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

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

1855 Slave Brochure Starkly Details Sale of Black Americans

Document lists entire families that were up for sale in New Orleans, offering graphic insight into the slavery trade More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries 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.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
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 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 Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
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 Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
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 Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
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.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs