Charlie Hebdo - A satirical magazine or an insult to Muslims?

Published January 7th, 2015 - 02:30 GMT

Charlie Hebdo, the Paris-based satirical news magazine that was targeted by two gunmen in one of the most brutal terrorist attacks in the history of the Fifth Republic, has been available on French newsstands since its founding in July 1992.

It gained its greater notoriety, however, for its defiant stance toward upholding freedom of expression in the face of Muslim anger over depictions of the Prophet Mohammed.

In 2006, it riled Muslims in France and elsewhere after it reprinted 12 cartoons originally published months earlier by Jylland-Posten, a Danish newspaper. The caricatures sparked rioting and widespread protests across the Muslim world.

Charlie Hebdo’s act of solidarity with Jylland-Posten prompted a French Muslim organization to take the newspaper to court, charging that it was fomenting racism by publishing the cartoons. A French court, however, disagreed, and acquitted the newspaper.

An anti-establishment weekly whose Paris offices were under police protection due to threats,Charlie Hebdo continued to make waves. In 2011, it issued a tongue-in-cheek edition titledCharia Hebdo with “guest editor” Mohammed.

On the day before the edition hit newsstands, its offices were firebombed and its website hacked.

In September 2012, Charlie Hebdo ran a series of cartoons depicting a naked Mohammed. Fearing attacks on its diplomatic missions abroad, the French government ordered beefed-up security at embassies and consulates in Muslim countries.

Most recently, the newspaper ran a cartoon of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.


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