Moscow is outraged over a cartoon in France’s Charlie Hebdo that mocks the Russian plane crash in Egypt.
“This has nothing to do with democracy, self-expression or whatever. It is pure blasphemy,” Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters, according to Russia’s TASS news agency. “I am not commenting on moral standards of the French — this is a concern of theirs — but in this country it is clear blasphemy.”
The illustration is one of dozens of cartoons in this week’s edition of Charlie Hebdo, which has been beset by tensions this year over whether there should be limits, after 12 people were killed at the magazine’s offices by Islamic extremists over the paper’s publication of caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad.
The cartoon appears on the magazine’s back page and shows parts of a plane and a passenger falling from the sky onto a bearded, armed militant.
Here’s the full cartoon:
The commentary reads: “Islamic State: Russian aviation intensifies its bombardments.” Russians have been conducting airstrikes in Syria since end of September.
Lawmakers at the Russian State Duma voiced their outrage as well, calling on the government to blacklist the French publication as extremist literature and insisting that the French authorities react and apologize.
“The caricatures are overgrowing the boundaries of French journalism. They are so sacrilegious that they require some kind of reaction from the French officials. Their silence will mean their taciturn consent to Charlie’s usurped right to mock and scoff at the tragedy,” Alexey Pushkov, the head of the Russian State Duma, told TASS.
Another, Konstantin Kosachev, referred to the cartoons “as another example of consistent amorality.”
“It is impossible to try to expand the boundaries of what is possible by breaking the limits. What comes next is inadmissible indifference to moral values and indifference to human suffering,” he added.
“The Charlie Hebdo journalists danced on the memory of people who died in that terrible air crash. These caricatures will deliver a hard blow at the image of France and Europe where such things are possible,” said Vyacheslav Nikonov, the head of the Russian State Duma Committee for Education.
Russian users of social media were no less forgiving. One said Russian journalists seen in a photo wearing the now-iconic “Je Suis Charlie” shirts in the wake of the shooting were committing “treason.” Another said to the cartoonists, “Burn in hell.”
— Замполит (@ComradZampolit) November 6, 2015
Additional reporting by Mashable. Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.