Charlie Hebdo: Several Northern Ireland newsagents vow to sell special edition of French satirical magazine
A number of newsagents in Northern Ireland say they intend to sell the special edition of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo - complete with a controversial cover featuring a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed.
Others have decided not to put it on the shelves.
One independent newsagent in Co Antrim, who was too scared to be named because of the controversy, said he intends to display the English-language version of the magazine in full view in his shop when it is published today.
Newsagent chainstore WH Smith - which has outlets here - says it will not be selling the special edition.
A spokeswoman only said: "We won't be stocking it. It is not a title we normally stock so we won't be stocking the special edition."
A spokesman for Eason confirmed today: "Eason has never stocked the French magazine Charlie Hebdo and has no plans to in the future."
One newsagent, who preferred to remain anonymous, said: "The magazine will be on sale at £3.50 and I will sell it. My policy is that if any sort of publication is distributed I will sell it.
"Newsagents were contacted on Saturday and asked to let it be known if they wished to get the special Charlie Hebdo edition.
"Because of everything that has happened it is going to be a collector's item almost and one of those publications that many people will want. Some people will want to buy it to say they stood up for Press freedom.
"During the Troubles here as a newsagent, I and many other newsagents received threats not to sell certain publications but my view is that if a publication is distributed I will sell it. I have never pulled a publication from the shelves."
Therese Moran (53) from Belfast said: "I want to buy a copy to show a little bit of solidarity.
"By buying the magazine it demonstrates a worldwide recognition that what happened was completely vile."
A statement from the Belfast Islamic Centre said while it agreed with freedom of speech, "depicting our beloved Prophet Muhammad will once again cause profound hurt to the sensitivities of more than 1.6 billion Muslims worldwide since it is considered tantamount to a personal insult upon the faith of each and every Muslim around the world."
Story in brief
The special edition of Charlie Hebdo will feature a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed on the front page with a tear coming from his eye holding a placard stating the now famous words of support for Charlie Hebdo and press freedom - 'Je suis Charlie' (I am Charlie), and a headline which translates as 'All is forgiven'. The magazine vowed not to give in to terror after the murder of 12 of its staff and dramatically increased the normal print run of 60,000 to up to three million to be sold across Europe. It will be printed in English for the UK.