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16 Bold Covers From Charlie Hebdo, The Magazine That Was Attacked In France

Screen Shot 2015 01 07 at 11.31.12 AMCharlie Hebdo/Screenshot

Earlier today, gunmen stormed the Paris headquarters of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, killing 12 people, including Charlie Hebdo’s editor-in-chief Stéphane Charbonnet.  

As the gunmen stormed the building, they shouted “We have avenged the prophet” and “Allahu Akbar,” leading many to the conclusion that the attacks were a retaliation against the magazine’s long history of provoking Muslims and other groups with controversial magazine covers.

We’ve collected a number of the magazine’s most notable and most controversial covers. 

This 2011 cover is likely Charlie Hebdo's most controversial.

It renamed the magazine Charia Hebdo, in reference to Shari'a law, and named the Prophet Muhammad as a 'guest editor.' In the cartoon, Muhammed states, '100 lashes if you don't die of laughter!' The issue sparked a hacking of the magazine's website and arson of the magazine's office.

This 2011 cover came months after the controversy riled up by the Charia Hebdo cover.

It reads 'Love is stronger than hate,' and features a Muslim man kissing a Charlie Hebdo cartoonist.

This 2006 cover was just the tip of the iceberg that set off a firestorm of controversy.

The cover features a weeping Muhammed with the headline, 'Muhammed Overwhelmed By Fundamentalists,' and the caption reading, 'It's hard being loved by idiots.' The issue featured reprintings of controversial cartoons originally printed in Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten. Muslim groups sued the magazine, but Charlie Hedbo prevailed in 2007.

The magazine's response to Michael Jackson's death in 2009 was unsparing.

It reads, 'Michael Jackson, white at last.'

On October 1st, 2014, the magazine featured Muhammed again.

The cartoon features a member of ISIS about to behead Muhammed and calling him an infidel. The caption reads, 'If Muhammad were to return...' In response to criticism, the magazine's editor Charb told the Cairo Post, '(ISIS) has failed to understand the concepts of Islam to a point where they could consider the Muslim prophet an infidel.'

The magazine was sued in the Criminal Court of Paris in 2013 for this cover.

The cover reads 'The Qu'ran is crap. It does not stop bullets.' The League of Judicial Defence of Muslims said the cover was 'an incitement to racial hatred.'

In September 2010, France banned the use of the burqa, the niqab, and other face-covering garments. It inspired this cover.

The cover reads, 'Yes to wearing burqas.' The caption clarifies, '... on the inside!'

In September 2012, this cover lead France to close its embassies, consulates, cultural centres and schools in twenty countries.

The cover satirizes two popular movies at the time, 'The Intouchables,' a French film about a paralysed rich white man, who hires a poor black man to take care of him, and 'Innocence of Muslims,' a controversial anti-Islamic movie that was credited as the spark to the Benghazi Attack. The cover features an Orthodox Jewish man pushing a Muslim man in a wheelchair. The caption reads, 'Don't mock!'

No topic is off limits for Charlie Hebdo.

In 2001, just months after the September 11th attacks, they ran this issue featuring Osama Bin Laden bragging about carrying out the attacks on New York with 'no hands.'

The magazine took on American culture and Jesus in one swoop in 2006.

The magazine's cover skewers French TV station TF1 for picking up American reality shows. The cover says, 'TF1's latest in reality TV' and features a crucified Jesus yelling, 'I'm a celebrity, get me out of here!'

Charlie Hebdo often takes on the Pope.

This cover features Pope Benedict XVI holding up a condom and shouting 'This is my body.' It pokes fun at the Pope's confusing statements in 2010 about approved condom use. The headline reads, 'The Pope goes too far.'

This May 2011 cover came on the heels of the US's announcement of Bin Laden's death.

It reads, 'Bin Laden is alive!' and features Osama Bin Laden dressed as Elvis.

Before the conclusion of the trial in 2007, Charlie Hedbo featured a cover that spread the ridicule around.

The cover features a Jew, the Pope, and an Islamic fundamentalist all shouting, 'Charlie Hebdo must be veiled!'

Charlie Hebdo has a long history of bold covers, like this one from 1971.

This cover came three years after massive student riots in 1968. The cartoon reads, 'Vote stupid ... you don't have a choice.'

In November 2012, the magazine celebrated the introduction of a bill legalizing same-sex marriage with this cover.

The cover features 'The Father, The Son, and The Holy Ghost' in a ménage à trois. The headline reads, 'Cardinal Vingt-Trois has three dads: the Father, the Son, and The Holy Ghost.' The line references comments made by the Archbishop of Paris, who called same-sex marriage 'deception.'

In 2010, the magazine took on the sex scandals in the Catholic Church.

Pope Benedict XVI warns a bishop to 'Go into movies, like Polanski ... ' referencing the free pass had by film director Roman Polanski, who has long been accused of the rape of a 13-year-old American girl.

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