Two days after the Paris office of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo was destroyed by firebombs for publishing a spoof issue “guest edited” by the prophet Muhammad, the magazine said it plans a big reprint of the edition.
The issue, released to salute an Islamist party’s victory in the Tunisian elections, featured a caricature of Muhammad on its front page. Depiction of Muhammad is strictly prohibited in Islam.
The director of Charlie Hebdo, who goes by the name Charb, “defiantly held up a copy of the paper as he stood amid the rubble” of the office on Wednesday, the Associated Press reported. “We’ll do it with pencils and paper,” writer Patrick Pelloux told a local TV station.
Charlie Hebdo’s site was also taken down by hackers Wednesday, and editors are unable to access their Facebook page. But the magazine started a blog Thursday so it could keep writing. Its first post was entitled “The Internet’s Homeless“
French newspaper Liberation, which is housing the Charlie Hebdo employees after the firebombing, also carried a supplement Thursday that reproduced the offending cartoon under a headline saying that Charlie Hebdo defends the “freedom to poke fun.”
A magazine known for it cutting humor, Charlie Hebdo has made many a scathing attack on the French establishment, including religious institutions. But this latest issue has drawn some of the greatest fury.
While French Muslim groups criticized the magazine’s depiction of Muhammad , they also condemned the firebomb attack.
Head of the Paris Mosque, Dalil Boubakeur, told a news conference Thursday: “I am extremely attached to freedom of the press, even if the press is not always tender with Muslims, Islam or the Paris Mosque”.
AP quoted Mohammed Moussaoui, head of the French Council of the Muslim Faith, calling the fire bombers “idiots.”
While Moussaoui said his organization deplores the mocking tone of the paper toward Islam, it also “reaffirms with force its total opposition to all acts and all forms of violence.”
No one was injured in the blaze, according to the AP. Interior Minister Claude Gueant, visiting the newspapers burned and disheveled offices on Wednesday, told the wire service, “Everything will be done to find those behind this attack.”
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