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In The name of Allah,The Most Merciful,The Most gracious

Renewed String Of Anti-Islam Attacks Threaten U.S. Muslims During Ramadan

Muslims recently concluded their holy month of Ramadan. However, this year’s Ramadan has been overshadowed by an uptick in Islamophobic attacks against American Muslims in their schools, homes, and places of worship. In the wake of the massacre in a Sikh temple in Wisconsin earlier this month, hate crimes threatening Muslims or members of other faiths who are mistakenly confused with Muslims have been on the rise:

  • Mosque’s Welcome Sign Smashed: A North Smithfield, RI mosque was vandalized on August 5, when their welcome sign was smashed with a hammer. After appealing to local police for more protection, the mosque received increased security checks. [Source]
  • Mosque Burned To Ground: Federal agents are investigating a suspicious fire that burned a Joplin, MO mosque to the ground on August 6. Just a month earlier, a small fire at the same mosque damaged part of its roof. [Source]
  • Pig Legs Thrown Into Mosque Site: On August 7, pig parts were thrown onto the site of a proposed Islamic center in southern California. Since consuming pigs is forbidden under Islam, local advocates are asking federal officials to investigate it as a hate crime. [Source]
  • Shots Fired On Mosque: On August 10, David Conrad fired two pellet-gun shots on the outer wall of a Morton Grove, IL mosque while about 500 people were inside observing evening prayers for Ramadan. No one was injured, but worshipers saw one of the bullets just narrowly miss a a security guard’s head. Conrad is now in police custody. [Source]
  • Acid Bomb Attack At School: On August 12, an acid bomb was thrown into Muslim school in Lombard, IL, while the school was being used as a facility for evening Ramadan prayers. Worshipers heard a loud bang against the building and realized that someone had hurled a 7-Up bottle filled with acid and other unidentified materials at the school. [Source]
  • Windows Smashed At Christian Arab Church: On August 13, a Christian church in Detroit reported that their building had been vandalized. The church’s pastor, Father Rani Abdulmasih, noted that his Middle Eastern congregation has been racially profiled before. [Source]
  • Paintball Attack At Mosque: Vandals shot paintballs at the Grand Mosque of Oklahoma City on August 13. The attack was caught on the mosque’s surveillance camera, but the police were unable to identify the suspects. [Source]
  • Molotov Cocktail Thrown Into Muslim Home: In the middle of the night on August 15, a firebomb was thrown at a Muslim home in Panama City, FL. The home’s residents believe that the Molotov cocktail was aimed at a bedroom window, but missed its target. The fire was put out with a hose. [Source]
  • Hate Graffiti In Cemetery: On August 16, a visitor to a Muslim cemetery in Evergreen Park, IL discovered that several tombstones had been vandalized with hate graffiti, including racial epithets and insults against Mohammad. [Source]

Two weeks ago, Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL) claimed that radical Muslims are “trying to kill Americans every week” at a town hall just 15 miles away from the Morton Grove mosque. Several of the other recent attacks — the acid bomb in Lombard, IL and the graffiti in Evergreen Park, IL — also took place in Walsh’s district.

old news,posting for records only!

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In The name of Allah,The Most Merciful,The Most gracious

Attacks against U.S. Muslims spike during Ramadan

By Yasmin Amer and Moni Basu, CNN

(CNN) – To mark the end of Islam’s holiest month, Iftikhar Ali will head not to a mosque but to a convention center guarded by law enforcement officers.

That’s because this month, during Ramadan, the mosque in Joplin, Missouri, burned to the ground. Its rubble smoldered for two days as a shocked Muslim community came to terms with what had happened.


“I think there are a few people who don’t like anybody,” Ali said. “They don’t like a different color than their color or different religions.”

Ali, who is the president of the Joplin mosque said the congregation rented a convention center so people would have a place to pray and celebrate Eid al-Fitr, the feast that marks the end of fasting for Ramadan.

Authorities are still investigating the mosque burning but suspect the fire was intentional. In July, a surveillance camera caught a man throwing an incendiary device onto the building that damaged part of the roof.

Ahead of Eid, Ali said he contacted the police and sheriff’s department. They are sending extra officers Sunday.

It’s that way across America, after a spate of violence at Islamic centers in recent weeks that included a homemade bomb and pigs parts.

At least seven mosques and one cemetery were attacked in the U.S. during Ramadan, according to groups that track such incidents.

