Charlie Hebdo Releases a Provocative Cartoon of Barcelona Attack

French satirical magazine, known for its provocative front-covers stirred controversy yet again after it published a controversial front-cover about Islam and the recent terror attack in Barcelona, Spain.

The cover shows people lying a in a pool of blood and white van leaving the scene, with the words: “Islam, religion of eternal peace.”

The magazine already caused controversy with its cartoons of Prophet Mohammed, which led to a terrorist attack on its headquarters in Paris, in which 12 journalists were killed.

However, many saw the recent cover as dangerous and provocative, and feared it promoted Islamophobia.

“When you’re a journalist you need to exercise restraint because making these associations can be used by other people,” said former French minister in a Tweet.

Last week, a van drove into crowds of people in a popular La Rambla street in Barcelona, killing 14 and injuring over 100. The attacker has been identified as 22-year-old Moroccan-born Younes Abouyaaqoub. He, together with four other terrorists, was killed by police in an operation in a suburb of Barcelona.

CharliE Hebdo editor Laurent Sourisseau defended the magazine’s front cover and stated that policy makers were avoiding ‘hard questions’.

‘The debates and questions about the role of religion, and in particular the role of Islam, in these attacks have completely disappeared,’ he wrote.

This was not the first time the French magazine drew anger with its religious imagery. In 2016, Charlie published a front-cover depicting God with a Kalashnikov on his back with the words:  “One year later, the assassin is still on the run”, referring to the 2015 attack on the magazine’s HQ in Paris.

Even Pope Francis himself criticized the magazine by saying: “You can’t provoke, you can’t insult the faith of others, you can’t make fun of faith.”

But the story did not stop there. Charlie stirred fresh controversy with a cartoon mocking the victims of the Alexandrov music and dance ensemble who were killed in a plane crash over Black Sea in 2016.

The magazine published a cartoon showing a choir member from the ensemble making a wailing sound ‘aaaaaa’. One caption reads: ‘The repertoire of the army choir is expanding’, while another cartoon showed a plane hurling downwards and a caption: ‘Bad news… Putin wasn’t on board’.

Source: Mail Online

Image: AlJazeera