Charlie Hebdo’s Most Controversial Political Cartoons

Gunfire broke out Wednesday in an attack at the offices of French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, leaving 12 dead, including four prominent cartoonists.

Known for its caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad, as well as critical depictions of Catholics, Jews and French politicians, the magazine regularly stirred controversy.

Charlie Hebdo gained notoriety in 2006 for its portrayal of a sobbing Muhammad, under the headline “Mahomet débordé par les intégristes” (“Muhammad overwhelmed by fundamentalists”). Within its pages, the magazine published 12 cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, bringing unprecedented condemnation from the Muslim world. The French Council for the Muslim Faith eventually sued the weekly for the cartoon. The issue has since been considered the one which positioned Charlie Hebdo as a target for terrorist attacks.


Before a French court sided with Charlie Hebdo in the lawsuit, in 2007, another cartoon was published with the text “Charlie Hebdo must be veiled!”


In 2011, headlined by a cartoon reading “100 lashes if you don’t die of laughter,” an issue invited Muhammad to be a “guest editor” for the weekly. The Charlie Hebdo offices were firebombed following its publication.

100 lashes

Charlie Hebdo’s website was hacked following a 2011 cartoon depicting the Prophet Muhammad as gay.

gay prophet

The weekly received backlash again in 2012 after publishing a cartoon criticizing religious Muslims and Jews.


In a more recent issue, the magazine published a cartoon depicting a member of the Islamic State group beheading Muhammad.

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