Charlie Hebdo to feature Prophet Muhammad on front page

Charlie Hebdo to feature Prophet Muhammad on front page
French satirical magazine says it will print three million copies in 16 languages of first edition after Paris attack, as Muslim groups urge calm response.
3 min read
13 January, 2015

The French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo is to feature a caricature of the Prophet Muhammad on its first edition since supporters of al-Qaeda killed 10 editorial staff and two police at its offices last Wednesday.

The cover shows the Prophet crying and holding a sign reading "Je suis Charlie" in sympathy with those killed. The headline says "All is forgiven".

The magazine is due to be published on Wednesday with a print run of three million copies - not the usual 60,000 - and in six languages. Some language editions will be online only.

The French Council of the Muslim Religion and the Union of French Islamic Organisations released a joint statement calling for Muslims to "stay calm and avoid emotive reactions" to the new issue.

The Charlie Hebdo attackers, Cherif and Said Kouachi, were killed by French police on Friday after being tracked down to a warehouse near the capital's main airport.

A lurch from the radical left towards outright Islamophobia: Alain Gresh on Charlie Hebdo.

An accomplice, Amedy Coulibaly, was killed after taking hostages at a kosher delicatessen north of the city. Coulibaly killed four people, all Jews, inside the supermarket before being shot dead himself.

Video released after his death showed Coulibaly pledging allegiance to the Islamic State group. Al-Qaeda in Yemen claimed to have prepared the Kouachi brothers for their attack.

The bodies of Coulibaly's victims arrived in Jerusalem for burial early on Tuesday.

Jewish leaders in France said Yohan Cohen, Yoav Hattab, Francois-Michel Saada and Phillipe Braham, had ties to Israel, although it was unclear if any had ever lived there. Hattab and Saada were migrants to France from Tunisia.

The French prime minister, Manuel Valls, said Coulibaly probably received help from others. French police said as many as six accomplices may still be at large.

"We think there are in fact probably accomplices," Valls told French radio. "The hunt will go on."

     French police said as many as six accomplices may still be at large.

Coulibaly's former partner, Hayat Boumeddiene, is believed to have fled to Syria before the attacks in Paris. She was filmed on CCTV arriving at an Istanbul airport on January 2, from where she is believed to have headed to Turkey's southern border.

It emerged on Tuesday that a Frenchman arrested in Bulgaria on January 1 while trying to cross into Turkey was in regular contact with one of Cherif Kouachi.

Bulgaria's chief prosecutor named the man as Fritz-Joly Joachin, 29, saying he was a French citizen of Haitian origin.

Bulgarian authorities said France had issued a European arrest warrant for Joachin "for participation in an organised crime group whose aim was organisation of terrorist acts".