Twelve people were shot dead on Wednesday in Paris, at the offices of the satirical French newspaper Charlie Hebdo. The newspaper's editor, Stephane Charbonnier (known as Charb), was among those who died. Several cartoonists, including Jean Cabut (known as Cabu), were also killed.
This is possibly the most violent attack ever committed against a media organisation. The killers were Islamic extremists, and Charlie Hebdo is notorious for its provocative caricatures of Mohammed. Last year, the newspaper was sued for blasphemy, and its offices were firebombed in 2011.
Charlie Hebdo published its first Mohammed cartoon in 2002. This was followed by a front-page Mohammed caricature in 2006, one of many cartoons printed in Europe after the Jyllands-Posten controversy. In 2012, it printed a cartoon of Mohammed naked. In 2013, it produced a comic-book biography of Mohammed (La Vie De Mahomet, part 1 and part 2), with an expanded edition in 2014. Most recently, its 1st October 2014 edition featured a front-page cartoon by Charb depicting an Islamic State terrorist beheading Mohammed.
Most media outlets have not reproduced any of the Mohammed cartoons, though Fox News broadcast the 2011 Charia Hebdo cover on Wednesday during its Fox & Friends programme in the US. It was also shown in the UK last night on BBC1's ten o'clock news and BBC2's Newsnight. It also appeared yesterday in The Washington Post.
The cartoons have been reprinted by several European newspapers. The Charia Hebdo cover was reprinted yesterday by Corriere Della Sera (Italy), BZ (Germany), and Hamburger Morgenpost (Germany). The Berliner Kurier (Germany) yesterday featured a new cartoon of Muhammed in a bath of blood, holding a copy of Charia Hebdo. Berlingske (Denmark) reprinted the 2006 and 2011 Mohammed covers yesterday, and BT (Denmark) printed the front and back pages of Charia Hebdo. Le Monde (France) today includes thumbnail reproductions of the 2006 and 2011 Mohammed covers, a photo of the Berliner Kurier cartoon, and a large reprint of the 2006 Mohammed cover.