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2012 Charlie Hebdo's cartoons on Prophet Mohammad

A French satirical magazine 'Charlie Hebdo' kicked up a fresh row as they published cartoons ridiculing Prophet Mohammed and publishing cartoons of him in naked. The issue of the magazine was released on September 19, 2012 (Wednesday). The new row comes in the midst of a row over the trailer of an American film 'Innocence of Muslims' which angered the Islam community. The film led to attacks on several US diplomatic missions in several countries mostly in the Middle East.

The satirical magazine 'Charlie Hebdo' has published a series of cartoons with an Orthodox Jew pushing the turbaned figure of Mohammad in wheelchair on the cover of the magazine. Several vulgar caricatures of the Prophet showing him in naked were in the inside pages of the magazine. One of the caricature is titled, "Mohammad: a star is born". Though, the French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius criticized the magazine saying that is provoking violence, the government defended the right of the free speech of the magazine.

French Embassies temporarily closed in 20 countries

The French Government has earlier urged the magazine not to print the images in the magazine. The government temporarily shut down their premises in 20 countries, including French embassies, consulates, cultural centres and international French Schools as a precaution. Riot police were deployed at the Paris offices of the magazine.

A planned mass demonstration in Paris was not given permission by the French police.

The French embassy in the Jakarta, Indonesia announced that it would close on Friday.

Security beefed up at the French Embassy in Cairo, Egypt.

French Schools in Tunisia will remain closed from Wednesday evening till Monday morning.

The French Foreign Ministry issued a travel warning to its citizens. They warned its citizens to to exercise greatest vigilance and to avoid all public gatherings and sensitive buildings such as those representing the West or religious sites.

Magazine defends publication of Cartoons

Charlie Hebdo's editor Stephane Charbonnier defended the cartoons in the magazine saying, "We do caricatures of everyone every week, But when we do it with the Prophet, it's called a provocation." In an interview, Charb said, "Muhammad isn't sacred to me. I don't blame Muslims for not laughing at our drawings. I live under French law; I don't live under Quranic law. I'm not the one going into the streets with stones and Kalashnikovs. We've had 1,000 issues and only three problems, all after front pages about radical Islam."

Website of Magazine attacked

The website of the magazine was attacked on the same day, the issue was released. The Guardian of Honour of the Prophet, SAW group claimed responsibility for the denial of service attack on the magazine website.

Before the website went down, it received several comments, both hate mail and supportive comments.

The French police arrested a man for apparently calling on a jihadi website for the decapitation of Stephane Charbonnier , the editor of the Charlie Hebdo on September 22, 2012. The man was detained in La Rochelle. The police have charged him on charges of incitement to commit murder.


The protests against the publication of Prophet Mohammad caricatures hit Pakistan and Afghanistan on September 20, 2012 (Thursday).

Protests in Pakistan

Thousands of students staged protests in Islamabad on 20 September 2012 (Thursday) and tried to storm the area where the foreign embassies and government offices are situated. The protests will widen on Friday where 15,000 people are expected to march to the Islamabad’s diplomatic enclave. The Pakistan government has called on the services of the national army to protest the area.

Protests in Afghanistan

Hundreds of people marched in Afghan capital Kabul on 20 September 2012 chanting anti-American slogans.

Demonstrations in front of French embassy in Tehran

About 100 protesters staged demonstrations in front of the French embassy in Tehran, Iran on September 20, 2012. The protests raised slogans changing "Death to France". Police personnel number in dozens stopped the protesters from storming the embassy. The Iran government has not given any authorization for the demonstration. The embassy was closed as a precaution.

French embassy in Australia kept on high alert

The French embassy in Australia is kept on high alert. Extra security has been provided to the French diplomats at the French embassy in Canberra and consulate in Sydney.


Main Article: Reactions on 2012 Prophet Mohammad Cartoons

The cartoons published in the magazine angered the Islam community triggering criticism from Muslim clerics worldwide. The French government defended the magazine's free speech.

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