“This is unprecedented in its scale and scope,” said Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the civil rights and advocacy group, Council on American-Islamic Relations.

He said Muslims have not been under attack like this since the backlash after the September 11 attacks and the immediate aftermath of the Oklahoma City bombing when it was assumed the work of Islamic extremists.

Just Thursday, Ahmed Rehab, the head of the council in Chicago, received a call from a young man visiting his father’s grave at Evergreen Cemetery. Someone had desecrated several Muslim graves.

The Prophet Mohammed’s name was taken in vain and, a black marker scrawl on a tombstone screamed: “raghead,” a derogatory term for Muslims that stems from head coverings such as  turbans and kaffiyas.

A few days earlier, police arrested 51-year-old David Conrad and accused him of firing a pellet gun at a mosque filled with 500 people in Morton Grove, southern Chicago suburb.

No one was injured but worshipers said one of the bullets flew only inches above a security guard’s head, according to CNN affiliate station WGN.

Conrad is a neighbor and had previously spoken out against the expansion of the mosque. He was charged with four felonies.

In a third Chicago-area incident, worshipers at an Islamic school in Lombard heard a loud noise outside of the building during night prayers.

They then found a 2-liter soda bottle filled with acid. Police identified it as a homemade bomb.

No was injured in that incident, either, but on the heels of the carnage at the Sikh temple in suburban Milwaukee, and the burning of the Joplin mosque, Muslims in the United States were fearful.

The temple shooter died and his motives may never be known. But he was linked to white supremacist groups and Hooper said many people felt the Sikhs were mistaken for Muslims because of their turbans and beards.

In Murfreesboro, Tennessee, a new mosque opened earlier this month after more than two years of community protests, legal hurdles and vandalism. The board of directors planned for extra security.

When worshipers bow their heads in prayer Sunday, someone else will be scanning the room.

“Yes, we are very concerned because we have been the subject of vandalism, arson, bomb threats, intimidation, bullying,” said Saleh Sbenaty, a board member of the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro.

“You call it,” he said. “Every single act of intimidation, you know, was actually inflicted upon us.”

Hooper, the spokesman for the Islamic Council, said Muslims in the United States have been asked to exercise caution. The council released a tip sheet on security: know your emergency responders, post observers, report threats, install surveillance cameras.

Hooper said anti-Muslim rhetoric has been building for years, especially from groups formed specifically to fight against Islam in the United States.

“Anti-Muslim hate groups are a relatively new phenomenon in the United States, most of them appearing in the aftermath of the World Trade Center terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001,” according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks such groups.

“Earlier anti-Muslim groups tended to be religious in orientation and disputed Islam’s status as a respectable religion,” the center said.

Hooper, for one, believes there’s an “Islamophobia machine working out there.”

“Eventually and inevitably, it’s going to have an impact on the tiny minority of people willing to carry out acts of violence,” he said.

Rehab of CAIR’s Chicago office also blamed the spike in incidents on government officials who he said were involved in fear-mongering.

He cited statements made by Republican congressman Joe Walsh of Illinois, who warned Americans that “there is a radical strain of Islam in this country” and that radicals are “trying to kill Americans every week.”

Justin Roth, Walsh’s chief of staff, said that the lawmaker’s comments were taken out of context and that Walsh is troubled by attacks on any people based on their religion.

Nevertheless, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee blamed Walsh for the homemade bomb incident.

“It is not a coincidence that after the remarks by Rep. Walsh were made that there was a homemade bomb directed at an Islamic school …” the committee said. “The facts are clear – By proclaiming to the public that ‘Muslims are trying to kill Americans every week,’ Walsh raised suspicion of the American Muslim community and incited fear.”

There were other troubling incidents this month:

– In Hayward, California, police arrested two teens and charged them with committing a hate crime after worshipers said the boys threw lemons at them during prayer.

– In Ontario, California, pig legs were left on the property of an Islamic Center. Police still do not have information on who was responsible for the act, which was particularly offensive during Ramadan because practicing Muslims consider pigs unclean.

– In North Smithfield, Rhode Island, a surveillance camera outside the Masjid Al-Islam mosque showed a suspect breaking the building’s sign and two vehicles later fleeing the property.

– In Oklahoma City, vandals defaced the Grand Mosque with paintball guns. Those inside feared the shots came from a real gun.

In Joplin, the torched mosque’s 90 congregants invited 300 other people to join them Sunday for Eid.

