Satirical French magazine Charlie Hebdo will feature an image of the Prophet Muhammad on the cover of Wednesday’s edition, the first since the massacre at its offices last week.
The front cover depicts the Prophet Muhammad shedding a tear and holding a sign saying “je suis Charlie” under the title “Tout est pardonné” or “All is forgiven” – a call to forgive the terrorists for their actions.
It was drawn by the cartoonist “Luz”, who survived the massacre carried out by brothers Said Kouachi, 34, and Cherif Kouachi, 32, last week, which left 12 people dead.
In a demonstration of the failure of the terror attack in limiting the magazine’s commitment to free speech, it also plans to publish three million copies of Wednesday’s edition in 16 languages, rather than the general 50,000 copies.
The paper’s lawyer Richard Malka told France Info radio that the cover is meant to show that the remaining staff will not be deterred by extremists, saying:
“We will not give in. The spirit of “Je suis Chrlie’ means the right to blaspheme”
The release of the front cover comes after millions of people marched in France to show their commitment to their shared values and in support of free speech.
In response to the attack, France has ordered thousands of police and troops to protect “sensitive sites” including schools, synagogues, mosques, airports, and train stations.