News / Europe

    France Raises Security Over Prophet Muhammad Cartoons

    Riot policemen stand guard outside the French embassy in Sanaa, Yemen, September 19, 2012.Riot policemen stand guard outside the French embassy in Sanaa, Yemen, September 19, 2012.
    x
    Riot policemen stand guard outside the French embassy in Sanaa, Yemen, September 19, 2012.
    Riot policemen stand guard outside the French embassy in Sanaa, Yemen, September 19, 2012.
    Selah Hennessy
    Leaders of the Muslim community in France have expressed their anger after a French magazine published caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad. Amid fears of a backlash over the cartoons, the French government has responded by planning to close schools and embassies in Muslim countries.

    On the front cover of Wednesday’s publication, a French satirical magazine showed a cartoon of an orthodox Jew pushing the Prophet Muhammad in a wheelchair. On the inside pages, the prophet is depicted naked in a number of caricatures.

    French authorities sent riot police protection to the offices of the weekly magazine, Charlie Hebdo, amid fears of a reprisal. The government also said it would temporarily close French embassies, consulates, cultural centers and schools in 20 countries Friday as a precaution, in case protests break out after weekly Muslim prayers.

    French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault called for calm and said freedom of expression is guaranteed in France. He said those who are offended by the cartoons should turn to French courts to resolve the issue legally.

    Last year, the satirical magazine published an edition that it described as having been “guest edited” by the Prophet Muhammad. Its offices were later firebombed.

    One of the magazine’s cartoonists, who works by the name Tignous, defended the cartoons. It is just a drawing, he said. It is not a provocation.

    But the publication comes while anger is widespread in many Muslim communities over an overtly offensive, low-budget Internet video produced by an extremist in the United States. In the backlash following the video’s release, some two dozen people have been killed, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya.

    French Muslim leaders called for calm after meeting with the country’s Interior Minister. The President of the French Council of Muslims, Mohammed Moussaoui, described the “indignation” and “anger” Muslims feel, but said the response would be “serene.”

    He said Muslims would not respond to provocation. He said that French authorities, however, should send out strong messages to appease and reassure Muslims that they have a right to the same respect as their fellow citizens.

    France has Western Europe’s largest Muslim community.

    Last Saturday, police in the French capital Paris made dozens of arrests at an unauthorized protest near the U.S. embassy, which drew about 150 people.

    Ayrault told French radio that authorities had rejected a request to hold a further demonstration this coming Saturday.

    You May Like

    US Lawmakers Vow to Continue Immigrant Program for Afghan Interpreters

    Congressional inaction threatens funding for effort which began in 2008 and has allowed more than 20,000 interpreters, their family members to immigrate to US

    Brexit's Impact on Russia Stirs Concern

    Some analysts see Brexit aiding Putin's plans to destabilize European politics; others note that an economically unstable Europe is not in Moscow's interests

    US to Train Cambodian Government on Combating Cybercrime

    Concerns raised over drafting of law, as critics fear cybercrime regulations could be used to restrict freedom of expression and stifle political dissent

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Orhan Fazlioglu from: Istanbul,Turkey
    September 21, 2012 1:30 AM
    The French government assures its citizens about the freedom of speech and expression as well as human rights.However, it doesn't move its finger to stop desecration of some French nationalities for Islam and its followers.What do you expect muslims to do ? Isn't it normal to take the matter in their hands when a country pays lip-service to the all kinds of human rights? I am by no means in favour of violence, but don't expect Muslims to act like Christians.Even Christans became quiet when Prophet Christ was defamed by an insulting movie years ago.When it happened, muslims again stood up against this desecration.

    For a couple of weeks, the partners of DEVIL are on the scene.They plot to trigger a conflict between Muslims and Christians,but their attempt will fail because the real protector of Islam is ALLAH.Nobody can harm both the beloved prophets (Muhammed and Christ) and the holy message,Islam.They will certainly be overwhelmed by a common response around the world. ISLAM is totally against all kinds of violence.It is the religion of peace.We shouldn't let some evil-intentioned people distrupt peace between peaceful people.If we fall in to the trap of their ruse we will make the Satan feel happy,and therefore, blow the bellows of hatred and animosity all around the world.Please,speak out against those people as they are currently trying to drag the whole world into a turmoil.
    In Response

    by: Ian from: USA
    September 21, 2012 1:03 PM

    "ISLAM is totally against all kinds of violence"
    So what kind of violence should we classify this death of our ambassador?
    A blind person does not know blindness , because he is in darkness , he believe his darkness world as the truth. A person with eye sight can see the world as it is versus what darkness is when he closes his eyes.

    Please explain to me how muslims will ever be able to reconcile "the religion of peace" with the reality of the american ambassador's tortured lifeless body. A real human being will shed tears over that image without having to quote Gods & prophets . I saw his death's picture by the hands of muslim fanatics and my soul is filled with pain & sorrow .

    So please don't preach God, Gods, Allah , Christ & Mohamed and Satan. I heard enough of excuses .Because animals kill by instinct, they are free of guilt. Humans kill because when they perceive a threat to their ego, Gods & prophets have nothing to do with it, and don't blame Satan either. It is the easy way out for billions of muslims.

    Please do some hard work when it concerns your conscience. God does not get unhappy when someone utters some offended words or draws some bad cartoons . you are !


    by: truth hurts
    September 20, 2012 11:25 PM
    If you attack black, it is racism, if you attack Jew, it is antisemitism, and if you attack muslim, it is free speech.

    Similarly, if a brown person goes in church and kills 6 people, he is a terrorist. If a white man goes in Sikh temple and kills 6, he is just nuts.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roari
    X
    June 28, 2016 10:33 AM
    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roar

    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Melting Pot of Immigrants Working to Restore US Capitol Dome

    The American Iron Works company is one of the firms working to renovate the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. The company employs immigrants of many different cultural and national backgrounds. VOA’s Arman Tarjimanyan has more.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video New York Pride March A Celebration of Life, Mourning of Loss

    At this year’s march in New York marking the end of pride week, a record-breaking crowd of LGBT activists and allies marched down Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, in what will be long remembered as a powerful display of solidarity and remembrance for the 49 victims killed two weeks ago in an Orlando gay nightclub.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora