‘Charlie Hebdo’ has chosen to reprint caricatures of Islam’s Prophet to mark the start of trial of alleged accomplices to 2015 assault
Pakistan on Tuesday condemned “in the strongest terms” French magazine Charlie Hebdo’s decision to re-publish offensive caricatures of Islam’s Prophet to mark the launch of a trial for alleged accomplices to the 2015 assault on its offices in Paris.
In a series of posts on Twitter, Foreign Office spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri slammed the “deeply offensive caricatures” of Islam’s Prophet and questioned the magazine’s decision to re-publish them. “Such a deliberate act to offend the sentiments of billions of Muslims cannot be justified as an exercise in press freedom or freedom of expression,” he said.
“Such actions undermine the global aspirations for peaceful co-existence as well as social and inter-faith harmony,” he added.
Satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo was the target of two gunmen on Jan. 7, 2015, resulting in the deaths of 12 people, including popular cartoonist Cabu. The assailants were killed in a shootout, but 14 alleged accomplices are set to go on trial in Paris on Wednesday.
The latest issue of the magazine features a cover containing a dozen sketches of Islam’s Prophet, reproducing images that had sparked global protests when they were first published. “We will never lie down. We will never give up,” director Laurent Sourisseau wrote in an editorial to go with the blasphemous sketches.
Responding to Hebdo’s decision, French Council of Muslim Worship President Mohammed Moussaoui urged people to “ignore” the sketches. “The freedom to caricature is guaranteed for all, the freedom to love or not to love [caricatures] as well. Nothing can justify violence,” he stressed.