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Fabrice Stroun On The Charlie Hebdo Story
posted November 8, 2011

While I appreciate your coverage of this story and the links you keep providing to clarify the situation, I would like to point one essential cultural difference between the English-speaking world's conception of "free speech" and what might be considered rightful or wrongful provocation of religious sensibilities, and the French conception of "the right to blasphemy," understood as a one of the most basic exercise of republican (i.e. of the French Republic, not the American republican party) ideals, which call for a fundamental separation between Church and State. This is a distinct issue from that of free speech, and we should not forget that the French guillotined a substantial amount of their clergy along with the aristocracy 300 years or so ago.