Charlie Hebdo Cartoon Linking Aylan Kurdi And Cologne Attacks Ignites A Healthy Debate

Charlie Hebdo has won plaudits from millions for pushing the boundaries of free speech and ensuring the debate around censorship remains fresh.

The magazine's latest cartoon, another biting reminder that free expression has no bounds, has sparked the type of fierce debate essential in a healthy democracy, albeit uncomfortable to look at.

In its latest issue, a drawing links Aylan Kurdi, the 3-year-old Syrian boy washed up on a beach in Turkey last year, to the recent sexual attacks in Cologne, perpetrated by men some of whom were asylum seekers.

Cartoonists drew out two attackers chasing a pair of women, their hands outstretched towards the girls' bottoms.

In the top left-hand corner was a sketch of the toddler who drowned trying to reach Europe from Turkey along with his brother and mother.

It was captioned: "Migrants".

"What would have happened to little Aylan when he grew up?" editors mused.

"He'd have groped women's arses in Germany."

Some mocked the 'satirical' or 'freedom of speech' defence of printing a cartoon equating 3-year-old Kurdi to a sexual harasser, while others suggested the cartoon was in fact aimed at right-wing protesters who were seeking to exploit the incident in Cologne.

The sketch was a step too far for many though, with some social media users suggesting it was "openly racist".

In true Charlie Hebdo style though, the cartoon succeeding in sparking yet more debate over the impact of mass migration on Europe, and the political response (or lack there of) to the Cologne attacks.