French Magazine Torched After Mocking Prophet
Published Wednesday, November 2, 2011
The office of French magazine Charlie Hebdo was torched in the early hours of Wednesday after it announced that it will be publishing an issue poking fun at Islam and its Prophet Mohammad. The magazine’s website was also hacked, leaving messages in Turkish and English denouncing the publication.
On Tuesday, the satirical weekly announced that it had selected Mohammad as editor-in-chief of its next issue, following the Islamist al-Nahda Party’s victory in Tunisia’s elections and the Libyan Transitional Council’s declaration that the country will adopt Islamic law.
French media outlets reported that the magazine will temporarily change its name from Charlie Hebdo to Sharia Hebdo. It will also dedicate its cover page to a caricature of the Prophet saying “100 lashes if you don’t die of laughter.”
The issue will also include a fictional editorial signed by the Prophet, in addition to a story titled “Halal Cocktail” and a women’s supplement labelled “Sharia Madame.”
On the back cover, the magazine will publish a fictional picture of the Prophet, with a red nose, saying “Yes, Islam can be humorous.”
Many Muslim readers in France and around the world were outraged with the content that the magazine planned to publish.
One reader tweeted, “This is clearly a provocation on the eve of the Adha celebrations.” Others referred to the lawsuit filed by Islamic organizations in 2006 against Charlie Hebdo after it reprinted the notorious Danish cartoons, causing an uproar.
Protesters wrote on social media sites that the weekly magazine is using “cheap sensationalism” and that it “is deliberately insulting the feelings of Muslims.”
They accused Charlie Hebdo of “offending and insulting religions,” and have appealed to all French people to boycott its next issue.
Charlie Hebdo cartoonist and editor-in-chief, Stéphane Charbonnier, who uses the pen name ‘Charb’, said that he regrets the fierce reactions to the magazine’s decision. Charb explained that the publication “did not present the Prophet as a radical fundamentalist.”
The magazine, founded in 1960, is famous for its mockery of religious, social, and political taboos in French society. It has faced a number of lawsuits during Charb’s career.
This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.