Charlie Hebdo has plans to return just as strong as ever with the cover of the new issue showing the Prophet Mohammad weeping.
Last week, the French satirical magazine was hit with an Islamic terrorist attack in which heavily armed men stormed the Paris offices, killing 12 people including several cartoonists. The magazine had long drawn death threats for its targeting of radical Muslims, including cartoons featuring the Prophet Mohammad.
But the terror attack by violent Islamists has not silenced the magazine, which on Wednesday will release what it calls a “survivor’s issue.” The magazine cover shows Mohammad wearing a white turban and holding a sign that reads “Je suis Charlie,” the worldwide rallying cry for Charlie Hebdo. At the top of the page are the words: “All is forgiven” in French.
The Charlie Hebdo terrorist attack led to a giant outpouring of support, with nearly 4 million people demonstrating in France and many others joining worldwide.
The attack — and subsequent killing of a policewoman in Paris, the killing of four Jewish men in a Kosher supermarket and dual hostage crises from the perpetrators — has also left France wary of more terrorist attacks. French officials announced an unprecedented deployment of soldiers to protect possible targets.
“We have decided… to mobilize 10,000 men to protect sensitive sites in the whole country” from Tuesday evening, Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said after an emergency security meeting. “This is the first time that our troops have been mobilized to such an extent on our own soil,” he added.
Others showing support for Charlie Hebdo have been targeted as well. The German newspaper Hamburger Morgenpost was firebombed after printing three Charlie Hebdo cartoons with the words, “This much freedom must be possible!” Rocks and a burning object were thrown through the newspaper’s window, though the fire was quickly put out and no injuries reported.
But amid the continued tension, Charlie Hebdo has vowed to continue its message. The magazine plans to print up to 3 million copies of the “survivor’s issue,” a number far exceeding the normal press run of 60,000. An initial run of 1 million is planned for Wednesday and Thursday, with a further 2 million available to be printed based on demand.
“We have requests for 300,000 copies throughout the world – and demand keeps rising by the hour,” said Michel Salion, a spokesman for MPL, which distributes Charlie Hebdo. “The million will go. As of Thursday, the decision will probably be taken to print extra copies… So we’ll have one million, plus two if necessary.”
The new edition of Charlie Hebdo will also make fun of politicians and other religions, the magazine’s lawyer said.