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Firebombed French Newspaper to Continue Printing Controversial Muhammad Cartoon

Firebombed French Newspaper to Continue Printing Controversial Muhammad Cartoon

..."guest edited" by the Prophet Muhammad

PARIS (The Blaze/AP) -- The satirical French newspaper whose offices were firebombed this week fought back Friday against efforts to interrupt its operations, starting a blog and publishing more copies of a controversial edition.

Charlie Hebdo's website has been down since it released a special edition Wednesday that was "guest edited" by the Prophet Muhammad and took aim at radical Islam. Editors of the weekly said they also lost access to their Facebook page for more than 24 hours.

No one was injured in the attack and the protests so far have been limited to the Web, but there are concerns that the spoof could trigger a wave of violent demonstrations. The paper's front page depicted the prophet; such images are generally prohibited by Islam for fear they could lead to idolatry.

Under the headline, "The Internet's Homeless," the editors of Charlie Hebdo described in their first post Thursday how they will continue to publish.

The paper's offices were destroyed just hours before the edition hit the newsstands. Employees are working on next week's print edition from the offices of the French daily Liberation.

On Friday, the paper was again available at newsstands after having sold out Wednesday.

Charlie Hebdo's Internet presence has also been the victim of hackers. Its website is still down, and the editors said on their blog that for more than a day they weren't able to access their Facebook page, where thousands of users posted angry comments and apparently "reported" the page as offensive.

By Friday evening, they were able to get into the account for their official page once again. Access to another page remained blocked, however.

Users had always been able to visit the pages, even though the editors couldn't update them.

It wasn't clear why the editors were denied access. Facebook did not immediately respond to requests for comment. RPI reported that the editors are less than content with Facebook's handling of the situation. Here's a rundown of what's going on:

Charlie Hebdo’s Facebook page has been swamped with 13,000 messages, many of them threats and insults, since the publication of this week’s issue retitled Charia Hebdo and featuring a cartoon of Mohammed on its front cover.

But its moderator cannot remove them, the blog says, “under the pretext - surprise! surprise! – that Charlie Hebdo is not a ‘real’ person” and because it breaches a ban on “publications featuring nudity or other sexually suggestive content”, says the satirical paper’s blog, launched on Thursday to show that it is “reborn from the ashes”.

Facebook rules do include that ban as well as one on “hate speech, credible threats, or direct attacks on an individual or group", which critics who accuse the paper of Islamophobia may argue justifies the move.

Reporters Without Borders called on Facebook to "renounce censorship" and warned it not to shut down the pages.

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