Today saw the printing of the first issue of ‘satirical’ magazine Charlie Hebdo since last weeks killings in Paris. Twelve of the 17 people killed by Islamist terrorists were employees of the magazine.
Ironically the killings have probably made Charlie Hebdo the most famous newspaper in the world and a magazine that had a circulation of around 60k per week has done an initial print run of 1 million copies with the presses ready to run a further 2 million copies should their be sufficient demand.
Controversially this issue has a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad holding a placard saying “Je Suis Charlie” and bearing the legend “Tout Est Pardonne” (All is Forgiven). I will not reproduce the cover on this blog as I am aware that any image of the prophet can be offensive to many of those who practice the Muslim Faith.
The Guardian reports that Zineb El Rhazoui, a surviving columnist at Charlie Hebdo magazine who worked on the new issue, said the cover was a call to forgive the terrorists who murdered her colleagues last week, saying she did not feel hate towards Chérif and Saïd Kouachi despite their deadly attack on the magazine, and urged Muslims to accept humour.
“We don’t feel any hate to them. We know that the struggle is not with them as people, but the struggle is with an ideology,” she told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
Last weeks massacre has triggered a worldwide debate on free speech and brought more than 4 million people on to the streets of France in a unity march on Sunday. Leaders from around the globe were in Paris for the March but it was reported last night that photographs of world leaders may have been taken in an otherwise empty street amidst heavy security.