Charlie Hebdo — the French satirical magazine hit by a deadly Islamist terror attack in 2015 over the publication's treatment of the Prophet Mohammed — on Wednesday published yet another scathing cartoon on its cover targeting Muslims, Agence France-Presse reported.
The cover art shows two people lying in pools of blood after a van ran them over accompanied by the text, "Islam, eternal religion of peace," the outlet said.
The cover appears to be a reaction to the terrorist attacks last week in Spain when a driver ran down and killed more than a dozen people and injured scores more.
But critics of the Charlie Hebdo cover said it unfairly indicts the entire Muslim religion rather than its radical element, AFP said.
Socialist MP and former minister Stephane Le Foll called the cartoon "extremely dangerous," the outlet said. He said that "when you're a journalist you need to exercise restraint because making these associations can be used by other people," AFP reported.
But Charlie Hebdo editor Laurent "Riss" Sourisseau defended the cover in an editorial, the outlet noted, which said officials have been skirting difficult inquiries over concern for moderate, law-abiding Muslims.
"The debates and questions about the role of religion, and in particular the role of Islam, in these attacks have completely disappeared," Sourisseau wrote, AFP said.
More from AFP:
Charlie Hebdo lampoons all religions and religious figures, but its depictions of the Prophet Mohammed — an act considered sinful under Islam — sparked outrage, death threats and ultimately violence.
Two gunmen who claimed allegiance to Al-Qaeda killed 12 people in an attack on its offices in January 2015 which left many of its star cartoonists dead.
Hundreds of thousands of people marched through the streets of France afterward, rallying behind the slogan "Je Suis Charlie" ("I Am Charlie") in defense of the right to free speech.
The outlet added that Patrick Pelloux — a former Charlie Hebdo contributor — defended the paper: "We need to fight Islamist terrorism and religious radicalism, not a magazine."