A French satirical magazine named ‘Charlie Hebdo’ is set to publish several cartoons of Prophet Muhammad, in a move that is likely to add fuel on the ongoing protests by Muslims. Protests have taken place in over 20 countries over a movie called ‘Innocence of Muslims’ and have in more cases than one ended in violence and mayhem. The magazine has confirmed that it will publish the cartoons, but has not revealed what they will depict.
"The CFCM is deeply attached to freedom of speech but considers that nothing can justify insult and inciting hatred," it said in a statement.
According to French newspaper ‘Le Monde’ the cartoons will show the Prophet in ‘explicit poses’, however, any further details have not been disclosed. French government has criticized the magazine’s decision of publishing such caricatures and in order to deal with any violence police have stepped up security around its offices.
Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault issued a statement saying: "In the current climate, the prime minister wishes to stress his disapproval of all excess and calls on everyone to behave responsibly."
The move comes as Muslims all over the world are simmering over the release of the 13-minute blasphemous video of a film called ‘Innocence of Muslims’. In the protests and attacks that followed the release of the video on YouTube, the US ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens along with three other Americans were killed when the US consulate was attacked by a mob in Benghazi.
Depictions of the prophet are strictly prohibited and considered blasphemous by Muslims. Cartoons of Prophet Muhammad published in Demark in 2005 and then were reproduced in various newspapers across Europe sparked riots throughout the Mideast and Africa.
More than 100 people lost their lives in mob attacks and police crackdowns. It is also important to mention here that this is not the first time the anti-establishment, left-wing magazine has created controversy. In 2011 offices of Charlie Hebdo were bombed after it published an Arab Spring edition with Prophet Muhammad as ‘guest editor’ on the cover.