Published September 19, 2012 | 9:53 am
Paris: The controversy of the anti-Islam film is yet to settle down but a French magazine sparked another round of protests after publishing a series of provocative cartoons on Wednesday showing a nude Prophet Mohammed. These cartoons are likely to further fan the flames after a wave of Muslim protests over an anti-Islam film.
More than 30 people have been killed in attacks or violent protests linked to the controversial US-made film “Innocence of Muslims”, including 12 people who died in an attack by a female suicide bomber in Afghanistan on Tuesday.
French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo published cartoons caricaturing the Muslim prophet, including one showing his naked buttocks.
France stepped up security at its embassies in countries, where there could be a hostile reaction to the cartoons, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said, adding that he was “concerned” by the potential for a backlash.
The magazine’s editor, originally a cartoonist who uses the name Charb, said the images would “shock those who will want to be shocked”.
“The freedom of the press, is that a provocation?” he said. “I’m not asking strict Muslims to read Charlie Hebdo, just like I wouldn’t go to a mosque to listen to speeches that go against everything I believe.”
US President Barack Obama said he expected governments in the Muslim world to protect American diplomats, despite their revulsion at a film made on US soil deemed offensive to their faith.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, meanwhile, said: “We are taking aggressive steps to protect” diplomatic missions worldwide.
Meanwhile French embassies, consulates, cultural centres and international French schools in some 20 countries will be closed till Friday as a precaution.
Riot police have been deployed around the magazine’s offices in Paris.The magazine has confirmed that its website has been attacked.