Surviving Charlie Hebdo cartoonist Renald Luzier says he will stop drawing the Prophet Muhammad, according to an Agence France-Presse report Wednesday citing a French magazine. Luzier, known by his pen name Luz, drew Islam's prophet on the cover of the first Charlie issue following the massacre in January when gunmen murdered 12 people at the magazine’s office in Paris.
“I will no longer draw the figure of Muhammad. It no longer interests me,” Luz said in an interview with Les Inrockuptibles, according to AFP. “I’m not going to spend my life drawing [cartoons of Muhammad].”
#BREAKING Top Charlie Hebdo cartoonist Luz says will no longer draw Mohammed
â€” Agence France-Presse (@AFP) April 29, 2015
Luz’s satirical cartoons depicting Islam and Muhammad have sparked controversy and mixed reactions. The terrorists who stormed the Charlie Hebdo office Jan. 7 gunned down, among others, the lead editor, Stephane Charbonnier, known as Charb, who had been living under police protection after receiving death threats for publishing the leftist magazine.
Witnesses of the murderous rampage also said they heard the gunmen shout in Arabic, “We have avenged the Prophet Muhammad,” and “You tell the media it was al Qaeda in Yemen” in perfect French. The Yemen-based terrorist branch later claimed responsibility for the deadly attack.
“The terrorists did not win,” Luz told Les Inrockuptibles, according to AFP. “They will have won if the whole of France continues to be scared.”
French authorities launched a manhunt for the terror suspects -- brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi -- following the attack. Thousands of police officers combed through Paris for days until cornering the Kouachi brothers inside a printing house in the northern suburbs. The men were killed Jan. 9 during the standoff with authorities. Meanwhile, another gunman stormed a kosher supermarket in a Parisian neighborhood, killing at least four hostages and seriously wounding others.
Luz and the surviving Charlie Hebdo staff published a new issue 10 days after the attack featuring cartoon of a teary-eyed Muhammad on the cover holding a sign that read, "Je Suis Charlie" ("I Am Charlie") and the headline "Tout Est Pardonne," or "All Is Forgiven."