Undaunted by Attack Charlie Hebdo to Publish 20 Times More

January 8, 2015  

Despite the lethal attack on the Paris headquarters of satire magazine Charlie Hebdo this Wednesday that left 12 murdered, including eight staff members, the paper is to publish a new edition next Wednesday – it will print one million copies, over 20 times its normal circulation.

The paper was attacked by two Islamist terrorists, Cherif and Said Kouachi, who are still at large but were spotted on Thursday in northern France while robbing a gas station armed with Kalashnikov assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs). The two reportedly shouted “the Prophet is avenged” as they murdered their victims – the satirical paper has been accused of mocking Mohammed in the past.

Charlie Hebdo‘s show of resilience in its next edition comes after being promised financial and editorial backing by several French media groups, including Radio France, Le Monde, and France Televisions, reports Time.

The media groups issued a joint statement calling to defend freedom of speech and inviting other media organizations to “come together to preserve the principles of independence and freedom of thought and expression, guarantors of our democracy.”

The satirical magazine has often courted controversy; in November 2011 it was firebombed and had its website hacked after depicting Mohammed on its cover. It nevertheless a week later published an issue with a Muslim man kissing a male cartoonist in front of the bombed offices, under the title “love is stronger than hate.”

That vocally left, anti-religious and anti-institutional bent has seen the paper often feature nudity in poking fun at religious figures, and along with Islam and Christianity, Judaism has also been targeted in the paper’s satirical barbs.

Backlash against French mosques

Wednesday’s shocking attack with assault rifles in the heart of Paris has led to a backlash, with a wave of attacks against French mosques being reported.

Shots were reportedly fired on Wednesday night in the direction of a mosque in Port-la-Nouvelle in the south of the country. Likewise several percussion grenades were thrown into a mosque courtyard in Le Mans, west of Paris, according to Ouest-France.

In Villefranche-sur-Saone in the eastern part of the country, an explosion near a mosque was also reported early Thursday morning.

The blast reportedly targeted “L’Imperial,” a restaurant managed by people attached to the mosque and a site where Muslims of the community often gather – none were reported as wounded in the incident.

Bernard Perrut, the town’s deputy mayor, was quoted in Le Progres as saying he thought the blast was likely a reaction to Wednesday’s attack on the satirical magazine.

Mosque’s are not the only targets following the attack; on Thursday a policewoman was shot dead and another person wounded by an unidentified gunman in Paris, in what is possibly a related incident to the Charlie Hebdo attack.

Details of the case have yet to draw a clear connection between the shootings, but the Thursday attack has already been classified as a terrorist attack by France.

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