Charlie Hebdo is a satirical magazine, priding itself for being dumb and nasty (bête et méchant).
On the 7th January 2015, at least twelve people were murdered in the magazines offices in Paris, after an attack by three gunmen. Another 11 people are seriously wounded, 5 are in critical condition. Those murdered include the editor, editorial staff and main cartoonists.
It is assumed that the attack was by “religious fundamentalists”.
The French government has banned the magazine in the past (resulting in a change in name) after the magazine made satire of the reporting of the death of Charles de Gaulle who died eight days after a fire killing 146 people in a nightclub.
In September 2012, the newspaper published a series of satirical cartoons of Muhammed, some of which feature nude caricatures of him. Riot police had to surround the offices of the magazine to protect against possible attacks, and the magazine was criticised by the French minister of the interior.
One thing I don’t understand is how people know that those cartoons are of Prophet Muhammed if it’s not possible to draw cartoons of him — how can he be recognised?
Charlie Hebdo is regarded as being left-wing, the attack on their offices is feared to lead a lurch to the right in France.