Germany is torn in turn on cartoons about Islam


Dirty time for cartoonists. On June 10, the New York Times, the world's most prestigious newspaper, has announced the end of the cartoons in its pages, following the publication in April of a drawing deemed antisemitic. In Germany, it is the turn of Franziska Becker to be at the heart of a controversy that sadly recalls those on Charlie Hebdo. On June 29, the cartoonist and cartoonist is to receive in Berlin the Hedwig-Dohm Prize (a great pioneer of German feminism in the 19th century) for her entire work. But on Twitter, the announcement triggered an avalanche of criticism.

At issue: drawings deemed "Islamophobic" and "racist". The feminist author Sibel Schick estimates that this prize rewards "misogynistic" work that "invites violence against women". Journalist and publisher Jakob Augstein explained that "cartoons are good when they make the big ones smaller, not when they hit those who are at the bottom. This is why the anti-Muslim cartoons of Charlies Hebdo were bad. It's a question of power. Theresa Bücker, editor-in-chief of the online women's magazine Editing F, tweeted: "Pfff. I just looked at some of his drawings, it makes you dizzy, they are so often racist, especially against women wearing the veil. "

"Well, Berlin has become multicultural, mom! We are no longer so intolerant as your generation was in the 1950s … "

Read also The end of political drawing in the "New York Times" desolates cartoonists

A feminist who does not spare the Catholic Church

Born in 1949, Franziska Becker became involved in the feminist movement in 1977. A pioneer in a world of male cartoonists, one of the first to be treated by the humor of sexism, she has been working since 1977 on the magazine Emma founded by Alice Scharzer, friend of Simone de Beauvoir and most famous feminist in Germany. Franziska Becker also worked for the satirical magazine Titanic or the weekly Stern. In one of her drawings, we see for example a veiled nanny who explains "my veil is my choice of personal dress comfort. It has nothing to do with my job! While, at his side, children play with "kamikaze trucks" or veiled dolls. Another shows a veiled banker who declares to a client: "Sorry, payments are only made with the written consent of the husband, father, brother or son. If the artist is ironic about characters wearing the full veil, she has never spared the Catholic Church in the past.

"Together against unbelievers, brother. "

Franziska Becker considers these accusations "absurd". According to her, his drawings are not meant to be critical of Islam, but of Islamism. For Alice Schwarzer, who has long been committed to Islamists, these "fascists of the 21st century", this controversy represents "the first German quarrel around caricatures". "The time for ideologization, the police of thought and censorship has come," says the septuagenarian, which is questioned by younger generations of feminists. Alice Schwarzer explains that Franziska Becker has been dealing since 1991 with "fanatics of Islam" and "propagandists of the burqa", without having ever aroused indignation. "Twenty-eight years after his first caricature against Islamism (not Islam!), Becker is blamed for being Islamophobic and racist. A blogger of Turkish origin initiated these protests – and some followed her. " Alice Schwarzer recalls that her magazine Emma is "proud" to have been, alongside Charlie Hebdo, the first newspaper in the world to publish the cartoons of Mohammed in solidarity with the Danish Kurt Westergaard of Jyllands Posten. The daily Die Tageszeitungon the left reminded him of the famous writer Kurt Tucholsky's famous words: "Satire has the right to everything. "


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