Paris: In what might add fuel to the fire, a French satirical weekly magazine has published Prophet Mohammed cartoons, putting French authorities on the alert, reports said Wednesday.
French riot police rushed to the offices of the satirical magazine named Charlie Hebdo to avert any untoward incident.
Charlie Hebdo, which has published Prophet cartoons in past also, has come up with a fresh issue featuring Mohammed caricatures which might be deemed offensive.
The latest issue of the satirical weekly features on its front page a cartoon showing an Orthodox Jew pushing a turbaned figure in a wheelchair.
Several other Prophet caricatures, include some nude pictures, are shown on inside pages of the magazine.
The cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed might add to the widespread indignation that has already been triggered by an-anti Muslim movie that depicts Prophet Mohammed as a womanizer and fraud.
Earlier, the French government had urged the media to “behave responsibly”.
"In the current climate, the prime minister wishes to stress his disapproval of all excess and calls on everyone to behave responsibly," said Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault in a statement.
France is no stranger to such incidents.
Paris offices of the weekly named Charlie Hebdo were firebombed last November, when it published a mocking caricature of Mohammad.
Also, in 2005 Danish cartoons of the Prophet caused protests across the Muslim world killing at least 50.
French government had called for restraint over the cartoons but the weekly went on to publish the caricatures.
Charlie Hebdo’s editor Stephane Charbonnier said to a news channel, "We do caricatures of everyone, and above all every week, and when we do it with the Prophet, it's called provocation”.
He said that if Charlie Hebdo stopped printing satirical work because of pressure or fear of offence, it would be reduced to selling 16 blank pages every week.
Muslims around the world are already incensed over an anti-Islam film called “Innocence of Muslims”, with anti-US protests and attacks on US embassies being carried out across the world.
France too is witnessing the protests and police arrested about 150 people who were keen to take part in a demonstration near the US Embassy in Paris, last Sunday.
In such circumstances, publishing of Prophet cartoons would only aggravate the already raging fury among Muslims.
With Agency Inputs
First Published: Wednesday, September 19, 2012, 11:45