The five most controversial Charlie Hebdo covers explained

Published in Hijacked:

In what is considered to be France’s most savage terrorist attack in decades, three masked gunmen wielding assault rifles stormed the offices of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo,killing 12 people including journalists and policemen.

Charlie Hebdo, which roughly translates to “Charlie Weekly”, is a publication that satirises religious politics through cartoons, articles and jokes. No political figure or issue is too extreme for Charlie Hebdo. Here are the magazine’s top five most controversial covers.

Charia Hebdo

In 2011, the magazine featured a cartoon of Mohammed, “guest edited” by the prophet himself. “100 lashes if you don’t die of laughter,” ran the slogan. When the issue was released, the Charlie Hebdo offices were firebombed, staff were sent death threats and the magazine’s website was hacked. “You keep abusing Islam’s almighty Prophet with disgusting and disgraceful cartoons using excuses of freedom of speech. Be God’s curse upon you!” noted the hacked site.

Mohammed Overwhelmed by Fundamentalism

In 2006, the Prophet Mohammed was shown red faced in frustration and weeping with anxiety over his fundamentalist followers. “It’s hard to be loved by idiots,” said Mohammed. Public outrage over the cover was explosive with anger fuelled by the caricatures contained within. Protests broke out the world over.

Intouchables 2

The magazine came under fire again in 2012 when Charlie Hebdo’s Intouchables 2 cover hit the stands. It depicted an orthodox Jewish man pushing a disabled Muslim man in a wheelchair, riffing on France’s box office hit The Intouchables which told the story of a rich white man hiring a black ex-con to be his caretaker. Even more shocking? The content inside that referenced the filmInnocence Of Muslims wherein the Prophet was depicted posing naked in pornographic poses.

Yes to wearing the burqa…on the inside!

2010 saw the controversial magazine showing their support of France’s controversial law banning women from wearing burqas in public. The cover took a stab at Islam’s strict views on nudity and female exposure.

In 2015, I lose my teeth … in 2022, I observe Ramadan!

Enter Michel Houellebecq’s Submission. Charlie Hebdo saw rich material in this and used the ‘Islamophobic’ book as cover inspiration. The novel is about a Muslim running the country with conservative Islamic rules in 2022.

By Aleczander Gamboa

Aleczander Gamboa is a freelance writer and editor. Ninety-five per cent of his life involves coffee and sleep, while the remaining 5 per cent is spent wishing his life was a Nicolas Sparks novel or aspiring to be like Olivia Pope from Scandal. He blogs at Thoughts With Dreams and regularly tweets under @aleczZzander.


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