Flashback: White House Rebuked Hebdo Muhammed Cartoon in 2012

On Wednesday morning, three gunmen killed 12 people at Charlie Hebdo, a satirical magazine known for its controversial caricatures of the Islamic prophet Muhammed. According to videos taken during the attack, the gunmen were purportedly shouting, “Allahu Akhbar,” and “we have avenged the prophet.”

Flashback to September 2012, and we reported about how Charlie Hebdo was under fire from the French and U.S. governments for publishing controversial cartoons depicting the prophet Muhammed. In response, the French government beefed up its security at embassies worldwide and issued travel warnings to French citizens in Muslim nations.

At the time, the White House was involved in a controversy over whether it was right to originally blame the attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya on an “offensive video” that portrayed Islam in a negative light. And so, bearing that in mind, the Obama Administration believed the Charlie Hebdo controversy warranted a response. Then-Press Secretary Jay Carney questioned “the judgment of publishing something like that” and said there is much “potential to be inflammatory.”

For its part, the White House released a statement condemning today’s Charlie Hebdo attack and affirming the “universal values” that both the United States and France stand for. Secretary of State John Kerry also strongly condemned the attack as a violation of the freedom of expression.

[Image via screengrab]

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