A record 3 million copies of the new edition of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo have appeared on French newsstands, with new caricatures triggering outrage among Muslims all over the world, and threats from radical Islamists.
Many mainstream Muslim organizations also reacted by saying that the mere depiction of the prophet is a sacrilege: Egypt’s Islamic body Dar al-Ifta branded the publication “an unjustified provocation against the feelings of 1.5 billion Muslims,” AFP reported.
“This edition will result in a new wave of hatred in French and Western society. What the magazine is doing does not serve coexistence and the cultural dialogue Muslims aspire to,” Dar al-Ifta said in a statement.
Sunni Islam’s most renowned center of learning, Al-Azhar in Cairo, said that the cartoons “stir up hatred” and “do not serve the peaceful coexistence between peoples.”
Tabnak, a conservative online outlet in Iran, wrote that “Charlie Hebdo has again insulted the Prophet.”
French Muslim leaders have urged members of the Muslim community to remain calm.
Three million copies – compared to the usual 60,000 a week – have been printed. The first batches have sold out within minutes, with thousands lining up to buy the magazine at newsstands.
Charlie Hebdo will print 5 million copies of its latest edition to meet high demand, distributors said.
Charlie Hebdo’s front cover Wednesday shows the Prophet Muhammad shedding a tear while holding a “Je Suis Charlie” sign. The headline reads: “Tout est pardonné” (All is forgiven).