A Japanese publisher is set to publish a book containing the Charlie Hebdo cartoons, including those of the Prophet Muhammad, with the aim of providing readers “with food for thought.”
The Japanese Times has reported that Tokyo-based publisher Daisan Shokan will publish the 64-page title on 10th February, currently titled Isuramu Fushi Ka, Heito Ka, which can be translated as Satire on Islam or Hate?
The publisher's president Akira Kitagawa said: “We want to provide readers food for thought about whether such cartoons should be defended under the right of freedom of expression." He said that the murder of the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists was unjustifiable, “but we’ve thought that the cartoons seem to be on the border between satire and hate speech and that a discussion is necessary.”
Kitagawa added that he did not think the release of the book would affect the fate of two Japanese men currently being held by the Islamic State group. It was reported on Tuesday (20th January) that Isis had threatened to kill two Japanese hostages unless the Japanese government paid a ransom of $200m.
The book will also feature comments from around 20 people, including experts on Islamic affairs.
On Tuesday, Le Livre de Poche, the paperback subsidiary of Hachette Livre, announced it would soon publish a compilation of texts from some of its authors in tribute to the victims of the shooting at Charlie Hebdo nearly two weeks ago. The publisher’s profits from sales of the as-yet-untitled book, which will retail for €5, will go to the satirical weekly.