PARIS — In an emotional act of defiance, Charlie Hebdo resurrected its irreverent and often provocative newspaper Tuesday, featuring a caricature of the Prophet Muhammad on the cover that drew immediate criticism and threats of more violence.
The newspaper unapologetically skewered other religions as well, and bragged that Sunday's turnout of a million people at a march in Paris to condemn terrorism was larger "than for Mass."
"For the past week, Charlie, an atheist newspaper, has achieved more miracles than all the saints and prophets combined," it said in the edition's lead editorial. "The one we are most proud of is that you have in your hands the newspaper that we always made."
Working out of borrowed offices, surviving staff published an unprecedented print run of 3 million copies — more than 50 times the usual circulation.
It was to appear on newsstands today, one week to the day after the assault by two masked gunmen that killed 12 people, including much of the weekly's editorial staff and two police officers. It was the beginning of three days of terror that saw 17 people killed before the three Islamic extremist attackers were gunned down by security forces.
Before the new edition was even released, one of Egypt's top Islamic authorities had warned Charlie Hebdo against publishing more cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.
Dar al-Ifta, which is in charge of issuing religious edicts, called the planned cover an "unjustified provocation" for millions of Muslims who respect and love their prophet and warned the cartoon would likely spark a new wave of hatred.
Indeed, criticism and threats immediately appeared on militant websites, with calls for more strikes against the newspaper and anonymous threats from radicals, according to the SITE Intelligence Group, a U.S.-based terrorism monitor.
The latest cover shows a weeping Muhammad, holding a sign reading "I am Charlie" with the words "All is forgiven" above him. Zineb El Rhazoui, a journalist with the weekly, said the cover meant the journalists