Cairo Islamists protest prophet cartoon at French embassy

11th November 2011, Comments 0 comments

Hundreds of hardline Islamists protested outside France's embassy in Cairo on Friday against a French satirical newspaper that published pictures of the Muslim prophet, the state MENA news agency reported.

The news agency quoted Khaled Said, the spokesman of the Salafi group that organised the protest, as warning of "an escalation in peaceful measures against French interests," including a boycott of French goods.

The Islamist said his group had submitted a protest to the embassy and organised the demonstration after the French government described the affair as a freedom of speech issue.

MENA did not report any violence in the protest, which was organised after the main weekly Muslim prayers.

The weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo renamed itself Charia (sharia -- Islamic law) Hebdo for a special Arab Spring edition and featured a front-page cartoon of the prophet Mohammed saying: "100 lashes if you don't die of laughter!"

Its offices in Paris were destroyed in a suspected firebomb attack on November 2.

Jihadist groups urged Muslims in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia "to protest and demand that their current leaders threaten to sever ties with France" if the publishing licence for Charlie Hebdo is not revoked, and that similar acts against Islam be "criminalised," the SITE Intelligence group reported.

© 2011 AFP

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