Al-Azhar, Vatican slam Mohammed cartoons
Sunni Islam’s highest authority on Wednesday condemned a French weekly’s publication of cartoons of a naked Prophet Mohammed, with the region still reeling from an anti-Islam film that sparked deadly protests.
Al-Azhar expressed “its and all Muslims’ utmost rejection of the insistence of a French publication in printing caricatures offensive to Islam and its Prophet, the prophet of humanity,” Grand Imam Ahmed al-Tayyeb said in a statement.
He said that such acts “that fuel hatred in the name of freedom are completely rejected… Freedom should stop (where it affects) other people’s freedoms,” in a statement carried by the official MENA news agency.
The new controversy triggered by the pictures in satirical French magazine Charlie Hebdo comes as tempers are already running high over an anti-Islam film made in California and posted on the Internet, with at least 30 people killed in unrest.
Meanwhile, the Vatican’s official daily Osservatore Romano on Wednesday condemned a French weekly’s decision to publish cartoons of a naked Prophet Mohammed as “fuel on the fire”.
“The debatable initiative by the French magazine threatens… to add more fuel to the fire after the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi,” the newspaper said.
“There is a risk of a new front in the protests,” the daily said.
Sunni Islam’s highest authority, the Al-Azhar mosque and university in Cairo, also condemned the caricatures saying that they were “offensive to Islam and its Prophet, the prophet of humanity.”
The Vatican’s spokesman earlier this month condemned anti-Muslim “provocations” and the resulting “unacceptable violence” after a deadly attack on a US consulate in Libya over a film deemed offensive to Islam.