Warning: graphic images follow.
Tima Kurdi, the aunt of the Syrian toddler Alan, who captured the world’s attention last fall when photos of his lifeless, drowned body awash on a Turkish beach emerged on the internet, has spoken out with regard to a new cartoon published in French satire magazine Charlie Hebdo depicting her nephew as a grown man, running after women to grope them, according to CTV.
In January, 2015, the offices of Charlie Hebdo were the subject of a shooting rampage by two al-Qaeda sympathizers resulting in the deaths of eight of the magazine’s employees and 12 people in total, as reported by the Inquisitr. The slogan “Je suis Charlie,” became a rallying-cry of solidarity with the magazine around the globe.
— HuffPost Canada (@HuffPostCanada) January 14, 2016
After the world learned of Alan’s death, his aunt Tima Kurdi, acted as a media spokesmen for the family and has appeared on news programs and been quoted in print countless times. Tima was said to have been working in her hair salon when a reporter from CTV came in and asked if she had seen the news about the Charlie Hebdo cartoon, as reported by CBC.
“I was reading it and I was like, ‘This is really disgusting,'” Alan’s aunt Tima was quoted on CBC‘s As It Happens with regard to her reaction upon seeing the cartoon. “I was in tears to be honest… This is what it has come to? To dishonour a two-year-old innocent boy like this. It’s really disgusting and hurtful.”
— Wales (@Wales_News_) January 1, 2016
Carol Off, the As It Happens Host, asked Alan Kurdi’s aunt how she felt about the world’s reaction to Charlie Hebdo after the January 2015 attacks, and if Tima feels that “support for Charlie Hebdo should continue.”
Tima stated that free speech is “OK” but that she wished the magazine had shown more respect for her nephew.
“Everybody has their own job. Their own opinion. That’s what they do,” Tima Kurdi was quoted. “That’s what their newspaper is about. I can’t stop it. But if you ask me about using or dishonouring this little boy, it brings our pain back.”
“What would little Aylan have become if he had grown up? A bum groper in Germany,” a translation of the Charlie Hebdo cartoon reads.
— BBC Trending (@BBCtrending) January 2, 2016
Somewhat reminiscent of Woodstock ’99, as reported by the Huffington Post, Cologne, Germany was the scene of “1,000 men” of running amok in gangs: robbing, groping, and at least one rape, as reported by the Inquisitr. The incident has had a polarizing effect on the perception of refugees in Europe, with some wondering if the cartoon is satirizing those critical of immigration or the death of an innocent little boy.
With regard to the incident in Cologne, Dennis Prager wrote that the left in Germany has a new dilemma with which it is faced; “women’s human rights or multiculturalism?”
Tima Kurdi was asked about the effect the death of her nephews, combined with the massive and intensive media scrutiny, has had on the family. Kurdi stated that the family are “not really involved” with the media and that she does most of the talking on their behalf. She described the experience as “not an easy thing,” but admitted that it has made her a stronger person. Tima stated that she wasn’t going to “give up” on the crisis with Syrian refugees, and expressed a belief that a political solution to an end of the conflict in Syria is necessary so that people can return to their homes and “rebuild their lives.”
Kurdi was reported to have been able to help sponsor surviving members of Alan’s family to join her in Canada.
[AP Photo/Virginia Mayo]