TORONTO – The French satirical magazine at the centre of this month’s deadly terror attacks in Paris has launched an app as worldwide demand for its latest issue grows.
The Charlie Hebdo app is illustrated with the current cover of the magazine, which features the Prophet Muhammad holding a sign reading, “Je suis Charlie” – the phrase of support that has become synonymous with the attacks.
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“Because a pencil will always be better than barbarity… Because freedom is a universal right… Use the official app to read Charlie Hebdo and to support us by buying the latest issue,” the app’s description reads.
The magazine has been struggling to keep up with demand for the issue; the first since the deadly shooting which killed 12 people, including many of the magazine’s editorial staff.
Copies of the issue have sold for as much as $680 on eBay.
The Charlie Hebdo app is available for Android, Windows Phone and Apple’s iOS platform.
However, Apple’s decision to approve the app stands in stark contrast to its previous opinion on satirical and controversial content.
READ MORE: ‘Je Suis Charlie’ app approved in 1 hour after developers contacted Apple CEO
In 2010, the tech giant banned apps from many editorial cartoonists for breaching its policy against “ridiculing public figures.” Stephane Charbonnier, the Charlie Hebdo editor who died in the attack, publically criticized Apple’s stance on satirical cartoons.
Apple later changed its stance on satirical comedy.
Charlie Hebdo’s cover has sparked protests in several Muslim cities, as many believe the caricature is an insult to Islam.
Protesters have been rallying against the magazine for days in Afghanistan – chanting “Death to France,” burning French flags and demanding the French Embassy in Kabul be shut down.
When it comes to religious content, Apple’s app guidelines state, “Apps containing references or commentary about a religious, cultural or ethnic group that are defamatory, offensive, mean-spirited or likely to expose the targeted group to harm or violence will be rejected.”
However, the guidelines now specify that “professional political satirists and humorists” are exempt from these rules.
The app itself is free, but users have to purchase the magazine via an in-app purchase for CAD$3.49. Currently the issue is available in French, English and Spanish.