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French Newspaper Firebombed After Muhammad Announcement

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By Brendan Giusti, Christian Post Reporter
November 2, 2011|10:42 am

The offices of Charlie Hebdo, a French satirical newspaper, were set on fire in a firebomb attack Wednesday, one day after the Prophet Muhammad was named editor-in-chief for the latest edition.

The newspaper’s latest issue, which was renamed “Sharia Hebdo,” was the apparent reason for the attack.

The special edition celebrated the Arab Spring uprisings and protests, Agence France-Presse reported. The cover showed a caricature of the Prophet Muhammad and read “100 lashes if you don’t die of laughter!”

“We no longer have a newspaper. All our equipment has been destroyed or has melted,” said the Editor-in-Chief known as “Charb” to France Info Radio.

The newspaper’s website was also hacked and replaced with a picture of a mosque and violent messages, Le Monde reported.

"You keep abusing Islam's almighty Prophet with disgusting and disgraceful cartoons using excuses of freedom of speech,” the hacked website briefly read before being replaced with the original website.

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No one was injured on the attack, according to reports, but the property damage was significant.

“We cannot, today, put together a paper. But we will do everything possible to do one next week,” Charb said. “Whatever happens, we’ll do it. There is no question of giving in.”

The latest incident is not the first time the newspaper has had issues from printing images of the Prophet Muhammad.

In 2007, two Muslim organizations sued Charlie Hebdo for reprinting cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad that first ran in a Danish Newspaper. The case was later dismissed.

The Danish cartoons sparked violence across the world, including threats and violence against publications that re-printed the original cartoons.

The latest incident is drawing criticism and outrage in France.

"Those who did this designate themselves as enemies of democracy,” said France’s Minister of Ecology Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet to the Telegraph. "You don't negotiate the freedom of the press with bombs...If you are not happy with what's in a newspaper, you take it to court."

Charb called the attacks on the newspaper’s office preemptive.

"The arsonists haven't read this paper. Nobody knows what's in the paper except those who buy it this morning,” he said to BFM TV. “People are reacting violently to a paper without knowing anything of its contents, that's what's most abhorrent and stupid.”

 

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