Prophet Muhammad, Pope Francis, Angela Merkel Feature in New Charlie Hebdo
Pope Francis and Angela Merkel are among the other figures ridiculed in Wednesday’s special edition of Charlie Hebdo, which features a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad on its cover.
The 16-page magazine, which sold more than 700,000 copies in the first hour as thousands lined up in Paris at dawn, contains 57 cartoons alongside contributed articles and reflections on the fallout from last week’s terror attack.
“All is forgiven,” says the front-page headline over a cartoon depicting a tearful Muhammad holding a “Je Suis Charlie” banner.
The opening spread of the magazine has 11 archival cartoons drawn by some of those killed in last Wednesday’s massacre.
One cartoon shows jihadists talking with one saying: “We must not touch people from Charlie Hebdo.” The other jihadist responds: “Otherwise, they will pass for martyrs, and once in heaven, they are going to steal all our virgins!”
Another shows Muslim, Christian and Jewish religious leaders huddled around a globe at the Vatican. “I keep the western sector, you keep the eastern sector,” the caption says.
The back page features 13 cartoons that were in the running for the front.
In a lead editorial, Gérard Biard said the global reaction to the massacre at the magazine — and the attacks — underlined the French ideal of state secularism.
“The millions of anonymous people, all the institutions, all the heads of state, all the political personalities, intellectuals and media, all the religious dignitaries, this week, have proclaimed ‘I am Charlie’ should know that this also means ‘I am secularism’.”
He added: “The first victims of Islamic extremism are the Muslims.”
Another cartoon shows Death, holding a scythe, with the caption: “I’m a subscriber.”
Working out of borrowed offices, surviving staff published an unprecedented print run of 5 million copies — more than 50 times the usual circulation — in several languages, including English. Digital versions are available online and some shops in the U.S. have confirmed they plan to sell it.
NBC News’ Jake Cigainero and Lucy Pawle contributed to this report.