In a defiant move, Charlie Hebdo will publish a cartoon of the prophet Muhammad on its first cover since last week’s deadly events. The edition hits newsstands tomorrow. The sketch, by Luz, one of the cartoonists who survived the assault at Charlie’s offices on January 7 after arriving late to work, shows the prophet shedding a tear under the banner “Tout Est Pardonné” (All Is Forgiven) and holding a “Je Suis Charlie” sign. The editorial team of Charlie Hebdo has been working out of the offices of French daily Libération which offered them space after the terrorist attack last week that left several of their colleagues dead. While the satirical newspaper’s normal printing run is about 45,000, that has been upped to three million for tomorrow’s edition. Demand from overseas has been high with reports of at least 20 countries seeking copies; the issue will be published in 16 languages.
The attorney for Charlie Hebdo, Richard Malka, told France Info radio on Monday the edition would not be an homage as that’s “not the spirit of Charlie… The spirit of the paper is to make people laugh.” He added, “We make fun of ourselves, of politicians, of religions… We will not yield, otherwise all of this has no meaning.”
When the image of the cover was first made available on Monday evening, newspapers around Europe including Libération, Le Figaro, The Guardian, El Pais, Corriere Della Sera and the Frankfurter Allgemeine put it on their website. The BBC also showed it briefly during its flagship news program Newsnight. In the U.S., the Washington Post, USA Today, the LA Times and the Wall Street Journal were among those that ran the cover. The New York Times did not.