Muslim world condemns repeated depiction of Prophet Muhammad


The repeated publication of Prophet Muhammad caricatures by the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo has sparked anger among Muslims around the world, as anti-Charlie Hebdo protests turned violent in Muslim countries.

The OIC Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) viewed the cartoon publication as "utterly irresponsible and a disrespectful act." The commission also expressed "deep regret that the first edition of Charlie Hebdo after the attack deliberately carried the most disrespectful and provocative caricature offensive to all Muslims, thus betraying the sense of abhorrence against the attack, as well as the sympathy towards the families of those killed during the incident."

Charlie Hebdo is well-known for its satirical attacks on political and religious leaders. The French magazine was heavily criticized after depicting the Prophet Muhammad, which is strictly prohibited by Islam. Its depictions have resulted in a deepened global debate on the limits of free speech in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo massacre that left 12 dead.

"This insult has hurt the feelings of nearly 2 billion Muslims all over the world. The cartoons and other slander damage relations between the followers of the [Abrahamic] faiths," Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Mohammed Hussein said, while viewing the cartoon depicting the Prophet Mohammed as an "insult."

Anti-Charlie Hebdo protests raged against Charlie Hebdo's decision to print another Mohammed cartoon after the massacre, with uprisings occuring in many Muslim countries including Afghanistan, Niger and Qatar, Bahrain and Jordan. In Niger, the protest turned violent as 45 churches were reportedly torched over the weekend. Five people were reportedly dead with 128 people injured, AFP reported. Hundreds of people in eastern Afghanistan protested on Monday against the French weekly, calling for the government to cut diplomatic relations with France.

In addition to Muslims condemning the publication, 42 percent of French people believe the Prophet Mohammed cartoons, seen as offensive by many Muslims, should not be published, according to the Ifop poll, published in Le Journal du Dimanche. The poll also suggests that French women, people under 35 and those without a degree have a more sensitive approach to the issue compared to the rest of French society.

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