The controversial satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo, will release its latest issue tomorrow in spite of the massacre at its Paris offices, sparking ‘incredible’ demand in Brixton.
A Brixton newsagent planning to sell copies of Charlie Hebdo on Friday says he has never seen such demand for a magazine.
Pritesh Patel, who owns the news kiosk inside Brixton Tube station, has been inundated with requests for the satirical French publication.
Charlie Hebdo’s staff produced the magazine this week despite 12 of their colleagues being murdered by two Islamic extremists.
Mr Patel said: “We could have sold hundreds. Since Wednesday the demand has been incredible. We’ve never had a title go this big.
“You’ve had other titles like the last issue of the Dandy, but nothing like this.”
Brixton News have ordered in 50 copies of the controversial edition, although poor weather overnight could affect ferries transporting the magazine from France.
Five million copies of the title have been printed in France, and Mr Patel says that interest in the magazine has been strongest among the ex-pat community.
“We’ve got a big French community here in Brixton but I’ve had all nationalities, Spanish, Portuguese, Africans – everyone,” he said.
This week’s edition of Charlie Hebdo has aroused anger among Muslims for its cartoon depiction of the Prophet Muhammad.
The Muslim Council of Britain has urged restraint from UK Muslims.
Some major UK stores, such as WH Smith, have said they will not be selling it, despite the high demand.
Mr Patel says that he consulted with his work colleagues before deciding to order the magazine in for the first, and probably the last, time.
“My colleagues I work with are Muslim. So I asked them first. If they felt insulted, I wouldn’t have sold it. They were fine with it,” he said.
“The picture itself is not offensive. He’s got a tear in his eye, so if anything he’s showing compassion. I think the title in the top is, ‘All Is Forgiven’. If anything it’s compassionate.
“I won’t display it prominently. But I won’t need to. There’s so much demand people will just ask for it. People just asking for it is enough to clear whatever supply I get.”
Picture courtesy of A bloke called Jerm, with thanks
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