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Asia Today ISSN 1861-4604 Sunday, January 21, 2018

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Charlie Hebdo: The Publication That Mocks Everyone

Long and storied history of poking cruel fun at the great

Share on Facebook January 8, 2015, Reporter : BigNewsNet, Reader : 407

Photo: AFP news

The French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, targeted in a January 7 gun attack in Paris that left 12 people dead, has a long and storied history of poking cruel fun at the great, the good, and the ugly.

French leaders, Muslims, Jews, the pope -- all have been the target over the years of the weekly's crude -- and to some, offensive -- satire.

Here are just a few examples.

In 1970 the magazine's predecessor, Hara-Kiri, was banned by the French Interior Ministry for mocking the death of former French President . The president died in his home village Colombey-les-Deux-Eglises eight days after a fire in a night club in southeastern France killed 146 people. The magazine released a cover mimicking the press coverage of the disaster with the headline The magazine got around the ban by setting up under a new name, Charlie Hebdo.

In 2006, the magazine decided to reprint the 12 Muhammad cartoons initially published in the Danish daily Jyllands-posten that caused worldwide controversy. Charlie Hebdo also made its own Muhammad cartoon on the front page. Under the title Muhammad Overwhelmed By Fundamentalists, it shows the Prophet crying, saying, "it's hard being loved by jerks."

In 2011 the magazine's office was fire-bombed and its website hacked. The attacks came after the magazine decided to rename a special edition Charia [Shari'a] Hebdo with the Prophet Muhammad listed as editor in chief. The saying, "100 lashes of the whip if you don't die laughing."

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Its most controversial issue came in September 2012, when the magazine published a series of satirical cartoons of Muhammad, with the most graphic one being a nude image of him with a star in his rear saying

The publication came a few days after attacks on U.S. embassies in the Middle East during protests against a low-budget, anti-Islamic film, the Innocence of Muslims, that was made in the United States. The publication prompted France to close embassies, consulates, and schools in about 20 Muslim countries.

The magazine has for a long time targeted religions other than Islam, too. It after his abdication in 2013, alluding that he was a closet homosexual.

And it has also mocked Jews, like in , where a Jew, the pope, and a Muslim cry simultaneously, "We need to veil Charlie Hebdo!"

Current-day politicians, especially French presidents, have also been targeted on numerous occasions. The current president, Francois Hollande, was in 2014 depicted in bed with his former partner, Valerie Trierweiler, right after the news broke about his infidelity. The comment from "Trierweiler" ---- lampoons both Hollande's virility and the flaccid French economy during his tenure.

Copyright (c) 2014. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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