World Outraged After Charlie Hebdo Cartoons ‘Ridicule’ Sinai Plane Crash

Russians have reacted with anger after the French satirical magazine published caricatures of the Russian passenger aircraft crashing in Egypt. Social media in Russia has erupted in fury at the portrayal, with users condemning its publication by Charlie Hebdo.

One Twitter user questioned why the staff at Charlie Hebdo had not printed a cartoon of the members of their team had been shot by jihadists in Paris in January. The user added sarcastically, “That would have been really funny for them.”

Others said that people should just start to “ignore” these “disgusting provocations,” as their creators are trying to “provoke a reaction.”

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov called the cartoons published by Charlie Hebdo “blasphemy.”

“In our country, this would be called ‘blasphemy.’ It has nothing to do with democracy or with self-expression. It is just blasphemy,” Peskov said.

“My colleagues and I tried to find caricatures of the Charlie Hebdo journalists in the magazine, who were shot by terrorists. We were unable to find them. But if they were published, then it would also be blasphemy, well at least in our country,” he added.

A Russian lawmaker called the cartoon, which shows the plane falling near a jihadist fighter, “blasphemy” and an “insult.”

“I believe it is blasphemy and ridicules the memory of those who lost their lives as a result of this catastrophe. This should not be used by any media organizations in any form whatsoever or in any particular genre in which they may specialize,”said Igor Morozov, a member of the Federation Council.

The first cartoon shows parts of the aircraft and a passenger falling toward the ground, while an Islamic State militant, armed with a gun, ducks for cover to avoid the falling debris. Underneath the caricature is the caption: “Daesh: Russia’s aviation intensifies its bombardments.”

Morozov said that the Sinai plane crash “should not be ridiculed.”

He added: “In trying to be original, Charlie Hebdo have plunged everything into shock. Remember the tragedy which happened in January 2015 concerning the publisher. I think that the journalists are provoking acts of violence.”

The second showed a skull and a burned-out plane on the ground, with the caption: “The dangers of low-cost Russia. I should have taken Air Cocaine.” The authors were referring to two French pilots who fled the Dominican Republic to escape arrest for allegedly trying to transport 680 kilograms of the drug.

Maria Zakharova, the spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, wrote on her Facebook page: “Is anyone still Charlie?” in a reference to the catchphrase “JeSuisCharlie” used by many people to express sympathy with the victims of a brutal terrorist attack on Charlie Hebdo’s headquarters in Paris in January after it published satirical cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed.

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