Editorial: A free press is a responsible press


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When the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo published an edition "guest-edited" by the Prophet Mohamed and named it "Sharia Hebdo" last year, the publication's offices were fire-bombed. Perhaps the title isn't happy with its existing premises because now it's printed cartoons caricaturing the Prophet. The magazine's editor, "Charb", said the images would "shock those who will want to be shocked".

While his desire to espouse the cause of a free press is commendable, it's impossible to escape the conclusion that he's behaving irresponsibly. His work is designed to offend. Worse, it will almost certainly spark more violence and deaths. Censorship is to be deplored but so, too, is cavalier disregard for the deeply held beliefs of others. "Charb" should withdraw his magazine from sale before it is too late.