The latest issue of Charlie Hebdo magazine has gone on sale today, with bids on eBay now surpassing hundreds of pounds.
One listing for the special edition, the cover of which depicts the Prophet Muhammad holding a ‘Je suis Charlie’ sign under the banner “Tout est pardonné – All is forgiven – has reached a bid of over £1,500.
Five million copies are being printed to cope with the increased demand following last week’s shootings – far more than its usual circulation of 40,000. Newstands in France are selling copies for €3, and long queues have formed with those keen to get their hands on the magazine.
The edition is the first to be released since 12 people were killed when armed gunmen opened fire at the offices of the satirical magazine in Paris last Wednesday. It is believed that the attack was in response to controversial images published by the newspaper depicting the Prophet Muhammad, which is forbidden in Islam.
The shooting, and the deaths of five more people in related attacks, prompted rallying cries of “Je suis Charlie” and a call to protect freedom of speech. Hundreds of thousands of people joined world leaders in a march to pay tribute to the victims on Sunday.
As expected, however, the magazine’s latest edition has drawn some criticism for choosing to publish another potentially insulting cartoon.
David Cameron yesterday defended the decision, saying “When your freedom of expression is attacked in this way I don’t think it is surprising people want to stand up and fight for the freedom of expression they believe in.”
Speaking in an interview with Heart Radio, Cameron continued: “I think it’s right that we all hold that view even if [there are] people – and there will be many Muslims – who are offended by a depiction of the Prophet.”
Cameron added that offence is “not a justification for violence”, noting that “the overwhelming majority of Muslims completely understand and share that view.”
“I’m a Christian. I obviously don’t like seeing the religious things I hold dear mocked in an unpleasant way. But in a free country if people want to attack my religion and my beliefs you accept that because that’s part of living in a free country,” he said.
“It’s not for politicians to tell magazines or television stations or radio stations what they should publish or what they shouldn’t publish.
“It’s up for us to defend your right to publish what you believe is right within the confines of the law.”
The Muslim Council of Britain has issued guidelines as to how to respond to the newest cartoon. “Most Muslims will inevitably be hurt, offended and upset…But our reaction must be a reflection of the teachings of the gentle and merciful character of the Prophet (peace be upon him),” the Council has advised.
“Enduring patience, tolerance, gentleness and mercy as was the character of our beloved Prophet (peace and Blessings be upon him) is the best and immediate way to respond. With dignified nobility we must be restrained.”
Source: Christian Today
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