Al-Azhar Cairo Curses Charlie Hebdo Reprints of Prophet Cartoons

Cairo, MINA – Egypt’s supreme Muslim authority Al-Azhar in Cairo on Wednesday condemned the decision of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo to reprint cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, when trials for the 2015 terror attack opened in its Paris office.

“The criminal urge to republish this offensive cartoon instills further hate speech and inflames the emotions of loyal religious followers,” the Al-Azhar Observatory for Combating Extremism said on its Facebook page, as quoted by Nahar Net.

Charlie Hebdo whose style broke taboos made him a beacon of free speech for many, but an antidote to racial insensitivity for others.

Charlie Hebdo marked the start of Wednesday’s trial by republishing a controversial cartoon that has angered Muslims globally.

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Al-Azhar, which is also considered the most important religious institution for Sunni Muslims, said the controversial decision to reprint the caricature was an “unjustified provocation of the emotions of nearly two billion Muslims worldwide.”

The depiction of the Prophet Muhammad is considered blasphemous in Islam.

Twelve people, including some of France’s most famous cartoonists, were shot dead on January 7, 2015, when Said and the Cherif Kouachi brothers stormed the newspaper’s office in eastern Paris.

A day later, Amedy Coulibaly, who was close to Cherif Kouachi while they were in prison, killed a 27-year-old policeman, Clarissa Jean-Philippe, during a traffic check in Montrouge, outside Paris.

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Coulibaly went on to kill four men, all of them are Jewish, during a hostage-taking at the Hyper Cacher supermarket in Paris on January 9.

He recorded a video saying the three attacks were coordinated and carried out on behalf of the ISIS group.

Egypt’s Al-Azhar also condemned the terror attack on Charlie Hebdo’s premises in a statement Wednesday, noting that “Islam hates any act of violence.” (T/RE1)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)