The return of Charlie Hebdo: Magazine gets ready to publish again
Editors of the Paris-based satirical magazine released the cover of their next issue on Monday night, and it shows a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed, holding up a sign with the now-famous slogan “Je Suis Charlie.”
That slogan has become a rallying cry in the wake of the horrific shootings that left 12 dead at the magazine’s offices last week.
The cover illustration also includes the words “Everything is forgiven.”
The new cover was shared by Liberation, a French newspaper that lent office space to the surviving staff members of Charlie Hebdo.
Liberation’s news story about the new cover said it was specifically meant to depict Mohammed.
Many major news organizations, including CNN, have refrained from showing any of the Charlie Hebdo cartoons that purport to show the prophet. Executives at CNN have cited concerns about the safety of staff members and sensitivity about Muslim audiences.
The issue of Charlie Hebdo is scheduled to be shipped to newsstands on Tuesday and put on sale on Wednesday. Resuming publication is a triumphant moment for the magazine, and one celebrated by journalists around the world. It is also a highly provocative moment — as Monday’s cover indicates.
Many Muslims find depictions of Mohammed to be deeply offensive, and there has been speculation that Wednesday’s attackers were motivated in part by past Charlie Hedbo cartoons.
The new cover closely resembles a 2011 cover that showed Mohammed in front of a green background. The magazine’s offices were firebombed at the time of that issue’s release.
The magazine’s lawyer and main spokesman, Richard Malka, did not respond to CNN’s requests for comment.
Resuming publication will be a triumphant moment for the magazine, and one celebrated by journalists around the world. It may also be a highly provocative moment — as Malka reportedly told a French radio station that the new issue will include cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed.
Charlie Hebdo’s editors have said little about what the new issue will contain.
But an account of Friday’s first editorial meeting — written by Isabelle Hanne and translated into English — suggested a wide range of ideas.
“What do we put on its pages?” asked one surviving staff member, according to Hanne’s account.
“I’d be in favor of doing a quote-unquote normal edition,” said another staffer. “Let the readers recognize Charlie. That’s not an exceptional edition.”
One proposal entailed blank spaces in the magazine — a tribute to the cartoonists and other staffers who were killed. But that idea seemed to be vetoed.
Another idea was to feature unpublished work by the slain cartoonists, so their imaginations were still a part of the pages.
The same day of the meeting, Malka spoke to the news media gathered outside and said: “We are going to forget about the video cameras. We are simply going to work on our next issue. Those who are here will make it work.”
The plan is to put out an 8-page edition, half of the usual 16 pages.
But its circulation will be massive: A projected one million copies, up from 60,000 copies in the past.
Newsstands and magazine shops in a number of other countries have also expressed interest in carrying the issue.
And it will conceivably reach even more readers via its web site.
The magazine is doing all of this with the help of rival publications and far-flung donations, including from The Guardian newspaper and a French press fund set up by Google.