Aylan Kurdi's father rebukes Charlie Hebdo

Aylan Kurdi's father rebukes Charlie Hebdo
2 min read
18 January, 2016
Aylan Kurdi's father has condemned French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo for publishing a cartoon depicting a grown-up Aylan as a sexual harasser.
The Charlie Hebdo drawing has triggered sharp criticism on social networks [Twitter]

The father of a drowned Syrian toddler Aylan Kurdi wept when he saw a cartoon depicting his son as an adult involved in sexual harassment, and said Saturday that the family is "in shock."

"When I saw the picture, I cried. Today I am sadder than the day I lost Aylan and my family" Abdallah Kurdi said adding: "My family is still in shock."

"This has revealed the true face of [Charlie Hebdo] and showed that it does not have any regards for the suffering and feelings of human beings," he said in a statement.

Kurdi added that the cartoon was "inhuman and immoral".

Abdallah's three-year-old son Aylan's body was photographed lying face down on a Turkish beach after he drowned on the crossing to Greece, a bleak image that helped focus international attention on the plight of refugees making the perilous journey to Europe.

Aylan's four-year-old brother and his mother also died in the accident.

Charlie Hebdo ran a cartoon depicting Aylan as a man chasing after a woman with a caption asking: "What would have become of small Aylan if he grew up?"

"Someone who gropes asses in Germany," it said, alluding to a rash of crime targeting women at New Year's festivities in Cologne that has been blamed on migrants.

The Charlie Hebdo drawing has triggered sharp criticism on social networks while Aylan's relatives in Canada expressed "disgust".

Queen Rania of Jordan published a cartoon on Friday as a riposte to the Charlie Hebdo cartoon, which has widely been accused of being racist.

Queen Rania posted a cartoon on social media showing Alan as a doctor instead of pervert.

"Aylan could've been a doctor, a teacher, a loving parent," she wrote.

Last September, Charlie Hebdo was harshly criticised for publishing cartoons of dead Aylan lying face down in the sand under the caption "So Close to Goal", with a McDonald's advertisement above him reading: "Two children's menus for the price of one."

In January 2015, gunmen killed 12 people in an assault on the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo, which had been a target since publishing cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in 2006.