French satirical publication Charlie Hebdo has published a controversial set of cartoons about Syrian toddler Aylan Kurdi, whose death generated international outrage when photos of the boy’s deceased body surfaced online, The Independent reports.
The cartoons appear to form a critique against Europe’s refugee and migrant policies.
Charlie Hebdo printed two cartoons that included a representation of a dead Aylan Kurdi.
The first cartoon, titled “Welcome to the Migrants,” was accompanied by a message above Aylan’s face-down body, reading, “So close to the goal.”
— Abu Basim (@islamaideology) September 12, 2015
A sign on the beach, which appears to be a McDonald’s replica billboard, reads, “Promo! offer: 2 kids menus for the price of one.”
The second cartoon displays a Jesus-like figure standing next to a drowned boy. The caption says, “Proof that Europe is Christian. Christians walk on water – Muslim children sink.”
Charlie Hebdo's new cover "Proof that Europe is Christian – Christians walk on water – Muslim kids drown" speechless pic.twitter.com/xsbZ5fjwNz
— Rim (@SimplyRim) September 13, 2015
The cartoons were drawn by Laurent “Riss” Sourisseau, a cartoonist who survived the jihadi attacks on the offices of Charlie Hebdo in January, despite being shot in the shoulder. He is now the acting editor of the publication.
“Riss” is guarded by a contingent of plain-clothes police officers around the clock, the report states.
Maajid Nawaz, the founder of the Quilliam Foundation, a counter-extremism think tank, commented on the drawing on Twitter. He wrote, “Taste is always in the eye of the beholder. But these cartoons are a damning indictment on our anti-refugee sentiment.”
“The image about Christians walking on water while Muslims drown is (so obviously) critiquing hypocritical European Christian ‘love,’” he added. “Fellow Muslims, not everything and everyone are against us, every time. But if we keep assuming they are by reacting like this, they will surely become so.”
Barrister Peter Herbert, who is the chair of the Society of Black Lawyers, took to Twitter to announce that “Charlie Hebdo is a purely racist, xenophobic, and ideologically bankrupt publication that represents the moral decay of France.” Herbert added that he would report the cartoons as an “incitement to hate crime and persecution before the International Criminal Court.”