The cover featured a five-pointed star representing the kingdom’s flag and included images of the Moroccan-born suspects involved in planning and carrying out the Aug. 17 Barcelona terrorist attacks.
Rabat based Islamic, Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) issued a statement denouncing the cover.
ISESCO considered the spread a "blatant violation of the ethics of journalism, media and publishing."
The organization's Director General, Dr Abdulaziz Othman Altwaijri, "pointed out that the perpetrators of terrorist acts in European countries were born and raised in these countries, received education in their schools and their deviances cannot be associated with Morocco and its culture."
As soon as the cover began to make the rounds online, thousands of Moroccans also expressed outrage over it, critisizing what they deemed an unacceptable, offensive and generalized portrayal of an entire population.
Outrage on social media
Many tweeted out angry responses to the magazine
"You're unworthy of the profession you exercise. I truly regret that I have been one of your readers"
While others responded their own versions of the offensive cover
"Talents born in Morocco"
The magazine has since responded
The intense social media backlash prompted the French-language weekly news magazine to respond.
“Bringing to the fore the birthplace of terrorists does not mean stigmatizing Moroccans."
“Our article clearly explains that, except from being their birth place, the Barcelona terrorists had cut all links with the kingdom,” he added.
Soudan went on to add that the "interpretations some have given to the cover are the result of a misunderstanding and have nothing to do with the intentions of Jeune Afrique.”
In his response, the veteran journalist also said that people who criticize and judge covers or headlines on social media often do so “without taking the trouble” of reading full stories or articles.