Sunday, 1 March 2015

An early 20th Century forerunner of Charlie Hebdo - in a Muslim country! (hat-tip: Biased BBC)

“English Consul and his wife: in England (L) and in Iran (R)" (1929)

The editor of the BBC Azeri service, Konul Khalilova (who I'm guessing must be rather a brave woman), has written a really fascinating article about an Azerbaijani satirical magazine, Molla Nasreddin, which was published from 1906 until the early '30s. The magazine's main targets were the country's ruling elite and Muslim clerics.

It was set up by a well-known Azerbaijani novelist, Jalil Mammadguluzadeh (known as Mirza Jalil), and was particularly hot on Islam's oppression of women (see above) and the religion's hostility to education. You will be astonished to hear that Persian mullahs issued a fatwah against Jalil! Plus ca change...

"Pilgrimage to Hajj" (1909)
The magazine was finally suppressed by the Soviet authorities when it refused to toe the Communist Party line and change its name to Godless.

Konul Khalilova's excellent article can be found on the BBC News site here. Public service journalism at its best.

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