Charlie Hebdo explains its next cover: Muhammad with ‘I am Charlie’ sign
The cover of Charlie Hebdo’s next issue, due out Wednesday, will have a cartoon of the prophet Muhammad crying and holding an “I am Charlie” sign under the headline “All is forgiven.” The image was published online Monday by the French daily Liberation.
“We wanted a drawing that was going to make us laugh. We did not want a drawing that would deal with the victims or be on a symbolic aspect. The only idea was to draw Muhammad,” Charlie Hebdo’s Gerard Biard said at a news conference Tuesday.
He said the issue will be translated into English, Spanish and Arabic.
Charlie Hebdo staffers are working in Liberation’s offices after attackers entered the satirical weekly magazine’s headquarters in Paris on Wednesday and killed 12 people, including its chief editor and several prominent cartoonists. The magazine apparently was attacked because of its mocking caricatures of Islam and the prophet Muhammad, among the irreverent publication’s many targets.
“We will not give in. The spirit of ‘I am Charlie’ means the right to blaspheme,” Charlie Hebdo attorney Richard Malka told France Info radio on Monday, according to the BBC.
Since the attack, people worldwide have been using the slogan “I am Charlie” in solidarity with the victims. Massive demonstrations have used it as a rallying cry, and members of Hollywood’s elite sported it on the red carpet at the Golden Globe Awards on Sunday night.
Charlie Hebdo plans to print 3 million copies of Wednesday’s issue, according to CBC News. The standard run is 60,000 copies, the BBC said.
The day after the attack on the magazine, a policewoman was killed in south Paris, and on Friday, an attack on a kosher grocery store in the city left four hostages dead.
The three Islamist gunmen — brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi, who attacked Charlie Hebdo, and Amedy Coulibaly, who is believed to have killed the policewoman Thursday and the four hostages at the kosher grocery — were killed in nearly simultaneous police raids Friday.
However, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls told media Monday that “the threat is still present” and that last week’s attackers probably had accomplices.
Charlie Hebdo has experienced a tremendous outpouring of support since the deadly attacks. Fleur Pellerin, France’s minister of culture and communication, pledged about $1.2 million to support the magazine. French media outlets have pledged money, staffers and equipment, and other groups have offered up hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Legendary French illustrator Albert Uderzo offered to come out of retirement to draw for the magazine this week. Uderzo is creator of Asterix, a fictional warrior in ancient Gaul fighting the occupying Romans.
It is unclear whether Uderzo’s offer was accepted. The magazine’s financial director told Agence France-Presse that the issue would be created “only by people from Charlie Hebdo.”
Times staff writer Kurtis Lee contributed to this report.
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