Charlie Hebdo to pull no punches with front page Muhammad cartoon

The first edition of satirical French magazine Charlie Hebdo to be published since 12 of its staff members, including five cartoonists and its editor, were gunned down by Islamic terrorists last week is to pull no punches with a front page cartoon depicting the Prophet Muhammad.

Holding a ‘Je suis Charlie’ sign the deity is displayed alongside the words ‘All is forgiven’ and has already been reproduced in advance by French media ahead of its publication tomorrow.

A record breaking 3m copies of the magazine are in production for this week’s special edition, far in excess of the 60,000 copies sold in a regular print run.

Speaking to France info radio the magazine’s lawyer Richard Malka said: “We will not give in. The spirit of 'I am Charlie' means the right to blaspheme."

Surviving staff are now working from the offices of Liberation to complete the issue but have declined offers of contributions from other cartoonists.

Distributors of around 1,000 copies to be put on sale in the UK have played down suggestions that they may in turn become the focus for further terror attacks.