Anjem Choduary is taking aim at the new cover of Charlie Hebdo, calling the magazine’s much-heralded issue an “act of war.”
Last week, a radical Islamic terrorist attack on the magazine’s Paris headquarters left 12 dead. After the attack millions turned out for rallies in France, with many wearing shirts and pins that read “Je Suis Charlie” in support of the magazine and its right to free speech.
Now, the remaining staff members at Charlie Hebdo have crafted what they refer to as a “survivor’s issue,” one that features a depiction of the Prophet Mohammad on the cover. Mohammad is holding a sign that reads “Je Suis Charlie” with a tear in his eye, and above him are the words “All is forgiven.”
Anjem Choudary, the Islamic preacher from London, is taking issue with the cover. In an interview with the Independent, he called the magazine cover an “act of war.” Drawings of the Prophet Mohammad are forbidden in Islam, and Choudary said depicting him in that was was “attacking the honor of the Prophet.” Choduary went on to say that if the “act of war” was tried in Sharia court, it would lead to capital punishment.
Anjem Choduary is known for his radical beliefs. In a 60 Minutes interview in November, he argued that “Islam is superior,” and called the media “propaganda for the Western regimes.”
Choduary has been accused of inciting westerners to join ISIS, though he denies those claims.
He has continued to stoke controversy in the days after the Charlie Hebdo attack. In an interview in Britain, Choudary said the terrorist attack was an “inevitable” response to cartoons attacking radical Islam and depicting the Prophet Mohammad.
When asked why it was “only Islam” that responded to mockery with violence, Choudary pointed fingers at other faiths.
“The Americans, the Israelis, are the biggest terrorists. They kill more people than these people in Paris,” he said.
But others note that Anjem Choudary himself has a checkered past. In college he had a reputation as a womanizer, and was seen in photographs drinking alcohol and looking at pornography.