French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo is republishing controversial and offensive sketches of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) to mark this week’s start of the trial of alleged accomplices to the attack. A few gunmen had targeted Charlie Hebdo in 2015.
The 2015 attack
Twelve people, including some of France’s most famous cartoonists, were killed on January 7, 2015. Brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi went on a gun rampage at the paper’s offices in Paris.
The assailants were killed in the wake of the massacre. However, 14 alleged accomplices in the attacks, which also targeted a Jewish supermarket, will go on trial in Paris today.
The latest Charlie Hebdo cover shows a dozen sketches. They were first published by the Danish daily Jyllands-Posten in 2005.
Muslims across the world were angered when Charlie Hebdo reprinted the sketches in 2006.
In the center of the cover is a sketch drawn by cartoonist Jean Cabut, known as Cabu. The cartoonist lost his life in the massacre.
The issue will be available from French newsstands just as the trial gets underway on Wednesday morning. However, online subscribers can read it.
In a nuanced response, the president of the French Council of Muslim Worship (CFCM), Mohammed Moussaoui, urged people to “ignore” the sketches, while condemning violence.
The court in Paris will sit until November 10 and, in a first for a terror trial, proceedings will be filmed for archival purposes given public interest.
Pakistan rejects Charlie Hebdo
Pakistan has “condemned in the strongest terms” the decision by Charlie Hebdo to re-publish the controversial and offensive sketches.
Foreign Office Spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri took to Twitter and said the decision of the French magazine would amount to undermining the global desire for peaceful co-existence and a threat to social and interfaith harmony.
“Pakistan condemns in the strongest terms the decision by the French magazine, Charlie Hebdo, to re-publish deeply offensive caricature of the Holy Prophet (PBUH),” the FO spokesman tweeted.
Anger runs high among Muslims globally
Muslims across the world are furious over Charlie Hebdo’s decision to republish the controversial sketches. They believe the French magazine is not publishing them to chant the old ‘freedom of speech’ song but to show how much they hate Islam and the Muslims.
Muslims love the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) beyond anyone’s imagination. Muslims deeply respect him and any kind of visual depiction is forbidden in Islam. Yet, Charlie Hebdo wants to republish his sketches to tease Muslims.
Charlie Hebdo is famous for its controversies generating blasphemous and racist content. It regularly caricatures religious leaders from various faiths and republishes them later. What kind of freedom of speech is this? We urge them to learn from their mistakes and stop hurting the sentiments of the Muslims.
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