France Rushes to Shut Down Embassies and Schools After Satirical Magazine Makes Fun of Muhammad
Not deterred by the explosive reaction to its last depiction of the Prophet Muhammad, the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo has once again published caricatures of the revered Islamic figure, prompting the French Foreign Ministry to order the closure of embassies, diplomatic missions, and schools in some 20 countries as a "security precaution."
The Muhammad cartoons, which appear in the Parisian publication's latest issue, were printed in response to violent protests around the world sparked by the anti-Islam film Innocence of Muslims.
According to the AFP, one of the more controversial drawings depicts Muhammad "exposing his posterior to a film director, a scene inspired by a 1963 film starring French film star Brigitte Bardot."
Charlie Hebdo's last attempt to ridicule Muhammad resulted in the firebombing of its offices. This time around, riot police were stationed around the premises to prevent a similar attack.
Despite the enhanced security measures, the French government said it stood by the magazine's right to publish the cartoons. However, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius cautioned against "throwing oil on the fire."
Muslim organizations in France, which has more Muslims than any other western European nation, asked community members to "rise above their anger" and respond to the magazine's "stupid provocation" through legal means.
Speaking with the AP, one of Charlie Hebdo's cartoonists, Tignous, defended the publication's actions, saying "it's just a drawing, it's not a provocation."
[Photo via Getty]