'Zineb el Rhazoui, a French journalist who used to work for Charlie Hebdo, is dealing with an avalanche of online abuse from Muslims, for saying that Islam should submit to French law. She says she has no intention of backing down.
“Islam must submit to criticism, submit to humor, submit to the laws of the Republic, submit to French law,” el Rhazoui said in a recent interview. For that, she’s been called a whore and threatened with violence, murder and rape.
The abuse got so bad that her current publisher, Ring, has addressed a complaint to Twitter, attaching screenshot of a few choice messages: “I want to beat you up” and “I want to see you burn in hell” being the more innocuous ones.
Bonjour @TwitterFrance, quand fermerez-vous ces comptes qui menacent de mort notre auteur, la journaliste @ZinebElRhazoui, rescapée des attentats de Charlie Hebdo, toujours sous protection policière 24h/24 ? Combien de morts pour comprendre ? pic.twitter.com/N8fgVIjYS0
— RING (@RingEditions) December 18, 2018
The threats won’t halt her activities, el Rhazoui vows. She's been speaking out against hardline Islam for years and believes she has not only the right to, but the perfect context in which to do it. She had been working for the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in January 2015 when two men broke into the magazine’s office in Paris and killed eight of its staff (as well as four unconnected people) to “avenge the Prophet Mohammed,” who, the attackers felt, had been wronged by Charlie Hebdo's highly-controversial cartoons.
El Rhazoui herself was in her native Morocco at the time and, when she returned, she helped Charlie get back on its feet with its first post-shooting issue – as scathing as ever.'
Read more: French Arab writer gets threats of death, rape for saying Islam is not above criticism, humour or law