More chaos to come? French magazine to publish new Prophet caricatures
French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo has announced it will publish caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed in its next issue that will “shock those who will want to be shocked,” the editor of the weekly said on Tuesday.
The editor, originally a cartoonist who uses the name Charb, confirmed that its latest edition contains several cartoons which feature several images of the Prophet.
They will appear on the inside pages of an edition of the weekly due to hit the streets on Wednesday.
The magazine’s decision to publish the cartoons came against a background of unrest across the Islamic world over a crude U.S.-made film that mocks the Prophet Mohammed and portrays Muslims as gratuitously violent.
It was greeted with immediate calls from political and religious leaders for the media to act responsibly and avoid inflaming the situation.
Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault issued a statement expressing his “disapproval of all excesses.”
Ayrault called for a sense of responsibility over the soon-to-be-published caricatures.
“The prime minister affirms his disapproval in the face of any excesses and calls for everyone to be responsible,” a statement from his office said. France, with at least four million Muslims, has western Europe’s largest Islamic community.
Dalil Boubakeur, the senior cleric at Paris’s biggest mosque, appealed for France’s Muslims to remain calm.
“It is with astonishment, sadness and concern that I have learned that this publication is risking increasing the current outrage across the Muslim world,” he said. “I would appeal to them not to pour oil on the fire.”
France’s Muslim Council on Tuesday said it was “dismayed” by a satirical weekly’s decision to publish “insulting cartoons” featuring the Prophet.
The Muslim Council, the main representative body for France’s four-million strong Islamic community, said in a statement that it “vigorously condemns this new act of Islamophobia.”
It added: “We launch an urgent appeal to the Muslims of France to not react to this provocation.”
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