The Citizen apologises for printing Muhammad cartoon

2015-01-15 11:22

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - The Citizen on Thursday said it had no malicious intent when it published a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad as seen on the front page of the French Charlie Hebdo magazine.

"It was an oversight, there were no malicious intents... it was not meant to offend anybody," the publication's editor Steven Motale said.

"We know that the use of the image of Prophet Muhammad is forbidden in Islam [and] we unreservedly apologise to those we offended."

Motale said they had only received a handful of complaints from readers and had not been pressurised into apologising.

On Thursday, the daily published a front page apology for offending its readers.

"The Citizen would never intentionally offend anyone's religious sensibilities, especially in the manner used by Charlie Hebdo magazine, several of whose staff members were murdered in Paris last week," it said.

"We deplore those killings, as we do any attempt to enforce censorship through violence. We uphold the right to free speech.

"Yesterday, in our continuing coverage of the Charlie Hebdo aftermath, we published an image which caused offence to many Muslim readers. We regret this oversight. We apologise to all who were offended."

Crying Prophet

On Wednesday, The Citizen published a photo of the front page of the latest edition of the magazine showing a crying Prophet Muhammad.

The prophet is shown holding a placard saying "je suis Charlie" (I am Charlie), with the headline "all is forgiven" above his head in French.

Afrikaans daily Beeld also published the image in its Wednesday edition and on Thursday published a photo of the magazine on a newsstand in France.

The magazine's surviving staff put out an unprecedented three million copies on Wednesday which were quick to leave the shelves, news agency Associated Press reported.

"Disappointed buyers were told to come back Thursday when more of the increased print run of 5 million copies will be available," it said.

Al-Qaeda claims attack

Last week Wednesday, two brothers, Said and Cherif Kouachi - reportedly linked to al-Qaeda - were named as those who staged an attack at the Paris offices of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

Twelve people, including the editor and three cartoonists, other magazine staffers and two policemen were gunned down.

The al-Qaeda branch in Yemen has reportedly claimed responsibility for the Hebdo attack as retaliation for the magazine's frequent satirical portrayals of the Prophet Muhammad.

Read more on:    charlie hebdo  |  prophet muhammad  |  johannesburg  |  paris shooting  |  media

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.