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UPDATE: This is probably not what they mean when they say turn the other cheek.
The Guardian reports the satirical French newspaper that was firebombed last week for its plans to put a caricature of the Prophet Mohammed on the cover is back at it again this week with its latest stunt.
This week's Charlie Hebdo cover -- set to hit newsstands Wednesday -- will feature an illustration of one of the paper's male cartoonists passionately kissing a bearded Muslim man. And we do mean passionately. The cover, which you can see at Le Nouvel Observateur, shows the two men embraced, saliva dripping down both of their faces, under the headline “L'Amour plus fort que la haine,” or “Love is stronger than hate.”
In the background of the picture are depictions of the ashes of the magazine’s offices. The drawing is signed by the cartoonist Luz.
Charlie Hebdo offices were badly damaged in last week's attack, but the staff has found a temporary publishing home at Libération, France's popular left-wing newspaper.
French Muslim groups that have been critical of the satirical magazine have spoken out against the firebombing attack. Dalil Boubakeur head of the Paris Mosque, told journalists, "I am extremely attached to the freedom of the press, even if the press is not always tender with Muslims, Islam or the Paris Mosque."
POST Wednesday, Nov. 2: The headquarters of a satirical French newspaper was firebombed early Wednesday morning, a day after the paper announced it was putting a caricature of the Prophet Mohammed on the cover and naming him editor-in-chief of this week’s issue.
The Telegraph reports that a single Molotov cocktail was reportedly thrown through a window at the offices of Charlie Hebdo at around 1 a.m. The building still stands, but much of the material was destroyed. No one was injured.
The cartoon of Prophet Mohammed included a speech bubble with the words "100 lashes if you don’t die of laughter." The newspaper also headlined the issue "Charia Hebdo" in reference to Muslim sharia law, a move the paper's editors said was intended to celebrate the victory of Islamist party Enhada in Tunisia’s election.
Charlie Hebdo’s website was also hacked with a message that read: "You keep abusing Islam’s almighty Prophet with disgusting and disgraceful cartoons using excuses of freedom of speech. Be God’s curse upon you!"
The newspaper’s editor, who goes by Charb, says that the attackers could not have even read the offending issue, because it wouldn’t have hit newsstands until early Wednesday morning. "These people have reacted violently to an edition that isn’t even on the stands yet, hasn’t come yet, that nobody’s even seen, just on the basis of rumor," Charb told the Telegraph. "They just got this idea, and this is the result."
As Reuters notes, many Muslims find any depiction of Mohammed offensive. Danish cartoons in 2005 sparked protests in the Muslim world in which at least 50 people were killed. Protests in April against an American pastor's burning of the Koran led to unrest in Afghanistan in which several died. The historically anti-clerical Charlie Hebdo fields many letters of protest as well as threats and insults on Twitter and Facebook.
French authorities condemned the attack as an assault on the freedom of the press. "Freedom of expression is an inalienable right in our democracy and all attacks on the freedom of the press must be condemned with the greatest firmness," Prime Minister François Fillon said in a statement. "No cause can justify such an act of violence."
According to Europe 1 radio, police are currently searching for two suspects seen near the scene.