VANCOUVER – The aunt of a young Syrian boy who drowned last year while crossing the Mediterranean says an inflammatory cartoon showcasing her nephew’s lifeless body is “disgusting.”
Tima Kurdi took to Twitter to criticize the controversial French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo for its depiction of two-year-old Alan Kurdi.
Disgusting cartoon in Charlie Hebdo, is racist, not to the innocent 2 years old kid, where is the humanity.
— Tima Kurdi (@TimaKurdi) January 13, 2016
Dishonouring my innocent 2years old nephew Alan Kurdi? That disgusting, but we have to ignore it, https://t.co/LF07ShfMtq
— Tima Kurdi (@TimaKurdi) January 14, 2016
The cartoon asks in French what would have become of Alan had he grown up and shows two men running after screaming women with their hands outstretched above a caption that says bum grabbers in Germany.
The drawing is a reference to a series of sex attacks allegedly committed by a group of newly arrived migrants in Cologne, Germany, on New Year’s Eve.
The cartoon comes a year after gunmen stormed Charlie Hebdo‘s offices in Paris and killed 12 people over the newspaper’s incendiary depictions of the Muslim prophet Muhammad.
Kurdi told Global News the cartoon brings back the pain, as her family is trying to move on with their lives.
“I know [Alan] was a symbol of the refugee crisis, but I wish there would be respect [for] our pain,” says Kurdi. “I wish they would not do it again. It’s really painful to us.”
In September, Charlie Hebdo came under fire for a caricature that showed three-year-old Kurdi face down in the tide with the caption: “So close to the goal…” Off to the side, a billboard resembling a McDonald’s sign reads: “Promo! 2 kids menus for the price of one,” prompting online outrage.
Online backlash over controversial cartoon
A number of Twitter users expressed their indignation with the cartoon online.
— Lutz (@lutzinvancouver) January 14, 2016
To #CharlieHebdo Aylan could have become a peacemaker, his family was escaping violence. Respect his too short life and his grieving family.
— MarionSinclairSimpso (@sagewords) January 13, 2016
— Sunny Hundal (@sunny_hundal) January 13, 2016
I wonder how many lovers Charlie Hebdo has now? A disgusting racist Islamophic cartoon of little Aylan Kurdi later…
— George Galloway (@georgegalloway) January 14, 2016
— curdistani (@curdistani) January 13, 2016