The French satire magazine Charlie Hebdo, that became well-known after attacks on its office attributed to an illustration of the founder of Islam, the prophet Muhammad, is taking heat for its cover depicting the devastation from Hurricane Harvey.
The cover features submerged people giving the Nazi salute and swastika flags. The headline reads: “God Exists! He Drown All the Neo-Nazis of Texas.”
Charlie Hebdo’s choice provoked angry responses from social media.
"Absolutely disgusting," tweeted British TV personality Piers Morgan.
"An evil, despicable cover. Also, the losers at Charlie Hebdo have a God-given right to publish it, & no one has the right to shoot them," tweeted National Review writer Tiana Lowe.
"So the idiots at Charlie Hebdo are cheering the #Houston #Harvey disaster b/c they claim it drowned neo-Nazis. WTF?!" tweeted conservative commentator Debbie Schlussel.
"Hey Charlie Hebdo F— You Scumbag! Those were all God Loving Americans that Grandfathers saved FRANCE from NAZI's," tweeted user @USMC_Michaels.
A recent uptick in white nationalist demonstrations, including a hate rally that turned deadly in Charlottesville, Virgina, might also be fanning the flames, but Charlie Hebdo is satirical magazine and could commenting on the conservatives from Texas that believe natural disasters are God’s way of punishing sinners.
Reactionary conservative pundit Ann Coulter tweeted: “I don't believe Hurricane Harvey is God's punishment for Houston electing a lesbian mayor. But that is more credible than ‘climate change.’”
Coulter isn’t the only one who thinks man-woman sex is the only way to keep the world safe. Far-right activist and former high school football coach Dave Daubenmire, who was the target of an ACLU lawsuit because he forced his players to pray with him, blames not only gay sex, but also abortion rights.
“Houston, we got a problem here,” Daubenmire said. “Could some of the problems be the result of the judgment of God coming your way because of the slaughter of unborn children? You had a lesbian mayor who wanted to look at the prayers of pastors in their churches. It’s debaucherous.”
“People tell me that Houston, Texas, is one of the darkest cities in America,” he continued. “Isn’t it amazing, Katrina slammed New Orleans — we know about voodoo and the darkness in New Orleans. Then it moved right down the coast to Houston, Texas … Boom, here it comes, now it’s underwater. Water is a sign of judgment and cleansing. Is now not the time for the voice of the church to rise up and declare, ‘Let’s stop killing the babies!'”
Harvey has claimed at least 37 lives, displaced more than 30,000 people and caused damages estimated at more than $150 billion. Flooding continues in the Houston area and in East Texas.
Experts said the waters in the Gulf of Mexico, warmed due to climate change, caused Hurricane Harvey to gain more strength causing more destruction and flooding.
Perhaps former Congressman Joe Walsh was trying his hand at satire when he tweeted that Charlie Hebdo goes after everyone except Muslims.
In January 2015, two terrorists forced their way into Charlie Hebdo's Paris offices with assault rifles and killed 12 people and injured 11 others.
"Je suis Charlie ("We are Charlie") became a slogan and a social media hashtag. The magazine's response to the attack was another cover featuring the prophet Muhammad holding a sign that read "Tout est pardonné" ("All is forgiven").
Walsh later clarified in a tweet: “Since the attack, Hebdo has pulled their punches. They're now afraid of Islam, but make fun of hurricane victims. The Muslim terrorists won.”