Last year French magazine Charlie Hebdo included a cartoon of Mohammad on its cover.
The caption reads: “100 lashes if you don’t die of laughter!”
Within a week the offices of French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo were firebombed.
This week Charlie Hebdo published what it’s website calls a “halal” comic book on the life of Islamic prophet Mohammad.
On the cover of the book Mohammad walks with his camel. (Business Insider)
The AFP reported:
A French magazine, which sparked international protests and saw its offices firebombed after it printed cartoons mocking Mohammed, on Wednesday published a “halal” cartoon biography of Islam’s founder.
The editor of Charlie Hebdo weekly insists that “The Life of Mohammed”, whose cover shows a goofy-looking prophet leading a camel through the desert, is an educational work prepared by a Franco-Tunisian sociologist.
“It is a biography authorised by Islam since it was edited by Muslims,” said Stephane Charbonnier, who was also the illustrator of the book which comes complete with academic footnotes.
“I don’t think higher Muslim minds could find anything inappropriate,” said Charbonnier, whose magazine has repeatedly enraged some Muslims with satirical depictions of the prophet, including showing him naked.
He said the idea for the comic book came to him in 2006 when a newspaper in Denmark published cartoons of Mohammed, later republished by Charlie Hebdo, that sparked angry protests across the Muslim world.
“Before having a laugh about a character, it’s better to know him. As much as we know about the life of Jesus, we know nothing about Mohammed,” he told AFP last week.
He said the book was “perfectly halal”, a joking reference to meat that is deemed fit for Muslims to consume.
Despite Charbonnier’s insistence that the book is well-intentioned and inoffensive, the depiction of the prophet in any visual form is deemed sacrilegious by many Muslims.
Also likely to cause offence are the drawings of naked men wearing turbans on its first page and later depictions of naked female breasts and exposed female genitalia.