Very soon after the Paris attack on Wednesday last week, Muslims in Europe were already feeling the backlash from it. This also made many to call for insight and calmness.
The United Nations Human Rights chief Zeid Ra’ad Al-Hussein said at a ceremony in Geneva on Friday Islam was not responsible for the shooting of 12 people.
“We need a moment of calm now, we do not need retaliation. Neither Islam nor multiculturalism in Europe is to blame for the bloody attack two mornings ago, as some right-wing political leaders have already begun to say.”
His comments come as some far right wing groups in Europe have already begun to link the attacks to multiculturalism policies.
Nigel Farage, the leader of the right wing political party UKIP, made it not easier by saying
“having a fifth column living within these countries.”
In any case if there is a sense of fear and concern at least amongst the Muslim mainstream that the atrocities in Paris will very negatively impact not simply on the image of Muslim communities but their very position in various European societies, many Muslims were not afraid to let the fundamentalist see that they do not agree with their actions and that do not mind living in a multicultural society.
When thousands of people marched through Brussels in solidarity with France following Islamic attacks on Charlie Hebdo and other sites the French-language newspapers Le Soir and La Dernière heure their offices in Brussels and Charleroi had to be evacuated because of a bomb alert. Also a German tabloid that reprinted the cartoons was fire bombed on Sunday.
After what we could call a beautiful mobilisation on Sunday: people from all religions, from all origins, of all colours from across France gathering in support of the victims’ families” – we could see the hunger and ‘joy’ of others taking advantages of the misery of some people.
After people gathered to show unity, to refuse terror and to prevent terrorists from dividing us, because that is what they are searching for, the streets of France and Belgium saw people looking for. Not being cold yet several people thought it an occasion to get a ‘trophy’ in their hands which was made on the blood of satirists and people who wanted to defend our freedom.
Both the French Council of the Islamic Faith (French: Conseil Français du Culte Musulman – CFCM), representative of the Islamic community in France, and the Union of the Islamic Organisations of France (French: Union des Organisations Islamiques de France – UOIF) had called upon fellow Muslims to join the marches, which they did. Various anti-racist organizations as well as authorities within the Jewish, Christian and Muslim communities joined together in the march.
Europeans let the world see that it is possible that people of several beliefs-groups can come together and feel united.
After so many people showed the world that freedom is the freedom of expression and the freedom to worship and that we do aspire to live in peace, there were again people who thought it useful to provoke again.
Perhaps the jihad fighters did not think beforehand that their action could result in free advertisement for a magazine which was not so liked by many French and received always a lot of controversy. By their deathly act they assured that the popularity of the much hated magazine only got bigger. Very fast in the morning the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo was already sold out in France, after appearing for the first time since Islamist gunmen massacred 12 people at its offices.
After the attack several companies, a.o. Google came to financial help to the publishing company. The front cover of the magazine – which had an initial print run of three million – depicts a weeping Prophet Mohammed holding a sign saying “Je Suis Charlie“, the slogan taken up by supporters since the attack a week ago, under the banner “All Is Forgiven”. About 3 million copies of the magazine – which normally has a circulation of 60,000 – were printed. About the depiction of whom many see the prophet Muhammad you may naturally question who knows the prophet looked like. Who can really tell it is a drawing of the prophet and how can that person know the prophet looked like that?
Despite warnings that the image could provoke further attacks by extremists, and Belgian shops having received warnings from Muslim fundamentalist if they were going to sell the magazine they would have to bear the consequences and could face fire- or other bombs, queues formed at news stands in the French capital from 6am and at some the issue sold out before 8am.
Charlie Hebdo distributors have since confirmed that figure will be boosted to five million copies to meet demand.
Richard Malka told French radio:
“We will not back down, otherwise none of this has any meaning.
“If you hold the banner ‘I am Charlie’, that means you have the right to blaspheme, you have the right to criticise my religion.”
Explaining the cartoon he has drawn for today’s edition, Renald “Luz” Luzier:
“We are cartoonists and we like drawing little characters, just as we were as children.
“The terrorists, they were kids, they drew just like we did, just like all children do. At one point they lost their sense of humour. At one point they lost the soul of their child which allowed them to look at the world with a certain distance.
“I’m sorry we’ve drawn him yet again but the Mohammed we’ve drawn is a man who is crying.”
There has been no official reaction from the French government on the new edition.
People without scruples and criminals also made use of it and presented copies on the ebay auction site were people incredibly were willing to bid up to £1,550. Back issues of the magazine had already been selling for inflated prices across the Channel following last week’s massacre.
Reporters Without Borders, a leading media watchdog group, blasted sellers looking to cash in on the huge demand for the magazine, condemning “reprehensible” profiteering off of last week’s attack on the magazine’s Paris office, which left 12 dead.
