[QODLink]
Europe
Cartoon-row magazine cleared
French court says Prophet Muhammad images did not constitute attack on Islam.
Last Modified: 22 Mar 2007 15:34 GMT
Philippe Val, chief editor of Charlie Hebdo, defended the publication of the cartoons [AFP]

A French court has ruled in favour of a satirical weekly magazine that had printed cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.

 

The court on Thursday said the cartoons published by Charlie Hebdo were covered by freedom of expression laws and did not constitute an attack on Islam in general but on fundamentalists.

The cartoons, originally published in 2005 by a Danish daily, provoked violent protests in Asia, Africa and the Middle East that left 50 people dead. Several European publications reprinted them as an affirmation of free speech.
 
Islamic groups said the cartoons incited hatred against Muslims.

The Paris Grand Mosque, World Islamic League and Union of French Islamic Organisations (UOIF) sued the magazine over its publication of two of the Danish caricatures and one of its own.

   

The Muslim groups said the cartoon showing a bomb in the Prophet's turban slandered all Muslims as terrorists, as did Charlie Hebdo's cartoon showing the Prophet reacting to Islamist fighters by saying: "It's hard to be loved by idiots."

   

"This is an attack on Muslims," Lhaj Thami Breze, UOIF president, had told the court. "It is as if the Prophet taught terrorism to Muslims, and so all Muslims are terrorists."

 

Ruling

 

But the judges said that while the cartoon picturing the bomb in the Prophet's turban could offend Muslims if seen on its own, the picture had to be judged in the context of the magazine issue, which had discussed religious fundamentalism.

   

Even if the cartoon in itself was "shocking or hurting for Muslims, there is no deliberate desire to offend them", the court said.

   

Philippe Val, Charlie Hebdo chief editor, has said he published the caricatures in February last year after the editor-in-chief of the Paris tabloid France Soir was fired for reprinting them.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Muslim volunteers face questioning and threat of arrest, while aid has been disrupted or blocked, charities say.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
ISIL combatants seeking an 'exit strategy' from Mideast conflict need positive reinforcement back home, analysts say.
European nation hit by a wave of Islamophobia as many young fighters join ISIL in Syria and Iraq.
Featured
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Since she was 16-years-old, Scottish Nationalist Party's Sturgeon has strove for independence from the UK.
Armed group's ransom success with German hostages marks a re-emergence, as authorities investigate ISIL links.
Western nations are moving into the resource-rich country after decades of disinterest, challenging China's interests.