Amman: Jordan's Queen Rania has hit back at a cartoon in French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo depicting drowned Syrian toddler Aylan Kurdi as a grown-up refugee committing sexual offences in Germany.
Queen Rania posted a cartoon on Facebook and Twitter by Jordan's Osama Hajjaj depicting the little boy lying face down on the beach alongside an older child with a backpack and finally a doctor.
The Queen added the caption: "Aylan could've been a doctor, a teacher, a loving parent."
The Queen's post was in response to Charlie Hebdo's carricature showing a pervert chasing a woman, with the caption asking: "What would have become of small Aylan if he grew up?"
Abdullah Kurdi, Aylan's father, wept when he saw the cartoon depicting his son as an adult involved in sexual harassment, and said that the family is "in shock."
"When I saw the picture, I cried," Abdullah Kurdi told AFP by telephone, adding: "My family is still in shock."
He also said in a written statement that the cartoon in French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo was "inhuman and immoral" and as bad as the actions of the "war criminals and terrorists" who have caused widespread death and displacement in Syria and elsewhere.
Charlie Hebdo was widely condemned by several media figures and activists as overtly racist and outrageously shocking, particularly that Charlie Hebdo had already misused the image of the drowned Aylan for “disgusting” satire when Europeans displayed sympathy for Syrian refugees.
Queen Rania’s cartoon was highly acclaimed by online users who hailed her approach to express her sentiments and attitudes and to reject the “blasphemous” abuse of a dead child.
Several users highlighted that Queen Rania‘s genuine compassion set her apart from those who used tragedies to further their own agendas without any consideration for other people’s feelings.
"Queen Rania gives an elegant and effective rebuttal that refutes the shameful Charlie Hebdo cartoon. She is such a class act!" Facebook user Jane Shartzer commented on the Queen's page.
In January last year, Queen Rania and her husband King Abdullah II participated in a unity march in Paris following the terror attacks on the headquarters of Charlie Hebdo. She said that she felt offended that people used Islam to explain their terrorist attacks.
"As a Muslim, it pains me when someone derides Islam and my religious beliefs," Queen Rania posted on Facebook.
"It also pains me when someone derides other religions and other people's religious beliefs. But what offends me more, much more, are the actions of the criminals who dared to use Islam to justify the cold-blooded murder of innocent civilians. Islam is a religion of peace, tolerance and mercy", she said.