A cartoonist for French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, which suffered a terror attack earlier this year, has responded to the Islamic State's massacre in Paris on Friday by declaring that if God exists, he hates terror.
Cartoonist Joann Sfar posted 12 illustrations on his Instagram page over the weekend reflecting on the tragedy on Friday, where gunmen and suicide bombers killed 129 people. In one image, he addresses directly the "lovers of death," and writes that if God exists, "he hates you."
"And you have already lost, on Earth as in Heaven," he adds.
In another image, Sfar writes: "Terrorism is not an enemy. Terrorism is a way of acting. Repeating 'we are at war' without finding the courage to name our enemies gets us nowhere. Our enemies are those who love death. Under various guises, they have always been there. History forgets them quickly. And Paris dies."
The publication has been criticized for the way it mocks religious faith, and in January suffered an attack at its Paris offices, where 12 people were killed. Al-Qaeda's branch in Yemen took responsibility for the killings, blaming the magazine's controversial drawings of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, which is considered offensive to Muslims.
Charlie Hebdo, which often also mocks Christians and people of other faiths, was recently condemned by Russian government spokesman Dmitry Peskov for offensive cartoons that seemed to mock ISIS destroying a Russian airliner at the end of October in Egypt, which led to the deaths of 224 people.
Peskov called the cartoons "pure blasphemy," and said that "this has nothing to do with democracy, self-expression or whatever."
The images were also slammed by the Rev. Franklin Graham.
"The magazine's editor said they were a secular, atheist newspaper and that 'the term blasphemy has no meaning for us,'" Graham said. "I have news for them — it means something to the rest of the world and it means something to all those whose lives have been forever changed by that tragic crash. Charlie Hebdo was wrong in mocking Islam and they're wrong now," Graham said.
People have been sending in their sympathies to France from around the world, notably with the #PrayForParis handle on social media.
Political and religious leaders have also called for prayers for the French people.
"I am close to the people of France, to the families of the victims, and I am praying for all of them," Pope Francis said following the attack. "I am moved and I am saddened. I do not understand, these things [are] hard to understand."
Sfar said in his illustrations that prayers are not helpful, however, since according to him they are part of the larger problem, identifying it as religion.
"We don't need more religion," Sfar wrote, adding that France will not yield to those who oppose its way of life.