WARNING: This report contains some images readers may find distressing.
A cartoon attributed to the publication and circulating on social media features drowned Syrian toddler Aylan Kurdi lying face down on a beach with the words “So close to his goal...” written above him.
In the background a McDonald’s-style Happy Meal Board states: “Two children's menus for the price of one.”
Three-year-old Aylan drowned along with his brother and mother when the boat they were travelling in from the Turkish town of Bodrum to the Greek island of Kos capsized.
The family fled after Islamic State militants advanced upon their home town of Kobane.
Another cartoon said to be from the same edition of the magazine is entitled The Proof that Europe is Christian and features a man believed to be Jesus standing on the surface of the ocean while a child’s legs’s (presumably meant to be Aylan’s) protrude from the water.
It says: “Christians walk on water… Muslim kids sink.”
The cartoons have been met with a mixed response.
Turkish newspaper The Daily Sabah claimed the images mock the drowned toddler.
Morocco World News concurred, accusing the publication of “hiding behind the freedom of speech.”
Indian channel Scoop Whoop wrote: "This isn't the Charlie Hebdo we identified and stood in solidarity with earlier this year. Je ne suis pas Charlie (I'm not Charlie)."
Barrister Peter Herbert, who is Chair of the Society of Black Lawyers and former vice chair of the Metropolitan Police Authority, tweeted: "Charlie Hebdo is a purely racist, xenophobic and ideologically bankrupt publication that represents the moral decay of France.
"The Society of Black Lawyers will consider reporting this as incitement to hate crime and persecution before the International Criminal Court."
Charlie Hebdo is a purely racist, xenophobic and ideologically bankrupt publication that represents the moral decay of France.— D Peter Herbert OBE (@herbert_donald) September 14, 2015
The Society of Black Lawyers will consider reporting this as incitement to hate crime & persecution before the International Criminal Court— D Peter Herbert OBE (@herbert_donald) September 14, 2015
Complaints are being left on the magazine's Facebook page and Twitter users have criticised the images, describing them as "tasteless" and "disgusting."
Charlie Hebdo on Aylan is as tasteless as you'd expect: http://t.co/uS8Dh0Siv4— Jonathan Cohn (@JonathanCohn) September 14, 2015
Hearing Charlie Hebdo mocked the death of Syrian boy Aylan Kurdi for the 2nd time. Those satirists sure do punch up and aim at the powerful— Remi Kanazi (@Remroum) September 14, 2015
Charlie Hebdo managed to mock Aylan Kurdi, the boy who drowned, in the name of satire.
They stand for freedom of speech or from humanity?— Fatah (@fatah_pak) September 14, 2015
A new low for Charlie Hebdo. Shame on you. http://t.co/ei7jCuV891— Noor Tagouri (@NTagouri) September 14, 2015
Charlie Hebdo mocked the death of the Syrian refugee child, Aylan... Anyone going to still state #JeSuisCharlie?????— Kezia (@eziakay) September 14, 2015
But some commenters say the cartoons are not mocking the dead child and are instead using the tragedy to ridicule Europe for not doing enough to prevent it.
The Charlie Hebdo cartoons are not mocking Aylan Kurdi, they're using his death to mock European sensibilities http://t.co/sVoNfXyrF1— Jerome Taylor (@JeromeTaylor) September 14, 2015
Extraordinary that people can read these cartoons and conclude that Aylan is the butt of the joke. Truly. http://t.co/vxjU658qBN— Michael Weiss (@michaeldweiss) September 14, 2015
I might be absolutely wrong, however I do see the images as caustically critical of the attitude that is... http://t.co/tteM34S3mc— Andaleeb (@AndaleebRizvi) September 14, 2015
The core of Charlie Hebdo's staff were murdered in January when a gunman stormed its offices, igniting three days of bloodshed around Paris that left 17 victims dead.
The attacks ended when security forces killed both Charlie Hebdo gunmen —brothers Cherif and Said Kouachi — and an accomplice — Amedy Coulibaly — who killed a policewoman and later four hostages at a kosher grocery.
After the massacre the slogan Je Suis Charlie was adopted by supporters of freedom of speech and freedom of the press and trended worldwide in a gesture of support for the magazine.
The weekly publication has a history of drawing outrage across the Muslim world with crude cartoons of Islam’s holiest figure, resulting in the firebombing of its offices in 2011.
A year later, the magazine published more Muhammad drawings amid an uproar over an anti-Muslim film. The cartoons depicted Muhammad naked and in demeaning or pornographic poses. As outrage grew, the French government defended free speech even as it rebuked Charlie Hebdo for fanning tensions.