What the new editor of Charlie Hebdo said in an interview about publishing images of religious figures makes perfect sense and effectively shuts down all the critics. What he said was simply brilliant. It makes all the sense in the world, and even out shined what Pope Francis said just hours apart.
In the United States, the Constitution insures separation of religion and state. It keeps a balance between all religions and allows the state to develop without the influence of some red robed Cardinal or over zealous Monk or other religious leader.
Very simply what the new editor of Charlie Hebdo said is they do not attack religion or religious leaders. But should they step into the political arena, they become politicians and thus a fair target. So if the Muslim Prophet Muhammad is invoked by anyone looking to use him as leverage in a political arena, that act simply moves him from religion to politics.
For those that don’t understand politics, it is like standing directly behind an operating manure spreader, you will always get hit and step in something no matter how hard you look to avoid it. So the message is very simple being; If you don’t want the Muslim Prophet Muhammad to become part of political satire, keep him out of politics. There is no real reason to elaborate on that.
However we can look into recent history of past Popes and see how they were treated. For the most part the Vatican is seen as a country, and the reigning Pope is seen as a diplomat of sorts. They have never gotten publically into disputes, however simply relayed messages that were both of common sense and more or less followed the 10 Commandments. They never looked to set policy, however they acted more of a moral conscience reminding politicians of the ethical foundations they were taught as a child. The same holds true for other religious leaders of other religions, each has simply urged politicians to not forget their moral and ethical compass.
In the case of the Prophet Muhammad, all one has to do is look at what political provocation that triggered his appearance in Charlie Hebdo. So expecting the Prophet Muhammad to be immune from criticism in a political setting and over powering of all, think again. In the Muslim religion Muhammad is a Prophet, however in politics Muhammad is just another man.