The spotlight of the Islamophobia Observatory is once again trained on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.
“It’s a criminal act”: The reissue of cartoons of Mohammed shocks the Muslim world
The reissue of one of the cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in Charlie Hebdo, on the occasion of the trial of the terrorist attacks in January 2015 in France, is “a criminal act,” said the leading Islamic institution Al-Azhar on Wednesday.
“The insistence on the criminal act of republishing the offensive cartoons reinforces the discussion of hate and stirs the emotion of the believers,” said Al-Azhar’s Observatory for the Fight Against Extremism, which also includes a mosque, an academy of study, and one of the oldest Islamic universities in the world. The images of the Prophet are considered to be blasphemy by a number of Muslims around the world.
The trial of the attacks against Charlie Hebdo, the police, and a Jewish market in January 2015 opened Wednesday in Paris. To mark the opening of the trial, Charlie Hebdo brought back one of the cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed, which had made the satirical weekly a target for the terrorists.
According to the institution based in Cairo, this decision is “an unjustified provocation against “almost two billion Muslims in the world”. Al-Azhar also condemned the attacks in its communiqué, Wednesday, specifying that “Islam abhors every act of violence.”
On January 7,. 2015, the Cherif brothers and Said Kouachi murdered 11 persons in an attack against the editorial staff of Charlie Hebdo in Paris, taking flight by killing one police officer. The next day, Amedy Coulibaly — who had associated with Cherif Kouachi in prison — murdered a policewoman near Paris before executing four Jewish men on January 9 during the hostage-taking at the Hyper Cacher Store. This trail of death ended with the deaths of the three jihadists during a double assault by police, almost simultaneously, in the store and in a printing house where the Charlie Hebdo killers had taken refuge.
Turkey condemns the republication of cartoons by Charlie Hebdo
On Wednesday, Turkey condemned the republication of the Mohammed cartoons by the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo and criticized President Emmanuel Macron for defending the right of blasphemy, within the context of strong tensions between Ankara and Paris. “We strongly condemn the decision of Charlie Hebdo to republish the disrespectful cartoons against our religion and our Prophet,” stated the spokesperson for the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a communiqué.
Ankara also criticized President Emmanuel Macron for defending “the freedom of blasphemy” Tuesday, stating that it was “inadmissible” to justify the publication of the controversial cartoons in the name of liberty of expression.