While nearly all publications worldwide are showing empathy and respect to the thousands refugees who have died trying to reach Europe, the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo has used its “freedom of speech” to mock their death in the Mediterranean and the death of three year-old Aylan Kurdi whose body was washed up on a Bodrum beach a few days ago.
Charlie Hebdo no longer needs introduction and is known for using cartoons and caricatures to criticize and mock mostly religions, politicians and institutions. The publication came under the world's attention after its headquarters were targeted by a terrorist attack that left 12 persons dead including 7 staff members in January. The attack was a response to the caricatures mocking the Prophet Mohamed first published in 2005.
In its lasted edition published Wednesday, one cartoon entitled “Si pres de son but..." which translates "so close of his goal” shows the dead body of Aylan Kurdi lying face down on a beach and a Mc Donald advertisement board that reads “Promo!!! 2 menus enfant pour le prix d'un” which means “2 Happy Meals for the price of one.”
Another controversial drawing implies that the refugees and migrants are dying because of not being followers of the Christian faith. The cartoon entitled "The prove that Europe is Christian" features a man supposedly Jesus Christ standing on the water and saying "Christians walk on the water" and next to him a body sinking into the sea with a caption reading "Muslim children sink."
Both cartoons are signed by Riss, whose real name is Laurent Sourisseau, Riss has been working with Charlie Hebdo since 1992 and was at the headquarters on the day of the attack on January 14. He was hospitalized with a gunshot wound to the shoulder.
It is not the first time that Charlie Hebdo mocks the migrants and refugees crossing the Mediterranean sea to reach Europe. In April, the newspaper published a drawing by Ali Dilem, an Algerian cartoonist, mocking African migrants. The cartoonist entitled “Regroupement Familial en Mediterranee” which translates to “ Family Reunification in the Mediterranean” shows an african migrant family sinking into the inmost of the sea.