliban members he draws, in the past, from former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, as well as the US state department.

His cartoon exhibition, Enduring Operation Freedom, critical of President Bush’s War-on-Terror, was censored and shut down in 2002; he received death-threats from Islamic fundamentalists for his depiction of the Taliban as Koran-reading-apes; and he is presently in the midst of a legal struggle to remove his name from the now infamous one-million-person No-fly List.

He spoke to Shona Murray, lending his support for the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists; supporting their right to free speech, saying "with good satire, society can evolve and become something better; but it has to be an intelligent way."

"If you evoke such a visceral reaction, people don’t look at themselves critically, that’s the trouble with the Charlie Hebdo drawings."

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