“I still feel secure,” said Ali, the mosque president, though he knows a pall has been cast by all the attacks.

He said the attacks on his community are instigated by a few ignorant people. He came to these shores from Pakistan 23 years ago and still believes in the principles of this nation.

“This is un-American,” he said of the mosque fire. “I’m not afraid of any neighbors. I feel more secure here in America than anywhere else in the world.”

He said all Muslims have a right to practice their faith without fear.

On this Eid, that may not happen in some houses of worship in the United States.

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story quoted a statement from the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee that incorrectly said the site of an apparent anti-Muslim incident is in the political district of U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh, R-Illinois. The school where the incident occurred currently is in a district adjacent to Walsh’s.

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In The name of Allah,The Most Merciful,The Most gracious

Danish paper rejected to publish Jesus cartoons

Monday 6 February 2006 08.38 GMT
Old News,Published to show double standard 

Jyllands-Posten, the Danish newspaper that first published the cartoons of the prophet Muhammad that have caused a storm of protest throughout the Islamic world, refused to run drawings lampooning Jesus Christ, it has emerged today.

The Danish daily turned down the cartoons of Christ three years ago, on the grounds that they could be offensive to readers and were not funny.

In April 2003, Danish illustrator Christoffer Zieler submitted a series of unsolicited cartoons dealing with the resurrection of Christ to Jyllands-Posten.

Zieler received an email back from the paper’s Sunday editor, Jens Kaiser, which said: “I don’t think Jyllands-Posten’s readers will enjoy the drawings. As a matter of fact, I think that they will provoke an outcry. Therefore, I will not use them.”

The illustrator said: “I see the cartoons as an innocent joke, of the type that my Christian grandfather would enjoy.”

“I showed them to a few pastors and they thought they were funny.”

But the Jyllands-Posten editor in question, Mr Kaiser, said that the case was “ridiculous to bring forward now. It has nothing to do with the Muhammad cartoons.

“In the Muhammad drawings case, we asked the illustrators to do it. I did not ask for these cartoons. That’s the difference,” he said.

“The illustrator thought his cartoons were funny. I did not think so. It would offend some readers, not much but some.”

The decision smacks of “double-standards”, said Ahmed Akkari, spokesman for the Danish-based European Committee for Prophet Honouring, the umbrella group that represents 27 Muslim organisations that are campaigning for a full apology from Jyllands-Posten.

“How can Jyllands-Posten distinguish the two cases? Surely they must understand,” Mr Akkari added.

Meanwhile, the editor of a Malaysian newspaper resigned over the weekend after printing one of the Muhammad cartoons that have unleashed a storm of protest across the Islamic world.

Malaysia’s Sunday Tribune, based in the remote state of Sarawak, on Borneo island, ran one of the Danish cartoons on Saturday. It is unclear which one of the 12 drawings was reprinted.

Printed on page 12 of the paper, the cartoon illustrated an article about the lack of impact of the controversy in Malaysia, a country with a majority Muslim population.

The newspaper apologised and expressed “profound regret over the unauthorised publication”, in a front page statement on Sunday.

“Our internal inquiry revealed that the editor on duty, who was responsible for the same publication, had done it all alone by himself without authority in compliance with the prescribed procedures as required for such news,” the statement said.

The editor, who has not been named, regretted his mistake, apologized and tendered his resignation, according to the statement.

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In The name of Allah,The Most Merciful,The Most gracious

Pregnant nun ice cream advert banned for ‘mockery’

An ice cream company banned from using an advert displaying a pregnant nun has vowed to position similar posters in London in time for the Pope’s visit.

Antonio Federici’s advert showed a pregnant nun eating ice cream in a church, together with the strap line “immaculately conceived”.

The Advertising Standards Authority has ordered it to be discontinued, saying it mocked Roman Catholic beliefs.[but In case of Muhammad,Its Freedom of Speech]

Antonio Federici says it will now put up new posters near Westminster Abbey.

Pope Benedict XVI will visit Westminster Abbey on Friday, before holding Mass at Westminster Cathedral on Saturday.

Antonio Federici, a UK-based company, has yet to reveal what image will be portrayed in the new advert, saying only that it would be “a continuation of the theme”.

A spokeswoman for the company said the new image intended to “defy” the ban from the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

She added: “We are in the process of securing a series of billboards close to and along the planned route of the Pope’s cavalcade around Westminster Cathedral”.

A spokesman for the ASA said its rulings “must be followed and we are taking steps to ensure Antonio Federici do so”.

