Wednesday, September 19, 2012

French magazine runs cartoons that mock Muhammad

Calling itself a defender of free speech and a denouncer of religious backwardness, a French satirical newspaper on Wednesday published several crude caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad, images viewed as a provocation by many Muslims and condemned by the French government as irresponsible at a time of violence and unrest across the Islamic world.
The French government had urged the weekly newspaper, Charlie Hebdo, to reconsider printing the illustrations, some of which depict Muhammad naked and in pornographic poses. The newspaper refused; after Charlie Hebdo arrived at newsstands on Wednesday, the government announced that French embassies, consulates, cultural centers and schools in about 20 countries would be closed Friday as a precautionary measure.

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