In August of 2012, as part of its Fatwa of the Week feature, French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo issued a fatwa on surfers written by Charb, the former editor who was among those tragically murdered in January’s attacks on the Charlie Hebdo offices. The original piece is below, or you can scroll down for a hastily translated English version. It’s fairly brutal, but then what were you expecting?
DEATH TO SURFERS
A shark has ripped off his leg! His leeggg! The surfer is bleeding profusely, he washes up on the shore, he lies dead on the sand of a beach on Réunion Island or some other such place… A tragedy, obviously.
And the surfers are up in arms: it’s a scandal, a disgrace, a serious violation of human rights if a man cannot indulge his passion without the risk being chomped in half by a shark! We want the authorities to issue a fatwa on the murderous animal, they say. We want to avenge ourselves on this shameful treachery! Why hasn’t the council put up nets to keep these predators away from our coasts? Our coasts! In fact, why not build some sort of underwater Berlin Wall? What are sharks doing in our natural environment, for fuck’s sake? Sharks without a surfboard, without even a tan! The only thing we have in common are the shark teeth we wear around our necks. And yet this prehistoric monster, he wears his teeth in his mouth. No style!
How they bawl, these surfers, when put in front of a microphone. The real shame is that sharks only kill people by accident. I would offer all of the sharks harpoon guns, if only they had opposable thumbs to use them. Stupid goddamn fins! We’ll have to wait millions of years for a shark to leave the water and gun down with a kalashnikov the pretty boy in fluorescent shorts telling a TV reporter about the terrible drama he’s just witnessed.
Brice de Nice, how do you feel about the idea of, I don’t know, going paintballing in a tiger-infested forest? “Nah, I don’t think so…” And why not? “Coz I don’t like paintballing…” Hey, Brice you shit, why don’t you go and die? It’s what you do best!
What do we need more, surfers or sharks? The surfer keeps the surfboard business afloat, as well as the business of sentimental whining; the shark rids the seas of weak, sickly and handicapped animals. The surfer sprawled out on his board considers himself a top level sportsman, the shark beneath considers him a disabled turtle. The shark not only rids the seas of cripples, then; it rids the seas of arseholes too! Long live the bull shark, long live the tiger shark, long live all things with big teeth that chew the smug wankers to pieces before shitting them back out.
Yes, but surfing, it’s a passion! Before, only religions could justify such aberrations; nowadays, so can a passion. Me, my passion is dancing the hula hoop amidst a crowd of rhinoceros in the savannah. What’s that you say, it’s dangerous? Somebody dares argue with me? Argue with MY passion? It’s an outrage! I have a mental age of under 7, and if someone disagrees with me I roll around on the floor. Go one better than that, surfer, and roll around in the water. The murky waters of the Indian Ocean, after 5pm…
I’m sure you’ll agree with me here, we must authorise the hunting of surfers whose beads and bracelets severely damage the intestines of our friends the sharks. Amen.