Recent developments in France bear all the hallmarks of the cartoon crisis of 2006-2007 which shook the globe and had an indelible impact on the Islamic world.
Describing themselves as having anarchist-left wing leanings, the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo named the Prophet Muhammad as guest ‘edtior’ in its latest edition, published Wednesday.
Using political developments in Tunisia, namely the victory of the Ennahda party and the Arab uprisings in general, as justification, the magazine portrayed the Prophet of Islam in a particularly provocative and insulting manner. In juxtaposition to the caricature representations of the Prophet were the magazine’s derogatory and mocking words.
Calling this week’s edition, ‘Sharia Hebdo’, the magazine had previously been active in France for the duration of the cartoon crisis, with its provocative editorial stance. Charlie Hebdo’s pursuing such a stance, not just in relation to this particular issue but as a general rule, has been voiced by observers in France before.
The magazine’s most recent move was pronounced to the world before the weekly edition was even published. Statements that the magazine’s publisher, known only as ‘Charb’, made were almost as demeaning as his publications.
This move, which raised tension to maximum level in only a short time, and the explanations that followed, lead to events that can aptly be described as those which could have only pleased provocateurs. The magazine’s headquarters were attacked, their website was hacked and threatening messages circulated on social networking sites Facebook and Twitter.
Following these events, head of the French Council of the Muslim Faith (Conseil Français du Culte Musulman) Mohammed Moussaoui, in a statement to the media, expressed his condemnation of the attack.
As for the attitude of French politicians, they remain unchanged. A series of statements whereby the provocation was presented under the guise of ‘press freedom’, in a seeming attempt of legitimization, were made by political leaders.
Condemnation and a call for restraint
As Lastprophet.info, we express our strong condemnation of this event, whereby the sensitivities of the Muslim world are recklessly and dangerously tread upon, .
We believe that it is also important to note that the vile scenes that emerged as extreme reactions to such provocation can serve no other end than consolidating and perpetuating the very image of Islam and Muslims that the provocateurs seek to ingrain in hearts and minds.
Taking these issues into consideration, we invite first and foremost the Turkish nation and the entire Muslim world to respond in due manner to this horrendous attack on the memory of the Prophet of Compassion and Mercy in the best possible way.
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