'Charlie Hebdo's' Next Issue Appears To Feature Prophet Muhammad On Cover
Updated at 4:44 p.m. ET
French media are reporting on what they say is the cover of the latest issue of Charlie Hebdo,the satirical French weekly that was the target of a deadly attack last week. It features an image apparently of Islam's Prophet Muhammad shedding a tear and holding a sign that reads: "Je Suis Charlie" ["I Am Charlie"]. The cover reads "Tout Est Pardonné" ["All Is Forgiven"].
The new cover was released two days before the magazine's latest issue hits the newsstands. And it comes less than a week after some of Charlie Hebdo's top cartoonists were killed in a deadly attack on the magazine's offices.
Some Muslims regard any depiction — even positive ones — of their prophet as blasphemous. The two gunmen who killed 12 people at the magazine's offices last Wednesday claimed they had "avenged the Prophet Mohammed" as they left the scene.
The new issue, which will be released Wednesday, will also contain other images of Prophet Muhammad.
"We will not give in," Richard Malka, the magazine's lawyer, told France Info radio about the plan to print the cartoons. "The spirit of 'I am Charlie' means the right to blaspheme."
A translation of his remarks was provided by Reuters.
As we have reported, Charlie Hebdo's next edition will have a print run of 1 million copies, thanks largely to monetary and other donations from Google and French media groups. The magazine typically has a print run of 60,000 copies and a circulation of about 30,000.
The left-wing magazine has a history of provocation. Its frequent targets have included religion – Christianity, Islam and Judaism – politicians and capitalism. But its cartoons have also been labeled racist, homophobic and misogynistic.
But it is Charlie Hebdo's decision to reprint cartoons of Prophet Muhammad that were first published by the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten in 2005 that brought it attention – some of it unwelcome. It became the target of threats and an attack.
Patrick Pelloux, one of the magazine's columnists, said that this week's issue will be available in 16 languages, according to Agence France-Presse.
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