World reaction Wednesday to the new issue of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo ranged from Muslim government leaders in Turkey banning the publication to a French-born Muslim business owner fielding death threats for placing a “Je suis Charlie” sign outside his coffee shop in east London. The backlash followed days of tension in Russia, the United States, Egypt and Germany as people reacted to the shootings at Charlie Hebdo's office in Paris last week by two Islamist gunmen angry about the paper's depictions of the Prophet Muhammad. The attack killed 12 people, including two police officers.
The surviving members of Charlie Hebdo's staff released a new issue Wednesday, featuring a cover cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad under the headline "All is Forgiven." More than 3 million copies were published, but fans in Paris, New York and other cities scrambled to find a copy. Below is a roundup of some of the global reaction to Charlie Hebdo's new issue and the terrorist attacks that unfolded last week in France.
Following the shootings at Charlie Hebdo, multiple attacks ensued on mosques around the country. A bomb went off near a mosque on Thursday, destroying the glass front of a kebab shop in Villefranche-sur-Saône, north of Lyon in east-central France. Three training grenades were reportedly thrown into a mosque on Thursday in Le Mans, southwest of Paris. A Muslim prayer hall in Port-la-Nouvelle, near Narbonne in southern France, was shot at last Wednesday shortly after holding its evening prayers. A Muslim family’s parked car was also fired at last Wednesday in Caromb, near Avignon, in south-eastern France.
Alexei Pushkov, head of the state’s Foreign Affairs Committee, known for his anti-Western stance, used the attack on Charlie Hebdo to absolve Russia over the ongoing crisis in its relations with the West, according to The Moscow Times. "The tragedy in Paris shows that Russia does not threaten Europe and its security," Pushkov tweeted in Russian last week, according to The Moscow Times, adding that "agents of terror" were in fact genuine threats to European security. Pushkov later tweeted in French that both Russia and France were fighting the same sources of terrorism and that their common battle was "another reason to cooperate and not be in conflict."
Two demonstrators were arrested in Manezhnaya Square in Moscow on Saturday for holding "Je suis Charlie" signs, according to OVD-Info, an independent human rights watcher focusing on protest activity in Russia. The demonstrators have since been released. No other protests have been reported so far.
Major Turkish newspaper Cumhuriyet announced it will dedicate four of its pages to content from Charlie Hebdo’s latest edition, making it the sole publication in a Muslim-majority country to print such content. It will also reportedly double the normal press run to 100,000 copies. Delivery trucks were prevented from leaving the printing plant of the newspaper until officials had determined that the image of the Prophet Muhammad was not shown in the pages, according to Associated Press.
Charlie Hebdo’s chief editor, Gerard Biard, wanted a Turkish version because “Turkey is in a difficult period and secularity there is under attack,” according to AFP. Biard stressed that the Turkish version is “the most important” of the foreign-language versions, according to political blog The Gateway Pundit.
Turkish courts also decided on Wednesday to block access to websites publishing Charlie Hebdo content. “Those who disregard the sacred values of Muslims by publishing forms allegedly referring to our Prophet are clearly committing a provocation,” Deputy Prime Minister Yalcin Akdoğan said on Twitter on Wednesday. “The fact that those who irresponsibly target the values of society publicly express it via media or through art doesn’t change its aggressive nature,” Akdoğan said, according to the Hurriyet Daily News.
A German newspaper Hamburger Morgenpost was the target of arson on Sunday for publishing the cartoons of Charlie Hebdo. Police in Germany have detained two men suspected of the act. The newspaper wrote on its website that the attack destroyed several files in its archives, but no one was injured. Police spokeswoman Karina Sadowsky told the Associated Press several stones and a Molotov cocktail were found at the crime scene.
Dresden-based political movement Pegida (Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the Occident) led a protest on Jan. 5 in Cologne against what it calls the Islamization of Europe following the Paris shootings. “We want to keep our culture, to keep our traditions, to keep our Christian values,” Pegida spokesman Udo Ulfkotte told RT, adding that the issue has nothing to do with disrespect for Islam but rather the fear that Sharia tradition might take roots in the Western world. “We are all equal and we don’t want to have special rights for Muslims here in this country.”
The Noor Islamic Cultural Center in Hilliard, Ohio, warned its members as well as the surrounding community that an anonymous caller had threatened them in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo shooting last Friday. The caller angrily told the office administrator that the mosque would be destroyed very soon, said Imran Malik, president of the Islamic center’s board, according to local paper The Columbus Dispatch. “These people getting involved in these acts of terror, they seem to show no mercy to anyone, especially children,” Malik said, and added that the center had increased its security as well as asked for police protection.
A federal judge rejected on Wednesday the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing suspect’s lawyers’ bid to suspend jury selection over concerns that the Charlie Hebdo attacks had placed the marathon bombings "at the center of a grim global drama." The lawyers of the suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev argued for time to allow "for the extraordinary prejudice flowing from these events — and the comparison of those events to those at issue in this case — to diminish," according to the Associated Press. Individual questioning of prospective jurors begins Thursday.
French-born Muslim coffee shop owner Adel Defilaux received death threats for placing a “Je suis Charlie” sign outside his shop in east London. A man demanded Defilaux to take the sign down, and apparently ranted that anyone supporting Charlie Hebdo should die, according to The Telegraph. "He said: 'The people in Paris deserved to die. If you don't remove the sign, something is going to happen,' and then he left," Defilaux told the Telegraph.
The U.K. terror threat level could be raised to its highest level in years, security sources told British paper The Sunday Times on Sunday, amid fears that a "terrorist spectacular" could be committed by one of 150 monitored British jihadi terrorists in the country. There are speculations that the security official might move the threat level from “severe” up to “critical,” which means they believe an attack is imminent, according to the Huffington Post. The move would keep 30 suspects under surveillance and 120 more to be reassessed for any potential danger to national security.
Moroccan-born Mayor of Rotterdam Ahmed Aboutaleb told Muslims in the country on live television that those who have a problem with Western culture can leave. “It is incomprehensible that you can turn against freedom. ... But if you don't like freedom, for heaven's sake pack your bags and leave,” Aboutaleb said to the Dutch news program Nieuwsuur, talking about Charlie Hebdo attacks, according to U.K.’s Daily Mirror. “If you do not like it here because some humorists you don't like are making a newspaper, may I then say you can f--- off.”
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has given the country’s prime minister on Tuesday the power to ban any foreign publication that is deemed “offensive to religion” in the country. Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab will have the power to amend the country’s publication laws to “ban publications offensive to religion or publications promoting erotica in a way that can disturb the public peace,” according to state-run media Al-Ahram.