Frank Magazine Runs Charlie Hebdo's Muhammad Cartoons

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An Ottawa satirical magazine has replaced its website’s banner with that of Charlie Hebdo, the French publication whose offices came under attack on Wednesday.

Frank Magazine posted a cartoon from Charlie Hebdo showing the Prophet Muhammad leading a camel across the desert. In what now looks like bone-chilling foreshadowing, the magazine’s name is pock-marked with bullet holes in the picture.

Frank’s editor, Michael Bate, told Global News the magazine is publishing the pictures out of solidarity with Charlie Hebdo, whose offices were attacked Wednesday, leaving at least 12 people dead, including four prominent cartoonists.

He said the magazine would publish more of Charlie Hebdo’s cartoons, both online and in the print edition.

The magazine’s decision came as other media outlets across Canada debated whether or not to show the satirical cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad that are believed to be linked to the attack in Paris.

A note from CBC journalistic standards director David Studer, published online Wednesday, made clear the broadcaster would not publish the cartoons.

“We wouldn’t have published these images before today — not out of fear, but out of respect for the beliefs and sensibilities of the mass of Muslim believers,” the note read. “Why would the actions of a gang of violent thugs force us to change that position?”

But Frank magazine’s Bate took a different view.

“We can’t back down,” said Bate. “We’ve got to show solidarity with these guys.”

Bate noted that his controversial satirical magazine has itself been the target of threats — including, famously, from then-Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, who in 1991 threatened to “take a gun” to the magazine after it urged young Tories to “deflower” his daughter, Caroline, then 15.

There are in fact two satirical magazines named Frank published in Canada: One out of Halifax, launched in 1987, and the Ottawa magazine, published on and off since 1989. The two magazines are unaffiliated.

The Ottawa magazine went of business in 2008, and returned in 2013.

Andrew Douglas, editor of the Halifax magazine, told CBC his publication has received death threats in the past — "not all the time, but it happens."

For some, an attack like this is "terribly scary .. but the fact that some people get their nose out of joint over something as simple as cartoons? It makes it all the more important to run those cartoons,” Douglas said.

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