New Charlie Hebdo cartoon on Alan Kurdi ‘disgusting,’ family says
Published Wednesday, January 13, 2016 5:54PM PST
Last Updated Wednesday, January 13, 2016 6:30PM PST
Canadian relatives of Alan Kurdi, the refugee boy who died fleeing Syria with his family last year, are calling a new Charlie Hebdo cartoon that evokes his memory tasteless and hurtful.
The French cartoon asks, “What would have happened if little Alan had grown up?” then appears to depict him as one of the men involved in a mass sexual assault in Germany on New Year’s Eve.
“A groper,” the cartoon reads at the bottom.
Coquitlam, B.C. resident Tima Kurdi, who recently managed to bring some of the little boy’s family members into Canada, said she wishes Hebdo would leave her nephew’s image alone.
“This innocent boy should not be used for any of this,” Kurdi told CTV News. “It’s not fair. It hurt me [and] will hurt my brother, too.”
The cartoon was published amid a wave of anti-immigration sentiment that’s been spreading since the New Year’s Eve attacks, which authorities blamed largely on foreigners.
It’s unclear whether Hebdo, a satirical paper that has mocked opponents of immigration in the past, was trying to skewer those xenophobic feelings.
Regardless of the intent, Kurdi said she finds it “disgusting” to see her dead nephew used to make a point.
“I have no words, to be honest,” she said. “The world has to ignore it. I have to ignore it.”
The cartoon isn’t the first time Alan Kurdi’s death has been used as fodder for the paper. Hebdo published two others in September, sparking a massive controvery and triggering outrage among some of the people who supported the publication after the bloody attack on its Paris office earlier in the year.
“That’s the only picture they have to use, let them use it,” Kurdi told CTV News. “But I wish as a human being [that they would] look at it differently.”
With a report from CTV Vancouver’s Scott Hurst