The Islamophobic, racist French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo has republished blasphemous cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad (saw) that made them the target of a deadly terror attack in 2015.
The provocation comes as 14 people go on trial accused of helping the two attackers carry out their gun rampage on January 7 2015.
Twelve people were killed in the attack and five more died in a related attack in Paris days later.
The front cover of today’s edition features the 12 original cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad (saw) which were published in a Danish newspaper before appearing in Charlie Hebdo. One of the cartoons shows the Prophet wearing a bomb instead of a turban. The French headline reads “Tout ça pour ça” (“All of that for this”).
In its editorial, the magazine says that it has often been asked to carry on printing caricatures of the Prophet since the 2015 killings.
“We have always refused to do so, not because it is prohibited – the law allows us to do so – but because there was a need for a good reason to do it, a reason which has meaning and which brings something to the debate,” it says. “To reproduce these cartoons in the week the trial over the January 2015 terrorist attacks opens seemed essential to us.”
Fourteen people are accused of obtaining weapons and providing logistical support for the attackers of Charlie Hebdo’s Paris offices, and subsequent attacks on a Jewish supermarket and a police officer.
Three of the accused are being tried in absentia as they are believed to have fled to northern Syria and Iraq.
The trial had been due to start in March but was postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic. It is due to last until November.
On 7 January, brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi stormed the offices of Charlie Hebdo, and opened fire killing the editor Stéphane Carbonnier, four other cartoonists, two columnists, a copy editor, a guest attending the meeting and the caretaker. The editor’s bodyguard and a police officer were also killed.
As police hunted down the two brothers – who were eventually killed – another siege began in the east of Paris. Amedy Coulibaly, who was an acquaintance of the Kouachi brothers, killed a policewoman before taking several people hostage at a Jewish supermarket. He killed four Jewish men on January 9 before being shot dead in a police standoff.
In a video recording, Coulibaly said the attacks had been carried in the name of ISIS.
Over the years Charlie Hebdo has published a number of sickening racist and Islamophobic cartoons. A prominent example was in 2016 when it published a caricature depicting the drowned Syrian toddler, Aylan Kurdi, growing up to be a sexual abuser.