Fire guts French satirical paper featuring Mohammed cartoon
The offices of a French satirical newspaper was firebombed only hours before it published an edition today on the Arab Spring featuring a cartoon of the prophet Mohammed, who was identiifed as "guest editor," RFI reports.
The cover of Charlie Hedbo shows a bearded and turbaned cartoon figure of the prophet saying "100 lashes if you're not dying of laughter," CNN reports.
Islam generally forbids depictions of its founder. In recent years, other publications and cartoonists, particularly in Europe, who have drawn pictures of the the prophet Mohammed have been attacked.
No one was injured in the firbebombing incident, although the offices were extensively damaged, RFI reports.
The paper's issue said the prophet was named as guest editor to "honor" the success of the Islamist Ennahda party in Tunisia's election and the new Libyan government's announcement that Islamic sharia would be the basis for the country's legal system, RFI reports.
The ;ublisher, known only as Charb, tells AFP that it had gotten some threatening letters and emails, but rejects accusations that he was trying to provoke.
"We feel we're just doing our job as usual. The only difference is that this week, Mohammed is on the cover and that's quite rare," he tells AFP.
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