SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – The world’s largest Muslim group has condemned the publication of a comic biography of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessing be upon him) by a French satirical magazine.
"Incitement and advocacy of hatred and intolerance on religious grounds signified by this publication was in contravention of international human rights laws and instruments," Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), said in a statement.
He said the publication of the comic biography of the Prophet was against the norms of "responsible journalism" and was tantamount to abuse of the right to freedom of expression. French magazine “Charlie Hebdo” published Wednesday, January 2, a comic biography titled “The life of Muhammad”.
The satirical weekly says the series are based on texts written by Muslim commentators and will neither be a caricature nor a satire.
Stephane Charbonnier, the magazine’s publisher and the comic's illustrator, has argued that the caricatures are "absolutely halal," using the Arabic word for actions and things deemed permissible under Islamic law.
Charlie Hebdo has a long reputation for being provocative.
In September, the French weekly published cartoons displaying a man said to be the prophet as naked.
The cartoons came amid turmoil in the Muslim world over an American-made movie defaming the Prophet.
In 2011, the office of the magazine was firebombed after it published an edition "guest-edited by Muhammad", which the satirical weekly called Shari`ah Hebdo.
The head of the 57-member grouping has appealed to Muslims all over the world to exercise restraint in the face of provocation.
He also called on the French magazine to abide by laws on incitement to hatred and violence, and urged the French authorities to take appropriate action against the weekly.
The comic biography has already invited the ire of the Muslims-majority Turkey before it is published.
"To transform the life of the prophet of Islam into a cartoon is in itself a mistake," Ibrahim Kalin, a senior political adviser to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, wrote on his Twitter account.
"Whatever the people at Charlie Hebdo say, this is a provocation."
Insulting the Prophet is considered blasphemous in Islam.
In 2005, relations strained between the Muslim world and the West after a Danish newspaper published 12 drawings, including one showing a man described as Prophet Muhammad with a turban in the shape of a bomb and another showing him as a knife-wielding nomad flanked by shrouded women.
The Danish cartoons had triggered massive demonstrations across the Muslim world and resulted in the boycott of Danish products and interests.
The crisis prompted Muslims in Denmark and worldwide to champion local campaigns to wash away widely circulated misconceptions about Prophet Muhammad.- www.shfaqna.com/English
Source: On Islam