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

Disappointing Report on China's Economy Shakes Markets

In London and New York shares lost 3 percent, while Paris and Germany dropped around 2.4 percent More

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations 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.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs