The cartoonists' viewers can decide—if they even care enough—about the motivation for creating unflattering depictions of Mohammad. Examples of their work are available on the Internet, one such location being here: Je Suis Charlie. Just a cursory examination will indicate that the Hebdo gang reveled in denigrating not just Mohammad/Islam, Christianity/Jesus, Jewry, Catholicism, religion-in-general, government and people. They did it through depicting hate, obscenity and porn, some of it so sophomoric as to cause giggles more than reasoned reaction.
In this country and in Europe, Christianity and Jesus Christ can be lampooned, insulted, denigrated and demeaned, with the public's (including the Christians') managing a ho-hum. Freedom of speech is a Constitutional right and, no matter how offensive it is to some people, cannot be abridged. Moreover, Christians are not disposed to “protecting” God or his good name because they understand that God needs no protection. A feeble Homo-sapiens attempt to either prove or defend God on any basis other than personal faith or scripture is wasting his time. People can't prove God empirically to any greater extent than scientists can empirically disprove God.
Cartoonists and other commentators who make a constant effort to ridicule God and people of faith never realize that they score points only when a reader/viewer rises to the bait. For instance, Herald-Leader resident atheist Larry Webster lampooned Jesus in the 18 January issue, using Christ's physical appearance as the vehicle for ridicule, something completely unknown and therefore eligible for comparison to everything from Popeye to the junk-yard dog. As a person of faith, I just laugh. I'm not the least bit offended. A Charlie Hebdo cartoonist would have compared Christ to the north end of a southbound mule or to Beyonce's derriere if she had bent over while lip-synching the national anthem at the last inaugural.
The same is true with the scientists who claim to know what they can't even imagine. When they tell me the earth is 4.6 billion years old, or 5 billion or any billion, I just laugh. They do well to merely conceive of recorded history of a few thousand years. If they claim the Grand Canyon was carved out by river-erosion over billions of years, that's fine with me, but I reserve the right to believe that the “big split” happened in a minute...a gigantic eruption of some kind perhaps. Even though the data they derive from the data inputted to their computers indicates the earth to be much warmer a thousand years ago than now, I view the exercise as merely interesting, though damning to global-warming alarmists who think they can change the climate and bring-on universal AC.
I'm not a “flat-earther” believing that mankind is only 6,000 or so years old but I believe others have the right to believe otherwise, especially since none of us was around then. When the “big-bangers” write scholarly papers about earth's origins but never locate earth's origins, I grin a bit, yet admit that man is created to and should strive for understanding. When the evolutionists describe how a chimp became me after trying for a billion years...or two...or three, I applaud their effort, hopeless as I believe it to be. Sometimes I wonder if the chimp might be insulted.
Je ne suis pas un fou (I am not a fool). Perhaps this separates me from the Parisian cartoonists, who see what they do as freedom of speech sort of like yelling “incendie en le théâtre” (fire in the theater). Freedom of speech is not foolishness of speech. If the cartoonists want to risk suicide over a smutty adolescent depiction of Mohammad—fine—but only up to the point at which they do not endanger others, like innocent non-cartoonists or police killed in protecting what is actually their non-right to lunacy.
And so it goes.