Egypt’s official Religious Edict Authority, known as Dar El Ifta, has warned Charlie Hebdo against publishing its new issue, featuring a cartoon image of the Prophet Muhammad on its cover.
Charlie Hebdo, the French satirical weekly magazine has been the target of two attacks by suspected Islamist militants, the latest being last week when twelve people were killed, including its former editor Stéphane Charbonnier (“Charb”) and several contributors.
As NBC News reports,
Dar El Ifta, said the magazine, Charlie Hebdo, is “unnecessarily provoking the feelings of 1.5 billion Muslims worldwide who love and respect the Prophet.” Millions of mainstream Muslims throughout Egypt, the largest Muslim nation in the Arab world, follow Dar El Ifta’s religious edicts.
Dar El Ifta called on the “French government, parties and organizations” to reject the publication of the new issue, saying it “encourages religious division, deepens hatred and ignites conflict.” The group also condemned recent attacks on mosques in Frances in the wake of last week’s terror strike on the magazine.
Liberals Unite reported on Monday that the new issued was released through the French newspaper Liberation and the cover features the Prophet Muhammad holding a sign that reads “Je suis Charlie”- a phrase which quickly became a rallying cry on social media among people who were horrified and shocked by an assault on free expression.
The headline on the cover reads “All is forgiven” or in French “Tout est pardonné.”
The caricature on the one-million print copy run was defended by the paper’s lawyer Richard Malka. “We will not give in. The spirit of ‘I am Charlie’ means the right to blaspheme,” he said to France Info Radio.
You can watch a video of Cartoonist Renald Luzier, known as Luz, as he tells a Paris news conference that he has no worries about the subject matter of his cover for the forthcoming edition, courtesy of NBC News.