The French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo faced criticism Wednesday over their cover which blames Islam for the recent terror attacks in Barcelona where a van, driven by radical Islamic terrorists, crashed into dozens of people, killing 15 and injuring over 100.
The magazine cover depicts two people lying in a pool of blood having been run over by a van next to the words "Islam, eternal religion of peace."
J'aime l'islam qu'on m'a inculqué— Mabrouk Sonia (@SoMabrouk) August 22, 2017
Je dénonce son ignoble instrumentalisation par les terroristes
Je respecte la liberté de TOUT caricaturer pic.twitter.com/QJZdaQS3qg
“As the cartoon became one of the top trending topics on Twitter in France, prominent Socialist MP and former minister Stephane Le Foll called it ‘extremely dangerous,’” AFP reports, "‘When you're a journalist you need to exercise restraint because making these associations can be used by other people,’ he said.”
Charlie Hebdo editor Laurent "Riss" Sourisseau defended the cover in an editorial, arguing that “experts and policy-makers were avoiding hard questions out of concern for moderate law-abiding Muslims.”
"The debates and questions about the role of religion, and in particular the role of Islam, in these attacks have completely disappeared," he wrote.
Patrick Pelloux, a former Charlie Hebdo contributor, also defended the cover, saying: "We need to fight Islamist terrorism and religious radicalism, not a magazine."
Charlie Hebdo was the target of two attacks by Islamic terrorists in 2011 and 2015, in response to cartoons the magazine ran making fun of Muhammad. The second attack left 12 dead after gunmen claiming allegiance to Al-Qaeda attacked the magazine’s office.
Hundreds of thousands of people in France marched in solidarity with the magazine following the attack touting the slogan "Je Suis Charlie" ("I Am Charlie") and speaking out for the right to free speech.