Arab Cartoonists Reflect on the Charlie Hebdo Attack

  • by:
    • Susan Heller Pinto
  • January 13, 2015

In a show of solidarity with their colleagues, Arab cartoonists in newspapers across the Middle East condemned the terrorist attack on the French magazine, Charlie Hebdo, which left 12 journalists and cartoonists dead.

Almost all editorial cartoonists addressed the attack through their caricatures.  Among the themes was the outcry over the crossing of limits; the condemnation of extreme Islam and the feeling that moderate Islam has also been unjustly attacked.

And just as the attack was referred to in some western media outlets as "France's 9/11", so did some Arab cartoonists use two pencils in place of the World Trade Center.

Some cartoonists also politicized the tragedy and used the meme from last week’s attack as another opportunity to criticize Israel.  For example, a cartoon in the Palestinian Al-Ayyam, depicted an Israeli soldier aiming a rifle at two Palestinians in front of an olive tree holding a sign on which is written "Je Suis Charlie" ("I am Charlie") – implying that Palestinians are targeted in the same way the Charlie Hebdo staff were.


Al-Bayan (UAE) January 8, 2015
Ash-Sharq Al-Awsat (UK) January 9, 2015
Gulf News (UAE) January 10, 2015
Al-Ayyam (Palestinian Authority) January 12, 2015