French Muslim groups sue magazine over Mohammed cartoons
Two Muslim organisations launched legal proceedings on Friday against French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, accusing it of inciting racial hatred after it published provocative cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed.
By FRANCE 24
In a law suit that will revive the debate between freedom of speech and dangerous provocation, the weekly magazine’s director along with two cartoonists are accused of inciting racial hatred and defamation.
The allegations concern cartoons that caricatured the Prophet, including two drawings which show him naked, published at a time, on September 19, when violent anti-Western protests were flaring across the Muslim world in response to an US anti-Islam amateur film.
“Cartoons stigmatised Islam”
Two organisations - the Algerian Democratic Union for Peace and Progress (RDAP) and the Organisation of Arab Union - are claiming a total of €780,000 in costs and damages, according to AFP.
The organisations say the court action is to “defend and support Islamic and/or Arabic people”.
According to the complainants’, the drawings were “damaging to the honour and reputation of the Prophet Mohammed and the Muslim community”.
“They stigmatised Muslims and provoked hatred,” their lawyer Anthony Bem told AFP, adding that "caricatures does not mean anything goes”.