Paris: The French Minister of Foreign Affairs has decided to close the embassies, consulates, cultural centers and schools in twenty Muslim countries on Friday, the day of the great prayer which could lead to a mobilization against French interests. He has sent instructions for the same in all countries where he fears that this can cause problems. He says that he will be taking special safety measures.
The inside pages of Wednesday’s edition of Charlie Hebdo, a Paris-based satirical French newspaper, depict Muhammad naked and crouching. This disturbed the peace among Muslims, who reacted strongly against it as depiction of any Islamic entity in any form is forbidden.
Religious authorities although have appealed fellowmen to maintain calm. The French Council of the Muslim Faith, a body representing different Muslims in France, condemned "this new act Islamophobic", but he called on Muslims to "not yield to provocation." At the initiative of the rector of the Grand Mosque Paris, Boubakeur, a message "reflection and calm" will be played in mosque on Friday.
However, it must be noted that the magazine is not in its first such attempt. In February 2006, the magazine had published twelve cartoons taken by a Danish newspaper, sparking protests in the Muslim world. Till now, over 75,000 copies of the magazine have been taken away by the readers.