“This is the second Charlie Hebdo affair!” So read one of the thousands of tweets that Turks posted in protest of a cartoon that appeared in the weekly satirical magazine Girgir on Feb 16. The cartoon made fun not of the Prophet Muhammad, but of another prophet: Moses. Since Moses is a sacred figure not just in Judaism and Christianity but also Islam, Turkey’s conservative Muslims reacted with a fury that quickly ended the life of the magazine.
The cartoon in question depicted Moses and his fellow Israelites walking together right after the parting of the Red Sea. Moses, with staff in his hand, was pictured as bragging about how he accomplished the miracles. Others walking with him, however, were complaining about his bragging. One was suggesting that he should have defeated the pharaoh’s soldiers. Two others were telling him to “shut up” and even using the F-word.