Charlie Hebdo
French cartoonist Renald Luzier, aka Luz (C), is comforted by editor in chief of French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo Gerard Briard (L) and editorialist Dr Patrick Pelloux, during a press conference to present the new issue of the weekly at the offices of French newspaper Liberation in Paris on January 13, 2015.Getty Images

Charlie Hebdo magazine's surviving cartoonist who has drawn the front cover of Wednesday's (14 January) Survivors' Edition has released a statement explaining why he opted to feature the Prophet Muhammed.

Speaking at a press conference, French cartoonist Renald Luzier, also known as Luz said: "I had the idea of drawing this character of Mohammed, as it's my character, because he existed, at least in people's hearts.

"He is a character that got our offices burned, and a character who at first got us treated as the great white knights of the freedom of the press because the offices had burned down.

"Then a year later when we redrew the character we were treated as dangerous, provocative and irresponsible. So this character led us to be called either white knights or provocateurs, whereas we are above all cartoonists who draw little people like children do.

"The terrorists were once kids, they drew like us, like all kids, then one day they perhaps lost their sense of humour, perhaps their child soul was able to see the world from a bit of a distance, because that's Charlie – being able to draw the world from a small distance.

"The only idea left was to draw Mohammed, I am Charlie. Then I looked at him, he was crying. Then above, I wrote: 'All is forgiven', and then cried. We had the front page, we had finally found this bloody front page. This was our front page.

"This is not the front page that the terrorists want us to draw, as there are no terrorists in it, just a man who cries: it's Mohammed. I am sorry that we drew him again, but the Mohammed we drew is a Mohammed who is crying above all."

The first cover of the satirical Charlie Hebdo magazine to be published following the Paris attacks will feature the Prophet Muhammed holding a sign reading, "Je suis Charlie."

An estimated three million copies of the "survivors' edition" of the magazine are due to hit newsstands on Wednesday (14 January), one week after militants killed 12 people at the Charlie Hebdo headquarters in Paris.

The cover will also be featuring a tagline, "all is forgiven."