PARIS — After suffering a slaughter in its own newsroom in January, Charlie Hebdo went from a publication that was little-known outside of France to an international symbol of free expression.
Now, in the wake of last week’s massacre in Paris, the once-obscure satirical newspaper has a message that will be heard around the world: “They got the weapons — Screw them, we got the Champagne!”
That’s the caption on the cover of Charlie Hebdo’s latest issue, which is due out on Wednesday.
The cover features a cartoon of a man guzzling champagne, which is cascading out the holes on his upper and lower body.
Friday’s attack in Paris served as a horrifying bookend to the city’s year.
The January shooting was in retaliation for the newspaper’s caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed, a serious affront to some Muslims. That attack left 12 people dead, including Charlie Hebdo’s top editor and several of the publication’s cartoonists.
A little more than a week after the shooting, Charlie Hebdo put out another issue that featured a cartoon depiction of Mohammed on the cover.
Millions of copies of the issue were printed, a dramatic increase from the newspaper’s typical print run.
The issue sold out quickly in Paris and elsewhere in Europe. Americans were also eager to obtain a copy, though the issue was initially hard to come by in the United States.
It was a sign of the publication’s newfound prominence. Vanity Fair reported in July that Charlie Hebdo had raked in millions of dollars in donations and sales following the attack.
The latest issue will likely be the newspaper’s most anticipated since the one it published after the attack in January. It includes an editorial from Charlie Hebdo’s editor, Riss, who invoked Winston Churchill’s famed “blood, toil, tears and sweat” quote.
“Without realizing it, Parisians of 2015 have kind of become Londoners from 1940, determined to never give up, neither to fear nor resignation, no matter what hits them in the face,” he wrote, according to Europe 1.
Riss also called for a debate on Islam, which he said “has become a battlefield where the radicals want to destroy the non-believers and submit by force the moderates.”
“Avoiding the trap of division doesn’t mean giving up the right to criticize religion on the grounds that its practice is sometimes irritating,” he wrote. “Among all of the fundamental freedoms that make up our lives, it’s also this freedom that the killers wanted to eliminate Friday night.”
It is unclear how many issues of the latest issue will be printed. The newspaper did not respond to a request for comment.