CAIRO – Condemning Charlie Hebdo’s latest controversial cover, Muslim and Christian leaders have slammed the French magazine’s episode, that marks the first anniversary of the terrorism attacked on the publication, as an “insult towards religions” and “Unfair”.
“In Charlie Hebdo’s choice, there is the sad paradox of a world which is more and more sensitive about being politically correct, almost to the point of ridicule, yet does not wish to acknowledge or to respect believers’ faith in God, regardless of the religion,” the Vatican daily Osservatore Romano wrote in a commentary cited by Agence France Presse (AFP).
The Vatican condemned the cover that has an illustration appearing to depict God as a terrorist carrying a gun.
Released on Wednesday, January 6, the headline of the magazine cover reads: “One year one: The murderer is still out there.”
“Behind the deceptive flag of uncompromising secularism, the weekly is forgetting once more what religious leaders of every faith unceasingly repeat to reject violence in the name of religion — using God to justify hatred is a genuine blasphemy, as Pope Francis has said several times,” Romano added.
Joining the Vatican, French Muslims leaders criticized the offensive cover of the special edition.
The head of the French Council of the Muslim Faith, CFCM, Anouar Kbibech, said he was “hurt” by the issue.
On his part, Abdallah Zekri of the Watchdog against Islamophobia group said it was “very violent and insulting towards religions”.
In January 2015, 17 people have been killed in attacks on Charlie Hebdo that rocked Paris.
A few days after Charlie Hebdo attack, French director Isabelle Matic announced her decision to revert to Islam on her FaceBook account.
Seeing the Charlie Hebdo attack as a betrayal of Islamic faith, leaders from Muslim countries and organizations joined worldwide condemnation of the attack, saying the attackers should not be associated with Islam.
Later on, French Muslims called for criminalizing insulting religions amid increasing anger around the Muslim world over Charlie Hebdo’s decision to publish new cartoons of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).
France is home to a Muslim community of more than six million, making about 9% of the country’s population, the largest in Europe.