Charlie Hebdo releases first edition following Paris attack
Charlie Hebdo has released its first edition since last week’s attacks on their Paris office which left 12 people dead. The front cover features a cartoon of Prophet Muhammad.
The prophet is shown shedding a tear and holding a sign which reads: “Je Suis Charlie”; a slogan which has swept across the world in solidarity with the victims and those affected by the attack.
The headline accompanying the image reads: “all is forgiven”. Contributor Renald “Luz” Luzier, who miraculously escaped the 7th January attacks because he was late arriving for work, penned the cover.
Luz said: “We are cartoonists and we like drawing little characters, just as we were as children. The terrorists, they were kids, they drew just like we did, just like all children do.”
Luz continued: “At one point, they lost their sense of humour. At one point, they lost the soul of their child which allowed them to look at the world with a certain distance.”
The release came after the magazine’s lawyer Richard Malka said that this edition would “of course” contain imagery of the Prophet Muhammad, despite the Islamic codes that dictate he should never be depicted.
Speaking to a radio station, Malka commented: “We will not give in.”
Another surviving staff member of Charlie Hebdo magazine, columnist Zineb El Rhazoui, worked on the new issue. She said the cover’s intention was to unite and forgive the terrorists who murdered her colleagues last week.
She added that she did not feel hatred towards Chérif and Saïd Kouachi despite their murderous attack on the magazine.
El Rhazoui told BBC Radio 4: “We don’t feel any hate to them.”
She continued: “We know that the struggle is not with them as people, but the struggle is with an ideology.”
The horrific attacks of last week gained global condemnation, including from several Islamic bodies. However, the new Charlie Hebdo cover has rapidly spread worry over the world that it could create tension between communities.
In the aftermath of the brutal attacks, approximately 10,000 troops are being deployed throughout France and a huge unity rally was held in Paris on Sunday.
The global response to these events has been astounding, with millions of people showing their support for France and for freedom.
The publication has announced that it plans to print three million copies this week, with proceeds from sales intended for the victims’ families.