The magazine has repeatedly come under fire for “offensive” cartoons that target Muslims.
Outrage has erupted on social media after yet another “insensitive” cartoon by controversial French magazine Charlie Hebdo that addressed the destructive earthquakes which struck Turkey and Syria on Monday.
Widely described as “immoral”, the cartoon, released on the day of the tragedy, showed a collapsed building with the words “didn’t need to send tanks” written below the drawn rubble.
Turkish Anadolu Agency (AA) reported that the magazine alluded to the war in Ukraine and the European military support for the war-hit country.
Analysts speaking to AA said while the cartoon implies that the earthquake in Turkey was as destructive as the war in Ukraine, it was still a form of “schoolboy” or “dark” humour.
Social media users have also pointed to the “racism” that comes with mocking a major tragedy that has affected tens of thousands, especially Syrians living in a war-ravaged country.
“While thousands are dead [and tens of thousands] still under the rubbles, Charlie Hebdo published a cartoon making fun of the earthquake…this is not freedom of speech, it’s a bunch of racist degenerate scum who hide behind free speech,” a Qatar-based Twitter user said.
Dr. Omar Suleiman, Founder and President of the Yaqeen Institute for Islamic Research, has also called out the magazine for its ongoing mockery which he said stems from France’s dehumanisation of Muslims.
“What a despicable publication. Always has been. Mocking the death of thousands of Muslims is the peak of how France has dehumanised us in every way. And the crazy thing is that we can’t even say this is a new low for you,” Dr. Suleiman said in a tweet.
Echoing the same sentiment, Syrian-Turkish politician Dr. Khaled Khoja pointed to the common western view of the east as “uncivilised”.
“The satirical caricature put out by Charlie Hebdo magazine, mocking the victims of the Turkey earthquake, similar to the caricature that offended the nation’s prophet, is the product of a deep-rooted moral and value complex that appears in the West from time to time towards the East,” Dr. Khoja said.
Dr. Khoja pointed to the previous controversial cartoon that the magazine issued in 2020 in which it ridiculed the Prophet Muhammad.
This led to a disturbing incident in which a teacher in France was killed for showing his class the cartoons. France responded by clamping down on “extremism” with a large-scale crackdown on Islamic entities in the country, raiding more than 50 mosques and associations.
In Qatar, people led numerous boycott campaigns of French products.
“This is an example of the death of civilisation in secular France. The place where the only thing that is sacred is the rejection of what is sacred. The deification of the ego. Secular France represents the death of dignity, it symbolises the demise of what makes us human,” Hamza Tzortzis, British writer, said.
“Charlie Hebdo has sunk to a new low with their latest display of utter disrespect and disregard for boundaries. They show no limits in their pursuit of controversy, always ready to exploit tragedy and suffering for their so-called ‘satire’,” Abdurrahim Boynukalın, Turkish politician and journalist, said.
France has repeatedly been at the centre of criticism for its lack of action in addressing endemic Islamophobia. Muslims and immigrants make up at least 13% of its total population, per 2019 statistics from the French Institute for Demographic Studies (INED).
Two deadly earthquakes rocked Turkey and neighbouring Syria on Monday, killing more than 6,000 people and displacing tens of thousands.
The first 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck early in the morning with the epicenter close to the Turkish city of Gaziantep. Hours later, this was followed by a second quake with a magnitude of 7.5 in southeast Turkey.
Tremors were also felt in Egypt, Lebanon, Cyprus, Iraq, and elsewhere in the region.
Thousands of buildings collapsed in both Syria and Turkey, with authorities in Ankara confirming at least 5,500 were destroyed.
Countries from around the world have dispatched rescue and medical personnel to Turkey and Syria to respond to thousands impacted by the natural disaster.
The death toll is expected to increase as search and rescue missions continue, with thousands left without shelter due to the catastrophe.
Syrians that have lived under years of war have been among the hardest-hit by the earthquakes, as rescue teams struggle to reach them.