Newsagent Mrs Aghera stands up for Charlie
Nervous, shaking…but what I’m doing is right.
I’m not going to be scared.
Wrong (to kill) over a silly cartoon, a joke
A lone Asian newsagent, Mrs Ila Aghera, 54, is standing up for Charlie Hebdo with an order for more than 100 copies of the ‘survivors’ edition published today.
“I am nervous. I’m shaking now, I’m only a little village shop (in Charlton Kings, Cheltenham) but I don’t care because what I am doing is right.
“I might be old fashioned but I’m not going to be scared. I’m selling it as a one off. I have 80 orders so far and it is getting out of hand as people across the UK are calling and asking from them,” Mrs Aghera told the Telegraph newspaper.
Mrs Aghera is doing what large chains such as WH Smiths have refused to do.
A mother of two, she said: “All age groups should know what happened. What happened in France is very upsetting, [the killing] was very wrong, for a silly cartoon that was a joke to make people laugh. I’ve ordered over 100 copies. I’m just doing my job and providing a service. If people want to read it they should be able to.”
The magazine’s cartoon front cover of the Prophet Mohammed has sparked anger amongst some Muslims, with radical cleric Anjem Choudary describing it as “an act of war” and warning of “retaliations”.
The latest edition is published a week after many of the Charlie Hebdo editorial team were massacred in an attack at their Paris office which saw terrorist brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi kill 12 people.
Five of Charlie Hebdo’s cartoonists – including the editor – were killed in the attack.
The satirical weekly’s cover was described as “blatant provocation” by Anjem Choudary, a lecturer in syariah law, who was arrested in the UK last September as part of an investigation into Islamist terrorism.
But Sughra Ahmed, president of the Islamic Society of Britain, said freedom needs to be defended “at all costs”.
“Those Muslims who feel offended may have a right, but in the scheme of things we should be far more offended by injustice, economic exploitation, anti-Semitism, homophobia, murder, etc,” she said.
“We are not defending the new cartoon per se, but the ‘all is forgiven’ sentiment is important and gracious and if many of my work colleagues were shot dead, I would feel defiant and want to fight back, so I understand where this is coming from.
“The people that committed the murders in the name of Mohammed did anything but help his teachings and his cause.”
The edition will be priced at £3.50 in the UK.
A total of 17 police and civilians were killed by the Kouachi brothers and their colleague Amedy Coulibaly in separate attacks on the French capital.