He added: “We do not comment on the likely compliance of ads that have not yet appeared.

“However, we are continuing to conduct work behind the scenes, including with the advertiser, to ensure they comply with the rules.”

Defending the banned nun advert, Antonio Federici said the idea of “conception” represented the development of their ice cream.

It added that the use of religious imagery represented its strong feeling towards its product.

The firm said it also wished to “comment on and question, using satire and gentle humour, the relevance and hypocrisy of religion and the attitudes of the church to social issues”.

The banned advert was featured in editions of The Lady and Grazia magazines.

The ASA said in its ruling: “We considered the use of a nun pregnant through immaculate conception was likely to be seen as a distortion and mockery of the beliefs of Roman Catholics.

“We concluded that to use such an image in a lighthearted way to advertise ice cream was likely to cause serious offence to readers, particularly those who practice the Roman Catholic faith.”

The publishers of The Lady said it had received eight complaints and that it had been a “mis judgement” to have published .

Grazia said it considered that the advert was lighthearted and did not mock any religious groups.

The ASA banned another advert for Antonio Federici in July 2009 that showed a priest and a nun appearing as if they were about to kiss.

source

IF ANYTHING IS AGAINST SOMEONE THEN ITS ABUSE ,BUT THE ONE WHO IS :  [

Philosopher, Orator, Apostle, Legislator, Warrior, Conqueror of ideas, the Restorer of rational beliefs, the preacher of a religion without images, the founder of twenty terrestrial empires and of one heavenly Empire, that is Muhammad. As …

regards all standards [I repeat, ‘ALL’] by which human greatness may be measured, we may well ask, “Is there any man greater than he?” (Alphonse Lamartine, French poet)

Head of State as well as Church, he was Caesar and Pope in One; but he was Pope without the Pope’s pretensions, and Caesar without the legions of Caesar, without a standing army, without a bodyguard, without police force, without a fixed revenue. If ever a man ruled by right Divine, it was Muhammad, for he had all the powers without their supports. He cared not for the dressings of power. The simplicity of his private life was in keeping with his public life.”

Reverend Bosworth Smith in “Muhammad and Muhammadanism” ] 

HIS ABUSE IS NOTHING…

1.68 BILLION PEOPLE ARE HURT ,

MORE THAN 50 PEOPLE DIED IN PROTEST

YET FOR GOOGLE ITS WAS NOT OFFENSIVE VIDEO !

DIRTY DOUBLE STANDARD

Just like this one “Wanted Muslim ,Dead or Alive”

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In The name of Allah,The Most Merciful,The Most gracious

France bans protesting against cartoons

France has banned street protests against cartoons denigrating Islam’s Prophet Mohammad that were published by a French satirical magazine this week. The crackdown comes as part of a security measure while prayers took place across the Muslim world. The country’s Muslim population, drawn largely from ex-colonies in North and West Africa, shrugged off the controversy as imams in mosques denounced the pictures but urged their followers to remain calm.

Libyan Muslims hold a demonstration against a film and a cartoon denigrating the Prophet Muhammad in Benghazi, Libya. France has ordered a ban on protests following the widespread uproar

The drawings have stoked a furore over an anti-Islam film made in California that has provoked some violent protests in several Muslim countries, including attacks on U.S. and other Western embassies, the killing of the U.S. envoy to Libya and a suicide bombing in Afghanistan. Interior Minister Manuel Valls said prefects had orders to prohibit any protest and to crack down if the ban was challenged. ‘There will be strictly no exceptions. Demonstrations will be banned and broken up,’ he told a news conference in the southern port city of Marseille. The main body representing Muslims in France appealed for calm as the weekly Charlie Hebdo put a new print run of the cartoons featuring a naked Prophet Mohammad on the news stands. Mohammed Moussaoui, head of the French Muslim Council, described both the film and the cartoons as ‘acts of aggression’ but urged French Muslims not to protest in the streets. ‘I repeat the council’s call not to protest. Any protest could be hijacked and counterproductive,’ he told radio RFI. An estimated 8,000 Muslims gathered peacefully for Friday prayers at a temporary prayer hall in northern Paris set up in a former fire department depot. So many turned out that hundreds had to pray in the rain in the adjacent parking lot.

