Entries in Prophet Mohammed (3)


French Mag to Publish Cartoons of Prophet Mohammed

A man shows the French satirical magazine 'Charlie Hebdo', featuring a caricature of the Prophet Muhammad on its cover, following a bomb attack on the magazine's offices on November 2, 2011 in Paris, France. Marc Piasecki/Getty Images(PARIS) -- A French satirical magazine is set to publish several cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed on Wednesday, a move that is likely to inflame the Islamic faithful and militants who have already rioted in more than 20 countries over a movie mocking the prophet.

Depictions of the prophet are strictly prohibited and considered blasphemous by Muslims. Cartoons of Muhammad published in Denmark in 2005 and then reproduced in newspapers across Europe triggered riots throughout the Mideast and Africa. Churches and embassies were torched and at least 100 people died in the outbreaks and police crackdowns.

The magazine Charlie Hebdo has confirmed that it will publish the cartoons, but has not revealed what they will depict. French newspaper Le Monde reports that some of the cartoons show the prophet in “particularly explicit poses,” without providing any further detail.

The move comes as Muslims are still simmering after riots in Egypt, Libya, Tunisia and nearly 20 other countries over the movie “Innocence of Muslims.” U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans died during an attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

French government ministers have criticized the magazine’s decision and police in Paris have stepped up security around its offices.

France is home to Europe’s largest Muslim population, and the senior cleric at Paris’ biggest mosque has appealed for followers to remain calm, according to the French news agency AFP.

The magazine has defended the move by invoking the right to free speech. Speaking on French radio, the magazine’s director explained that a decision not to publish would “hand victory to a handful of extremists that are causing a commotion in the world and in France.”

It’s not the first time the anti-establishment, left-wing magazine has courted controversy. In 2011 the offices of Charlie Hedbo were bombed after it published an Arab Spring edition with the Prophet Muhammad as “guest editor” on the cover.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Afghanistan Blocks Anti-Islamist Video

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(KABUL, Afghanistan) -- Anticipating backlash in its own country following the attacks on U.S. embassies in Egypt and Libya, the government in Afghanistan has blocked an anti-Islamist video promoted by Florida pastor Terry Jones, whose threat to burn the Quran two years ago spurred deadly riots.

A statement by the government condemned the film, Innocence of Muslims, saying, "This heinous act has created outrage and anxiety for all peace-loving humans who back up the idea of peaceful coexistence."

Among other things, the movie calls the Prophet Mohammed a fake and a womanizer.  Such allegations are considered the height of blasphemy in the Muslim world.

Meanwhile, the Taliban issued a statement that urged its followers to take revenge against America "by dealing a heavy blow to its invading troops on the battlefield".

The video was produced by an American and promoted by an Egyptian Christian living in the U.S., although it's Jones who has once again become a lightning rod for criticism for posting the inflammatory video.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Saudi Blogger Sent Home to Possible Death Sentence

iStockPhoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- A Saudi blogger wanted for allegedly insulting the Prophet Muhammad on Twitter was returned to Saudi Arabia on Monday where he faces the possibility of a death sentence.

Hamza Kashgari, 23, was en route to New Zealand seeking asylum when he was detained in Kuala Lumpur by Malaysian security officials who said they didn’t want their country to become a safe haven for fugitives.

Kashgari’s offending tweets included a fictitious conversation with the Prophet Muhammad on his birthday last week eliciting more than 30,000 responses in less than 24 hours and several death threats. One of the tweets read “On your birthday, I will not bow to you. I won’t kiss your hands. I will shake hands with you as an equal, and smile at you like you smile at me, and talk to you only as a friend, nothing more,” he wrote.

The Saudi blogger deleted the controversial conversation from Twitter, but he continued to receive death threats and fled the country.

An official Saudi religious body declared him to be an apostate for his writings. Insulting the prophet is considered blasphemous in Islam and is punishable by death in Saudi Arabia. For many in the Kingdom deleting the remarks was not enough and the religious conservatives demanded he be tried in a Sharia court.

Numerous human rights groups have made pleas to not send Kashgari back to Saudi.

Amnesty International has warned that Kashgari could be executed in Saudi Arabia if he is found guilty of apostasy.

Local rights group Lawyers for Liberty’s Asia deputy director Phil Robertson said, "If he [Kashgari] faces execution back in Saudi Arabia, the Malaysian government will have blood on its hands.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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