Queen Rania of Jordan has publically criticised the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo over the publication of a cartoon depicting the drowned Syrian child Aylan Kurdi as a sexual molester.
Charlie Hebdo’s interpretation of an older Aylan Kurdi, who made headlines around the world when a picture showed his body washed up on a beach in Turkey, depicted him as an animal-like figure chasing a woman. It was accompanied with the caption “What would little Aylan become if he'd grown up? … Someone who gropes asses in Germany."
Rania expressed her shock by working with Jordanian cartoonist Osama Hajjaj to draw Kurdi as a successful member of society, in the uniform of a doctor.
Mirroring the premise of the Charlie Hebdo cartoon in a more positive manner, three versions of Rania’s cartoon were produced in English, French and Arabic, reading: “What would little Aylan have grown up to be?”
With the cartoons, Queen Rania wrote on social media "Aylan could've been a doctor, a teacher, a loving parent.”
Queen Rania and her husband, King Abdullah II of Jordan, took part in the huge peace march in Paris in January 2015 which followed the attack on the magazines offices by Islamist gunmen that resulted in 12 deaths.
Soon after the attack, she also wrote on Facebook about the distress the attacks caused her: “As a Muslim, it pains me when someone derides Islam and my religious beliefs. It also pains me when someone derides other religions and other people’s religious beliefs.”
“But what offends me more, much more, are the actions of the criminals who, this week, dared to use Islam to justify the cold-blooded murder of innocent civilians. This is not about Islam or being offended by the Charlie Hebdo magazine. This is about a handful of extremists who wanted to slaughter people for any reason and at any cost.”
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