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14 Sep, 2015 14:46

JeSuisCharlie now? Social media outrage at cartoon mocking death of Syrian toddler Aylan Kurdi

JeSuisCharlie now? Social media outrage at cartoon mocking death of Syrian toddler Aylan Kurdi

A wave of indignation has swept across social media after Charlie Hebdo mocked the drowning of Syrian toddler Aylan Kurdi in a perilous journey across the Mediterranean. The poster showed Jesus walking on water with the dead Muslim boy next to him.

The first page of the new cartoon, dubbed ‘Welcome, migrants’ features a gruesome picture of the drowned three-year-old lying face down on the beach. “So Close to the Goal,” the caption reads in French. (YOU MAY FIND LINKED CONTENT OFFENSIVE, READER DISCRETION ADVISED).

Near the body is a billboard advertising the famous 2-for-1 McDonald’s Happy Meal with a smiling face of the restaurant chain’s clown mascot. “Two children’s menus for the price of one,” it says.

Aylan Kurdi’s image has become a symbol for the current refugee crisis. He died alongside his five-year-old brother Galip and their mother Rehen in the Aegean Sea trying to reach the Greek island of Kos.

READ MORE: Gruesome photo of drowned toddler’s body on Turkey beach fuels refugee debate (GRAPHIC)

The second page is dubbed “The Proof that Europe is Christian.” It features the legs of a drowning child and a man, apparently depicting Jesus Christ walking on water.

“Christians walk on water… Muslims kids sink,” says the paper.

And while most social media users bristled with harsh criticism over the mocking of Aylan’s death, saying that Charlie Hebdo is a “bunch of deluded racists” and shouldn’t be called ‘journalists,’ others merely ask the question: JeSuisCharlie now?

The hashtag #JeSuisCharlie was launched after a brutal attack by Islamists on Charlie Hebdo’s HQ in Paris. The magazine has repeatedly received threats over satirical depiction of Prophet Mohammed in its issues. The prophet’s image is taboo in the Muslim faith, let alone his ridicule.

Two brothers, Said and Cherif Kouachi, launched a brutal massacre at the magazine’s HQ in Paris in January, killing 12 people. The attack was followed by related incidents that brought the total death toll to 20.

The whole world sympathized with editors of the controversial magazine, saying that Charlie Hebdo stand for ‘Freedom of expression.’

READ MORE: Clash of Christian & Muslim values: What’s behind the Charlie Hebdo tragedy?

Soon after the assault, Charlie Hebdo's post-attack edition featured the Prophet Mohammed who was shedding a tear while holding a ‘Je Suis Charlie’ sign. It prompted dozens of protests across the Muslim world, which resulted in fatalities, while the majority claimed the new issue defended ‘freedom of speech.’

Prophet Mohammed is not the only object of Charlie Hebdo’s satire. The magazine’s editorial column, which defends secularism and the right to criticize all religions, also mocked Pope Francis and Catholic priests.

It also poked fun at doomed Malaysian Airlines flight MH370, which disappeared in March 2014 and has been searched for ever since.

“We found a piece of the pilot and the air hostess,” said the caption of a cartoon depicting body parts washed up on a beach.