French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo is in the middle of an online firestorm after it sparked a fresh controversy by publishing a cartoon that shows the three-year old Syrian refugee toddler Aylan Kurdi, who died in the sea in September on the way to Europe, as an adult who would have grown up to become a "groper in Germany."
"What would have little Aylan grown up to be? A bum groper in Germany" reads the caption of the cartoon in an apparent attempt to link the recent accusations of sexual abuse in Germany on the eve of New Year by unidentified assailants with the refugee crisis in Europe.
Reacting to the cartoon, Kurdi's aunt described the illustration as "disgusting."
"I hope people respect our family's pain. It's a big loss to us. We're not the same anymore after this tragedy. We're trying to forget a little bit and move on with our life. But to hurt us again, it's not fair," Tima Kurdi told CBC News.
Soon after the cartoon went viral, the magazine, which has been a target of extremist attack in the past and many conservatives for its blurred vision of satire and freedom of speech, got an online bashing for its recent issue. Many of the netizens even went on to call the magazine as "insensitive" and "outright racist."
Here are some of the Twitter reactions that help to gauge the mood of people about the cartoon
Wow...this is pure racism, not satire or humor. Charlie Hebdo makes fun of the drowned child! Very disturbing to... https://t.co/lbLNwUjFL3— Christian Feiland (@feiland) January 14, 2016
More upset by #charliehebdo mocking reactions to the migrant crisis than by actual reactions to the migrant crisis? Yes, that's the point.— Nathaniel Tapley (@Natt) January 14, 2016
Whichever race or religion a person belongs to, How can a person mock a baby's death?! Is there any difference between animals & humans now?— عمرفاروق صادق (@UmarFarukSadik) January 14, 2016
An innocent toddler dies and u run jokes about they'd be a pervert if they grew up? Charlie hebdo got what they deserved I've just realised— #BWIGM (@JamzLdn) January 13, 2016
Charlie Hebdo's recent Alan Kurdi cartoon just underscores the zine's racist message under the guise of satire. It's nothing short of that.— Sana Saeed (@SanaSaeed) January 13, 2016
There is nothing, absolutely nothing 'revolutionary' about Charlie Hebdo's latest cartoon, this is pure fascism. pic.twitter.com/cqGUMxuyWG— Mahmoud (@MahmoudRamsey) January 13, 2016
The fact #CharlieHebdo can publish their Alan Kurdi smear speaks volumes about the climate of racism in France - which they are escalating.— Ewa Jasiewicz (@ewajasiewicz) January 14, 2016
For the record I found Charlie Hebdo's new cartoon on Kurdi tasteless, crass, not clever and not funny but the hysteria is nauseating.— Ralph Leonard (@buffsoldier_96) January 13, 2016