Offensive cartoons are on cover now, Charlie may need protection soon!
Charlie Hebdo, the satirical French magazine that published cartoon depictions of the prophet, has continued to receive threats – even after the attack on its office in Paris that left 12 people dead. Instead of shying away from publishing further cartoons, Charlie Hebdo has now put them on the cover!
Defying radicals and standing up for free speech
Many Muslims believe all images of the prophet are blasphemous and offensive. One of Egypt's top Islamic authorities warned Charlie Hebdo against publishing more cartoons, citing a religious edict. In response, on Tuesday Charlie Hebdo published more cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad – this time on the cover of the magazine. The new cartoons have drawn quick criticism and many more threats of violence. The satirical magazine, which is known for its anti-religious stance, frequently criticizes organized religion, reported Business Week.
"For the past week, Charlie, an atheist newspaper, has achieved more miracles than all the saints and prophets combined," said Charlie Hebdo's editorial pages, according to Business Week. "The one we are most proud of is that you have in your hands the newspaper that we always made."
According to Voice of America News, editor in chief Gérard Biard told a French news agency that the magazine wanted to make light of the recent event and continue to do what they have always done – satire.
"We asked ourselves, how we could still be us, how we could keep laughing, with a front page about an event that hit us so hard?" said Biard, according to the news source.
Charlie Hebdo planned to print 3 million copies
Charlie Hebdo planned to print a never-before-seen 3 million copies on Wednesday, exactly one week after its headquarters in Paris was attacked by masked gunmen, killing 12 people – most of the editorial staff and two police officers as well. The surviving staff now use the offices of the Liberation newspaper, indicated Business Week. The recent cover that the remaining staff released featured the prophet crying and holding a sign that says: "I am Charlie." The words "All is forgiven" are shown above. Biard promised the public that Charlie Hebdo will continue to exist and push the envelope with the magazines it publishes.
"We would like to tell you that there will be a future for Charlie Hebdo. … We don't yet know what that will look like, but there will be no interruptions in the publication," added Biard, according to Voice of America News.
Is it worth it?
While offending people's faith is not something reasonable people can easily support, it is commendable that the French magazine is sticking to its guns. Defending free speech is important and as evidenced by their recent moves, the satirical publication will not waver from its goal – even after a devastating attack. It is likely, however, that the magazine will continue to receive threats and its staff may be targeted in future attacks. Freedom has always cost a hefty price, but the question is: Is this battle worth it?