“Religion should not be a political argument,” Charlie Hebdo’s new editor-In-chief Gérard Biard argued on “Meet the Press.” Just a day after his beloved colleague Stephane Charbonnier was laid to rest, Biard, who replaced “Charb” as the top editor, sat down with Chuck Todd to discuss Pope Francis’ position on free speech and the satirical weekly’s most recent cover, which features the Prophet Muhammad.
The issue, which arrived at news stands in France on Jan. 14, is the first to be published since the deaths of 12 people at the hands of extremist gunmen who targeted the magazine. The publication had long been the focus on threats for its satirical treatment of religion, particularly Islam, and for its depictions of Muhammad, considered by some to be prohibited by the Quran. Nonetheless, Charlie Hebdo decided again to feature a cartoon of the prophet, setting off at-times violent protests around the world.
“Every time that we draw a cartoon of Muhammad, every time that we draw a cartoon of a prophet, every time that we draw a cartoon of God, we defend the freedom of religion,” Biard said in light of the pope’s recent remarks about the the “limit” of freedom of speech when it comes to faith.
This will be the paper’s first interview with an American television network since the tragedy in Paris. The full interview airs on Sunday, Jan. 18, at 10:30 a.m. ET on Meet the Press.