|The sad result of Islamic fanaticism|
The attack came after staffers at the Charlie Hebdo weekly received threats over their latest issue, which was said to be "edited by Muhammad."
An eyewitness saw a suspect tossing Molotov cocktails at the newspaper’s Paris offices around 1 a.m.
The newspaper’s front page this week portrayed a cartoonish figure sporting a turban, white robe and beard, beneath the weekly’s new name for the week: “Sharia Hebdo,” a reference to Muslim law.
French Prime Minister Francois Fillon condemned the firebombing as authorities began searching for suspects.
“Freedom of expression is an inalienable value of our democracy,” read a statement from Fillon. “No cause can justify a violent action.”
The mayor of Paris promised to find new office space to help the paper continue publishing after the blaze.
The attack was also blasted by Mohammed Moussaoui, head of the French Council for the Muslim Faith — although he took exception with the newspaper’s content.
The group, while opposing “all forms of violence,” blasted Charlie Hebdo for “the very mocking tone of the paper toward Islam and its prophet,” said Moussaoui, whose group represents France’s 5 million Muslims.
|The "offensive" cover|
The magazine had named the Prophet Mohammed as its ‘guest editor-in-chief’ for the edition, which was to be called ‘Charia Hebdo’. The front cover showed a cartoon of the Prophet saying “100 lashes if you are not dying of laughter.”
Charlie Hebdo’s website has also been attacked with a message denouncing its publication five years ago of a caricature of the prophet Mohammed. Islam prohibits depictions of the Prophet.
Similar cartoons printed in a Danish satirical magazine and then in other European countries in 2005, sparked a string of sometimes violent protests in a number of Muslim countries.
No-one was injured in the attack on Charlie Hebdo’s offices in Paris, but the publication’s editor is reported as saying that most of the office equipment had been destroyed.
The fiercely anti-clerical magazine said the move, which included renaming the publication “Sharia Hebdo”, was intended to "celebrate" the victory of Islamist party Ennhada in Tunisia's election.
Charlie Hedbo's editor-in-chief, known as Charb, told France Info radio: "We no longer have a newspaper. All our equipment has been destroyed or has melted."
Charlie Hebdo's website has also been hacked with a message in English and Turkish cursing the magazine. The message said: "You keep abusing Islam's almighty Prophet with disgusting and disgraceful cartoons using excuses of freedom of speech.
"Be God's curse upon you!"
Editor Charb said the attackers could not even have read the offending magazine.
|Their solution is to massacre those who disagree|
"The arsonists haven't read this paper, nobody knows what's in the paper except those who buy it this morning. People are reacting violently to a paper without knowing anything of its contents, that's what's most abhorrent and stupid."
Behind the humour, the editorial’s message is serious: “No religion is compatible with democracy from the moment a political party representing it wants to take power in the name of God”.