The Syrian and Muslim Jihad flag is held in front of a mosque in Beirut against a cartoon mocking the Islamic prophet Mohammad in a rally held by Sheikh Ahmed al-Asirin in protest against the anti-Islam film and offensive cartoon

This demonstrates that the vast majority of the Muslim community is not made up of extremists,’ said Abderahmane Dahmane, spokesman for the local association that runs the prayer hall, one of the largest in the Paris region. ‘The majority will not play the game of the hotheads.’ At prayers in the northeast Paris suburb of La Courneuve, delivery driver Hakim Ardjou, 42, also rejected violence. ‘We just want our message to be heard: this sort of insult is a disgrace, but we will keep calm.’ French embassies, schools and cultural centres in some 20 Muslim countries were closed on Friday, the Muslim day of prayer, in a precaution ordered by the French government. French media showed footage of an embassy protected by soldiers and barbed wire in former French colony Tunisia, where the Islamist-led government has also banned protests over the cartoons.

Brazilian Muslim children shout slogans during a protest against an anti-Islam film made in the U.S. and also against the French-published cartoon mocking the Prophet Mohammad

Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said there had been anti-French demonstrations in Afghanistan, Egypt and Indonesia, but there were no incidents against French nationals. ‘In a certain number of countries, the measures (closures) will be kept in place as a precaution on Saturday and Sunday,’ Fabius told journalists. Police were on alert in the French capital after protests planned by some Muslim groups were banned. Charlie Hebdo, an anti-establishment weekly whose Paris offices are under police protection, defied critics to rush out another run of the publication that sold out on Wednesday.
It says the cartoons are designed simply to poke fun at the uproar over the film and on Friday hit back at critics accusing it of deliberately stirring controversy to sell newspapers.
‘If Charlie Hebdo wanted to make a quick buck, it would not produce Charlie Hebdo,’ it said on its Twitter feed. The publication has a print run of around 70,000 but its Mohammad cartoons have made front-page news in a country which has both the largest Muslim and Jewish populations in Europe – an estimated five million Muslims and 600,000 Jews.
President Francois Hollande’s government has sought to balance a cherished tradition of freedom of expression with security concerns, denouncing Charlie Hebdo as irresponsible. ‘When you are free, in a country like ours, you always have to measure the impact of your words,’ French European Affairs Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said. A survey by TNS Sofres for i-Tele news channel showed 58 percent thought freedom of expression was a fundamental right, and that ‘freedom to caricature’ was part of that. Yet an even higher 71 percent of the roughly 1,000 people interviewed on Thursday approved of the ban on protests against the cartoons. France has a proud tradition of street protest.

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In The name of Allah,The Most Merciful,The Most gracious

Cartoons in French weekly fuel Protest

PARIS (Reuters) – A French magazine ridiculed the Prophet Mohammad on Wednesday by portraying him naked in cartoons, threatening to fuel the anger of Muslims around the world who are already incensed by a California-made video depicting him as a lecherous fool. :@

Policeman stands guard outside French satirical weekly “Charlie Hebdo” in Paris after it published controversial cartoons

The drawings in the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo risked exacerbating a crisis that has seen the storming of U.S. and other Western embassies, the killing of the U.S. ambassador to Libya and a deadly suicide bombing in Afghanistan.

Riot police were deployed to protect the paper’s Paris offices after the issue hit news stands.

It featured several caricatures of the Prophet showing him naked in what the publishers said was an attempt to poke fun at the furor over the film. One, entitled “Mohammad: a star is born”, depicted a bearded figure crouching over to display his buttocks and genitals. The French government, which had urged the weekly not to print the cartoons, said it was shutting embassies and schools in 20 countries as a precaution on Friday, when protests sometimes break out after Muslim prayers. Arab League Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby called the drawings outrageous but said those who were offended by them should “use peaceful means to express their firm rejection”.

Tunisia’s ruling Islamist party, Ennahda, condemned what it called an act of “aggression” against Mohammad but urged Muslims not to fall into a trap intended to “derail the Arab Spring and turn it into a conflict with the West”.

In the northern Paris suburb of Sarcelles, one person was slightly hurt when two masked men threw a small explosive device through the window of a kosher supermarket. Police said it was too early to link the incident to the cartoons. One small local Muslim group filed a legal complaint against the weekly but there were no reports of reaction on the streets of France.

The posting on YouTube of a crude video, made in the United States and available on YouTube since July, that mocked Mohammad as a womanising buffoon has sparked protests in many countries, some of them deadly.

