The offices of a French satirical newspaper have been firebombed in apparent retaliation for a promise to have the Prophet Mohammad as a guest editor. A Molotov cocktail was thrown at the offices of Charlie Hedbo in Paris’s 20th arrondissement at around 1am. The fire was quickly put out, but much of the newspaper’s equipment was destroyed.
There was controversy earlier this week when Charlie Hedbo announced that the Prophet Mohammad would be guest editor-in-chief for this week’s edition. The newspaper jokingly claimed to be renaming the special issue ‘Sharia Hebdo’, in response to the Islamist party Ennhada’s victory in the recent Tunisian election.
The newspaper’s website has reportedly also been hacked overnight. The famously anti-clerical newspaper has run afoul of Islamic opinion before, most notably when it published controversial cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad in 2006.
Staff from the newspaper say that there has been so much damage, there is now no chance of the next issue being out on time. But they say they’re determined to continue, and will be back in action in the next few days. Leading French political figures have already condemned the firebombing, and a legal complaint has reportedly already been filed against persons unknown.