News agencies – January 2, 2013
French satire magazine Charlie Hebdo has published a special issue containing cartoons on the life of Islam’s Prophet Mohammed. Similar images, which are deemed blasphemous by Muslims, have sparked international protest in the past. But the publisher of magazine said the 64-page issue, titled ‘The Life of Mohammed,’ is “halal” because it was researched and edited by Muslim scholars and historians.
The French government has spoken out against the cartoons: “There is no necessity to pour oil on fire,” spokesperson Najat Vallaud-Belkacem told France 2. Charlie Hebdo is no stranger to controversy related to Islam. In September, the magazine published nude cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed, sparking worldwide protests and forcing French embassies and schools to temporarily close in 20 countries. The French government condemned the publication as being needlessly provocative.
In 2011, the magazine’s Paris office was firebombed after it named the Prophet Mohammed as ‘editor-in-chief’ of a weekly issue titled ‘Charia Hebdo.’