Looks like France needs to buckle up its seat belts. As the trial against remaining conspirators in the Charlie Hebdo-Jewish market attacks of January 2015 get under way in Paris, Charlie Hebdo has reissued a caricature of the Prophet Mohammad as a statement in support of freedom of expression. It is naturally causing waves in the Islamic world, from Al Azhar University in Cairo to the Turkish government in Ankara.
The below article from the Belgian French-language newspaper, La Libre brings us up to date on what is going on. Translation by Fousesquawk.
“It’s a criminal act”: The reissue of caricatures of Mohammad shocks the Muslim world
The reissue of one of the caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad 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, Wednesday.
“The insistence on the criminal act of republishing the offensive caricatures reinforces the discussion of hate and stirs the emotion of the believers,” said the Observatory for the Fight Against Extremism of Al-Azhar, 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 as a 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 caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad, which had made the satirical weekly a target of 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 communique, 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 police woman 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 caricatures by Charlie Hebdo
On Wednesday, Turkey condemned the republication of the Mohammad caricatures by the French satirical newspaper, Charlie Hebdo and criticized President Emmanuel Macron for having defended 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 caricatures against our religion and our Prophet,” stated the spokesperson of the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a communique.
Ankara also criticized President Emmanuel Macron for having defended “the freedom of blasphemy” Tuesday, stating that it was “inadmissible” to justify the publication of the controversial caricatures in the name of liberty of expression.
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