French Muslim leaders call for calm over Prophet cartoons

Rab, 14 Januari 2015 | 02:08 WIB

Paris, NU Online
Muslim leaders in France on Tuesday urged their community to keep calm and respect freedom of expression after the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo's plan to publish a caricature of the Prophet Mohammad in Wednesday's edition.<>

"All Muslim organizations in France call on the Muslim community to remain calm and avoid emotional reactions incongruous or incompatible with its dignity and reserve, while respecting freedom of expression," said Dalil Boukaker, Rector of Paris Mosque.

"(We) are worried about many anti-Muslims acts occurred in recent days and called the authorities to be vigilant to ensure the safety of mosques," he added in a statement.

In France, home of about 5 million Muslims, fears over growing anti-Islam sentiment raised after dozens of attacks targeted mosques were reported in response to last week's shooting sprees.

For the edition due on Wednesday, the first since the shooting, Charlie Hebdo will publish a front page showing a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammad holding a paper written on it "I'm Charlie" below the headline "All is forgiven".

The weekly, known for controversial cartoons mocking religious leaders and politicians, planned to print an unprecedented 3 million copies on a sharp rise in orders after two gunmen, Cherif and Said Kouachi, attacked its office and killed 10 journalists last week.

In face on high risks of terror attacks, French government said 10,000 soldiers have been deployed on Tuesday to ensure security at "sensitive places" throughout the country.

Editing by Sudarto Murtaufiq