The offices of a satirical French magazine were gutted on Wednesday by what its editor said was a firebomb, after it put an image of the Prophet Mohammed on its cover, Reuters reports.
“The building is still standing. The problem is there’s nothing left inside,” Stephane Charbonnier, editor of the weekly Charlie Hebdo, told Europe 1 radio.
This week’s edition shows a cartoon of Mohammed and a speech bubble with the words: “100 lashes if you don’t die of laughter.”
It has the headline “Charia Hebdo,” in a reference to Muslim sharia law, and says Mohammed guest-edited the issue.
A police source stopped short of blaming the blaze at the Paris offices on a firebomb and said it happened around 1 a.m. (midnight GMT), adding that no one had been injured.
The magazine’s website on Wednesday appeared to have been hacked and showed images of a mosque with the message “no god but allah.”
Many Muslims find any image of the Prophet Mohammed offensive.
The publication of a cartoon of Mohammed in a Danish newspaper in 2005 sparked angry protests across the Muslim world in which at least 50 people died.
Television footage of Charlie Hebdo’s headquarters showed trash strewn on the sidewalk and a burned-out interior.
“It’s clear that it’s impossible to put together a paper in these conditions. For next week we will find offices elsewhere,” the editor said. “In any case there is no question that we will give ground to the Islamists. We will continue.”
The magazine had received many emails containing insults and threats in the past few days, he added.
“We condemn with the greatest strength what is nothing other than an attack against a publication in a country that must embody freedom of expression,” Jean-Francois Cope, head of the ruling conservative UMP party, told Europe 1 radio.