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Av Hans Rustad

Charlie Hebdo fikk amerikanske PENs pris for ytringsmot tirsdag kveld under en grand galla-tilstelning i New Yorks Museum of Natural History. Det kostet 1.250 dollar å delta. Tilstelningen er amerikanske PENs måte å samle inn penger på. Årets grand galla ble spesiell på bakgrunn av bråket rundt tildelingen til Charlie Hebdo. Bladet var representert av sjefredaktør Gérard Biard og filmkritikeren Jean-Baptiste Thoret.

“Being shocked is part of democratic debate,” said Mr. Biard, who accepted the award with the magazine’s film critic, Jean-Baptiste Thoret. “Being shot is not.”

Amerikanske PENs ledelse ba ikke om unnskyldning.

Andrew Solomon, the president of PEN, opened his remarks with a nod to the “whale in the room,” a reference to the debate, and the blue whale hovering over the 800 guests in the museum’s Hall of Ocean Life.

“The defense of people murdered for their exercise of free speech is at the heart of what PEN stands for,” he said. “So is the unfettered expression of opposing viewpoints.”

Også utenfor museet var det heavy security, etter angrepet i Garland, Texas, søndag.

Biard forsøker å gjendrive påstandene om at Hebdo er spesielt kritisk mot islam og muslimer.

In a meeting with The New York Times’s editorial board on Thursday,Mr. Biard said that Charlie Hebdo attacked belief systems, including all religions, not groups. He cited the results of a study in the newspaper Le Monde indicating that only seven of roughly 500 Charlie Hebdo covers published from 2005 to 2015 primarily mocked Islam. “We’re not obsessed with Islam,” he said. “We’re dealing with politics, with other religions.”

Flere på møtet bedyret av Charlie Hebdos credentials er uklanderlige.

The gala highlighted the magazine’s anti-racist history. The French-Congolese novelist Alain Mabanckou paid tribute to the magazine’s belief that “there were no taboos when it came to exercising free speech.” Dominique Sopo, the president of the French anti-bias group SOS Racisme, flew in from Paris for an unannounced visit.

“It is very important we do not kill those who died a second time by raising a polemic like this,” he said, referring to charges that the magazine was racist. “Remember that Charlie Hebdo stands for anti-hatred.”

After Protests, Charlie Hebdo Members Receive Standing Ovation at PEN Gala. Se også “Danmark takker Charlie Hebdo”

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