Charlie Hebdo has finally gone too far. The French satirical magazine has stirred new controversy with a cartoon portraying the drowned Syrian child Aylan Kurdi all grown up and sexually assaulting women on the streets of Germany.
“What would little Aylan have grown up to be? An a** groper in Germany,” the caption reads.
Hebdo - 'What would little Aylan have grown up to be? Ass groper in Germany'. Don't be apalled you just don't get it pic.twitter.com/LIYJEYjydy— Nesrine Malik (@NesrineMalik) January 13, 2016
In the cartoon’s background, Kurdi’s lifeless body lies on a beach — an image that rallied support across the world to tackle the refugee crisis. This picture is insensitively contrasted with adult Kurdi chasing and harassing women.
The satirical perspective did not sit well with social media who immediately fired back at the newspaper for its disturbing lack of disrespect.
There is nothing, absolutely nothing 'revolutionary' about Charlie Hebdo's latest cartoon, this is pure fascism. pic.twitter.com/cqGUMxuyWG— Mahmoud (@MahmoudRamsey) January 13, 2016
I'm really appalled anyone is trying to defend the Charlie Hebdo cartoon. There's clearly no satirical angle here. It's just crass racism.— Sarah Jones (@onesarahjones) January 13, 2016
I'm ashamed that I once even felt sympathy with Charlie Hebdo. The people who make these cartoons have proven that humanity died with Aylan.— نوران (@levantina_) January 13, 2016
The indecent joke is an obvious nod to the recent reported rapes of hundreds of women in Cologne, Germany on New Year’s Eve. The sexual assaults were allegedly committed by men of Arab or North African appearance.
The attacks have struck a hard blow of criticism against Germany’s open-door immigration policy and sparked protest and violence against migrants.
While the attacks are deplorable and every perpetrator deserves their punishment, the sexual assaults do not warrant anti-refugee sentiments among civilians or in the media. Unfortunately, every refugee is a unique individual — some will welcome Germany’s gratitude with open arms and others might be ungrateful racists, rapists, or gang members. Good and bad people exist in every society, and groups of refugees are not exempt from this dynamic. While stronger analysis on immigration policies is justified, the hate-fueled rhetoric is not.
Banner image credit: Charlie Hebdo