After last week’s massacre of 12 people in the offices of the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, targeted by Islamist terrorists for publishing cartoons depicting the prophet Muhammad, the publication’s surviving staffers are making it clear that they will not bow to intimidation.
This week’s cover features a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad.
The cover cartoon, by veteran Charlie Hebdo cartoonist Luz, shows a bearded cartoon figure in Middle Eastern garb shedding a tear as he holds a sign reading “Je Suis Charlie,” or “I Am Charlie” -- repeating the popular slogan adopted by millions of demonstrators to demonstrate solidarity and support for free speech after the attack.
Above the character’s head, the headline reads: “Tout est Pardonne” or “All is Forgiven,” a tongue-in-cheek suggestion that the religious figure is seeking to reconcile with the satirical publication after an often-troubled relationship.
The forthcoming edition of the newspaper, produced at the offices of the left-wing newspaper Liberation and due out Wednesday, will honor the slain cartoonists with previously unpublished material, but will not carry obituaries or tributes to them.
The newspaper expects to produce 3 million copies of the issue; the normal print run is 60,000. The issue is being produced, in part, with financial support from a fund created by Google to support French publications, following a legal dispute with the French government.
This weekend’s huge rally in Paris in support of free speech also brought a bit of comic relief in classic Charlie Hebdo style. A pigeon defecated on French president Francois Hollande while he embraced one of the newspaper’s contributors, Patrick Pelloux. French TV caught the publication’s staff, including cartoonist Luz, as they tried to contain their laughter following the incident.