Iran slams French weekly over blasphemous cartoons

Iran’s Foreign Ministry has strongly condemned the publication of insulting cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) in a French magazine as part of Zionists’ Islamophobia campaign.

On January 2, the weekly magazine Charlie Hebdo, already infamous for insulting Islamic sanctities, published a special edition with sacrilegious cartoons on the life of the holiest Islamic figure.

“Countering the wave of Islamic Awakening and overshadowing the crimes committed by the Zionist regime [of Israel] against the oppressed people of Palestine are among the main goals behind such insulting moves by Zionist lobbies,” Foreign Ministry spokesman, Ramin Mehmanparast, stated on Tuesday.

Mehmanparast said West’s “systematic and persistent silence” in the face of the British-Indian novelist Salman Rushdie’s sacrilegious book, The Satanic Verses, and the blasphemous US-made movie, The Innocence of Muslims, is the main reason behind the recurrence of similar blasphemous acts against Islam’s holy figures and values.

“It is obvious that the principle of freedom of speech and belief should never be used as a pretext for insulting religious beliefs of other nations of the world, which is in contradiction with the liberties stipulated in the Charter of the United Nations,” he added.

Mehmanparast also called on French officials to “understand Muslims’ religious sentiments” and take the necessary measures to condemn Charlie Hebdo’s publication of blasphemous cartoons and prevent such insulting moves against religions.

In September 2012, the weekly published caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) which provoked widespread outrage worldwide and prompted the temporary closure of several French institutes and cultural centers in some Muslim countries.