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

Scotland Vote Raises Questions of International Law

Experts say self-determination, as defined and protected by international law, confined narrowly to independence movements in process of de-colonization More

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

Conservationists hail ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015 More

Annual Military Exercise Takes on New Meaning for Ukraine Troops

Troops from 15 nations participating in annual event, 'Rapid Trident' in western Ukraine More

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.
Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctionsi
X
September 18, 2014 2:28 AM
A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid