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‘Charlie Hebdo’ to feature Prophet Muhammed on cover of next issue

The cover of this week's issue of French satire magazine 'Charlie Hebdo' — the first issue to be published after the Jan 7. attack — will feature a cartoon image of the Prophet Muhammed holding a sign reading, "Je suis Charlie (I am Charlie).". Charlie Hebdo

The Prophet Muhammad will appear again on the cover of French satire magazine Charlie Hebdo on Wednesday, when some 3 million copies will be distributed a week after gunmen stormed its offices.

The magazine cover will depict Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, shedding a tear and holding a sign reading “Je suis Charlie [I am Charlie]” — the message of solidarity with the victims of the Charlie Hebdo massacre that has become a rallying cry in the wake of last week’s shootings.

READ MORE: Charlie Hebdo attack raises questions about press freedom

The headline will read, “Tout est pardonné [All is forgiven].”
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The image was drawn by Charlie Hebdo cartoonist Rénald Luzier, who goes by the pen name Luz. Luzier wasn’t at the office when his coworkers were killed. It was his birthday, so he and his wife slept in late and stopped to pick up a cake on the way to the office, he told The New York Times.

“I was saved by love and gluttony,” he said on Monday.

French cartoonist Renald Luzier, known as Luz, (L) comforts Dr Patrick Pelloux. ERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/Getty Images

Charlie Hebdo has published several controversial depictions of the Prophet Muhammad, angering members of the Muslim community and extremist organizations. Any depiction of the Muhammed is considered blasphemous in Islamic faith.

READ MORE: Charlie Hebdo attack prompts push to strike Canadian blasphemy law

The men who gunned down 12 people at the magazine’s office allegedly targeted the publication in retaliation for such cartoons.

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Suspect Cherif Kouachi told France’s BFMTV, he and his brother, Said, were “the prophet’s defenders” and that they were “sent by Yemen’s al-Qaeda” — known as al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula [AQAP].

What we know about the AQAP connection to the Charlie Hebdo attack

The Kouachi brothers were killed by police during a standoff at a print shop, outside Paris, on Friday, after a three-day manhunt.

AQAP also confirmed to The Associated Press on Friday that it directed the attack on Charlie Hebdo.

In 2013, AQAP listed Charlie Hebdo editor Stéphane Charbonnier as “wanted dead or alive for crimes against Islam.”

Charbonnier was among the victims of the shooting spree.

READ MORE: #JeSuisCharlie now one of the most popular hashtags in Twitter history

Two years before that, Charlie Hebdo‘s office was firebombed when it released an issue of the magazine purporting to have Muhammad as its “guest editor,” renaming the publication “Sharia Hebdo,” in reference to Islamic law.

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Seventeen innocent people were killed in Paris last week. Aside from the 12 victims of Wednesday’s massacre, four people died on Friday in a hostage taking and standoff related to the manhunt for the killers, while an unarmed police officer was shot Thursday night while on patrol.

On Sunday, a reported 3.7 million people took part in marches around France — more than 1 million just in Paris — to honour the victims of the shootings and rally for unity.

PHOTOS: Newspaper front pages pay tribute to Charlie Hebdo day after Paris attack #JeSuisCharlie

*CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story referred to the Prophet Muhammed as the “founder of Islam.” The sentence should have referred to Muhammed as the “prophet of Islam.”

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