The edition’s lead editorial said:
“For the past week, Charlie, an atheist newspaper, has achieved more miracles than all the saints and prophets combined.
“The one we are most proud of is that you have in your hands the newspaper that we always made.”
It also features a joke about the bells of Notre Dame cathedral ringing out for its murdered satirists, as well as jibes at the terrorists who killed them.
Profits from the “survivors’ issue” will go to the families of victims of the shooting.
Former head of British Security Service (MI5) Jonathan Evans has warmed that the cartoon would definitely provoke fresh terrorist attacks.
The top Islamic authority in Egypt, Dar al-Ifta, also lashed out at the French satirical magazine over the provocative cartoon in its special edition.
“This action is an unjustified provocation against the feelings of 1.5 billion Muslims,”
it said in a statement on Tuesday.
In an open letter, the imams and religious leaders wrote:
“With dignified nobility we must be restrained, as the Koran says ‘And when the ignorant speak to them, they say words of peace’.
“Most Muslims will inevitably be hurt, offended and upset by the republication of the cartoons. But our reaction must be a reflection of the teachings of the gentle and merciful character of the prophet (peace be upon him).
“Enduring patience, tolerance, gentleness and mercy, as was the character of our beloved prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) is the best and immediate way to respond.”
- Charlie Hebdo depicts Prophet Mohammed in new cartoon (theiranproject.com)
The French magazine has repeatedly provoked Muslim anger by publishing cartoons mocking Prophet Muhammad.
- The new Charlie Hebdo is on sale in Paris (ky3.com)
The customers were waiting for Charlie Hebdo, one week to the day after terrorists stormed the satirical French magazine’s offices and killed 12 people, including its senior-most cartoonists.Buyers said they wanted a piece of history and needed to support freedom of expression.By sunrise, the magazine was mostly sold out in central Paris. Workers encouraged customers to come back Thursday, promising there would be more copies of the magazine then.
- The new Charlie Hebdo is on sale in Paris (wsbt.com)
As newsstands ran out of copies, Charlie Hebdo columnist Patrick Pelloux wrote on Twitter, “Thank you, and rest assured we will reprint and redistribute.”And a spokesman for the magazine’s distributor said it would increase the print run to 5 million.
- The new Charlie Hebdo is on sale in Paris (gantdaily.com)
“Charlie has a lot of new friends,” proclaims a letter on page two of the new issue.The letter thanked the “millions” of supporters “who are really on our side, who sincerely and deeply ‘are Charlie,’” an invocation of the “I am Charlie” slogan that is now omnipresent in the French capital.
+“I know that they’re probably publishing this cartoon to send a message to terrorists and say, ‘Look, we are not going to be intimidated.’ And that’s fine. That’s a message that we all need to send, that violence is not the answer here,” Omer El-Hamdoon, president of the Muslim Association of London, told CNN’s Brooke Baldwin on Tuesday after the cover was released.
- Defiant Charlie Hebdo magazine puts Prophet Mohammed on cover (nationalmirroronline.net)
The magazine is recording a fifty-fold increase from its typical weekly circulation of 60,000 and distributing this particular edition to many cities in France and other countries,.
- The most powerful cartoon you will see about “Radical Muslims” and “Radical Christians” (youngcons.com)
There is a very big difference between radical Muslims and radical Christians. The next question has to be, how many Muslims hold radical views? Our liberal friends will tell you it is a “small minority”. Sadly, it’s a majority.
- The new Charlie Hebdo is on sale in Paris (wyff4.com)
CNN’s Arwa Damon, at a predominately Muslim neighborhood in Paris, said people there “are actually quite upset” and feel insulted by the cover image.And CNN’s Phil Black, at another newsstand in a different part of the city, said the customers he spoke with “overwhelmingly believe that the tone of the image is right. They say it is touching. It is defiant. It is irreverent.”The issue itself is unapologetic — ridiculing religion while expressing appreciation for the public’s support in the wake of the attack.
- Charlie Hebdo publishes new issue featuring Prophet Muhammad (panarmenian.net)
The new edition of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo has gone on sale, with a cartoon depicting the Prophet Muhammad on its cover, BBC News reports.Three million copies are being printed – a week after Islamist gunmen murdered eight journalists at the magazine and four other people in Paris.
- Controversial Magazine Charlie Hebdo to Go on Sale in Belfast (belfastdaily.co.uk)
W H Smith said it is not stocking the magazine but it is expected that independent distributor Eason will sell it in a number of its stores.
Other independent newsagents in Belfast and across the province are also expected to take some copies.
One newsagent told Belfast Daily: “I want to buy one and keep it as a collector’s item. I am sure other people will do the same and also show support to those people who died in Paris.”
The magazine will sell for £3.50.