The French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo has republished the cartoons of Prophet Mohammed which had made them a target of the jihadists and Islamists worldwide. The newspaper on Tuesday announced republishing of the cartoons before the opening of the trial of the terror attack which killed 12 of its editorial staff in January 2015.
“We’ll never go to bed. We will never give up”, wrote Charlie Hebdo director Laurent Sourisseau in an editorial which accompanied the controversial cartoons. The daily which includes the cartoons will be available on newsstands on Wednesday but were made available online at noon today.
The twelve cartoons, published initially by a Danish daily Jyllands-Posten on September 30, 2005, then by Charlie Hebdo in 2006, showed the prophet carrying a bomb instead of a turban, or as a character armed with a knife flanked by two women veiled in black. In addition to these Danish caricatures, the front page of the next Charlie Hebdo, under the title “Tout ça pour ça”, also included a caricature of the prophet signed by the cartoonist Cabu, who was killed in the attack of January 7, 2015.
“We have often been asked since January 2015 to produce other caricatures of Muhammad. We have always refused to do so, not that it is prohibited, the law allows us to do so, but because there was a need for a good reason to do it, a reason which has meaning and which brings something to the debate”, explained the editorial team in the same issue.
“To reproduce the caricatures this week at the opening of the trial of the January 2015 attacks seemed very essential to us,” adds the Charlie Hebdo team.
January 2015 Attack
On 7 January 2015, two Islamist gunmen forced their way into the Paris headquarters of Charlie Hebdo and opened fire, killing twelve of its staff including cartoonists Charb, Cabu, Honoré, Tignous and Wolinski, economist Bernard Maris, editors Elsa Cayat and Mustapha Ourrad, guest Michel Renaud, maintenance worker Frédéric Boisseau and police officers Brinsolaro and Merabet, and wounding eleven.
During the attack, the gunmen shouted “Allahu akbar” and also “the Prophet is avenged”. President François Hollande had described it as a “terrorist attack of the most extreme barbarity”. The two gunmen were identified as Saïd Kouachi and Chérif Kouachi who were Muslim brothers of Algerian descent.