The U.S. envoy to Libya and three other Americans were killed in an attack in Benghazi, and U.S. and other foreign embassies were attacked in cities in Asia, Africa and the Middle East by furious Muslims.

Matthew Olsen, director of the U.S. government’s National Counter terrorism Center, branded the Benghazi assault a “terrorist attack” and said officials were examining the possibility that individuals involved in the attack may have links to al Qaeda, and particularly the affiliate group al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.

INTERNATIONAL DEBATE

The furor has emerged as an issue in the U.S. presidential election campaign and sparked international debate over free speech, religion and the right to offend. Many Muslims consider any representation of Allah or the Prophet Mohammad blasphemous.

In Los Angeles, an actress who appeared in the video filed a lawsuit against a Coptic Christian man linked to the film, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, accusing him of fraud and slander and asking that the film’s trailer be removed from the Internet.

It was the first known civil lawsuit connected to the film that has circulated online as a 13-minute trailer, including under the title “Innocence of Muslims.”

The actress, Cindy Lee Garcia, also named Google Inc and its YouTube unit as defendants. Garcia’s lawsuit stated that she thought she was appearing in a desert adventure film, not a “hateful” production about the Muslim prophet.

The United States has condemned the content of the video while defending the right to free speech, and took a similar line on the French cartoons.

“We know that these images will be deeply offensive to many and have the potential to be inflammatory. But we’ve spoken repeatedly about the importance of upholding the freedom of expression that is enshrined in our constitution,” White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters.

“In other words, we don’t question the right of something like this to be published, we just question the judgment behind the decision to publish it.”

In the Lebanese city of Sidon, around 10,000 people joined a march organized by the Shi’ite group Hezbollah to protest against the film and the cartoons, shouting “Enough humiliation!” and “Death to America! Death to Israel!”.

In Egypt, Essam Erian, acting head of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, told Reuters: “We reject and condemn the French cartoons that dishonor the Prophet and we condemn any action that defames the sacred according to people’s beliefs.”

At the same time, rights groups demanded the release of a Coptic Christian computer science graduate who they said had been beaten up and arrested in Cairo on suspicion of re-posting the anti-Islam video online.

In France, a joint statement by Catholic bishop Michel Dubost and Mohammed Moussaoui, president of the French Muslim Council, defended the right to freedom of expression under the cherished French principles of “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity”.

“But freedom endangers itself if it forgets fraternity and respect for everyone’s equal right to dignity,” they added.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius called the publication of the cartoons a provocation.

“We saw what happened last week in Libya and in other countries such as Afghanistan,” he told a regular news conference. “We have to call on all to behave responsibly.”

CALL FOR CAUTION

France’s ambassador to Iran sent French citizens there a message urging them to exercise great caution, especially on Friday, and around diplomatic missions and places of worship.

But Charlie Hebdo’s editor, Stephane Charbonnier, rejected the criticism. “We have the impression that it’s officially allowed for Charlie Hebdo to attack the Catholic far-right but we cannot poke fun at fundamental Islamists,” he said.

“It shows the climate. Everyone is driven by fear, and that is exactly what this small handful of extremists who do not represent anyone want: to make everyone afraid, to shut us all in a cave,” he told Reuters.

One cartoon alluded to the scandal over a French magazine’s publication of topless photos of the wife of Britain’s Prince William. It showed a bare female torso topped by a beard with the caption “Riots in Arab countries after photos of Mrs Mohammad are published”.

Charlie Hebdo is no stranger to controversy. Its Paris offices were firebombed last November after it published a mocking caricature of Mohammad, and Charbonnier has been under police guard ever since.

Speaking outside his offices in an eastern neighborhood with many residents of North African origin, Charbonnier said he had not received any threats over the latest cartoons. In a message on its Twitter account, Charlie Hebdo said its website had been hacked, but referred readers to a blog it also uses.

In 2005, Danish cartoons of the Prophet sparked a wave of protests across the Muslim world in which at least 50 died.

France is already on alert for attacks by al Qaeda on French interests in West Africa.

A diplomatic source said this week that Paris had recently foiled attacks on economic and diplomatic targets and had credible evidence that more were planned. “Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb is a direct and immediate threat,” the source said.

(Additional reporting by Shreya Banerjee, Thierry Chiarello, Brian Love and John Irish, Marwa Awad in Cairo, Souhail Karam in Tunis, Margaret Chadbourn in Washington and Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles; Writing by Mark John; Editing by Kevin Liffey and Jackie Frank)

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