Terrorists did their best to teach Charlie Hebdo a lesson and almost brought them to their knees in the process, but they didn’t quite succeed. If anything, they ended up doing just the opposite – and the publication’s first cover since the deadly January 7 attack on the satirical magazine says so loud and clear:
The cover shows the Muslim prophet Muhammad shedding a tear and holding up a sign reading “Je suis Charlie.” The headline says “All is forgiven.”
Zineb El Rhazoui, a surviving columnist at Charlie Hebdo magazine who worked on the new issue, said the cover was a call to forgive the terrorists who murdered her colleagues last week as she did not feel hate towards them.
“We don’t feel any hate to them. We know that the struggle is not with them as people, but the struggle is with an ideology,” she said.
Twelve people, including the magazine's editor, were killed and five injured in shooting at the Paris offices of the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, which was the target of a firebombing in 2011 after it had published cartoons deriding Prophet Mohammad on its cover.
They know the world is waiting for their response to the threat and they are ready with it. The publication that usually prints 60,000 copies is printing 3 million this week.
Charlie Hebdo's lawyer Richard Malka told France Info radio: "We will not give in. The spirit of 'I am Charlie' means the right to blaspheme."
Survivors of the massacre have been working on the magazine from the offices of the French daily newspaper, Liberation.
The new edition will be created "only by people from Charlie Hebdo", says its financial director, Eric Portheault.