French court OKs cartoons
07/02/2006 20:41 - (SA)
Paris - A French court refused to order the
confiscation of a magazine on Tuesday which local Muslim
organisations tried to prevent from publishing controversial
cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.
The satirical weekly Charlie-Hebdo was due to publish on
Wednesday 12 cartoons originally printed by the Danish paper
Jyllens-Posten which have caused outrage in the Muslim world.
"This is good news to us all," Charlie-Hebdo editor Philippe
Val told reporters after the ruling.
"We are defending the
principle of the right for caricature and satire."
The judges rejected demands by French Muslim organisations,
including the French Council of Muslim Faith (CFCM) and the
Grand Mosques of Paris and Lyon, which had argued the paper was
undermining the principle of the respect of faiths.
The court did not rule on the contents of the claim, but
rejected it on a technicality, saying the plaintiffs had failed
to follow several points of procedure in filing their suit.
Sources at Charlie-Hebdo said the weekly's offices and some
staff had been placed under police protection ahead of
Wednesday's publication, which will also feature a cartoon of
Prophet Muhammad burying his face in his hands and saying: "It's
hard to be loved by fools".
The cartoons, reprinted by several French and other European
papers, have provoked a deepening crisis between Europe and the
Afghan police killed four protesters on Tuesday in some of
the worst violence to erupt over the cartoons, one of which
showed the Prophet Muhammad with a turban resembling a bomb.