Cairo: Leading Islamic authority Al-Azhar urged Muslims to "ignore" the publication of a new Prophet Mohamed cartoon by French magazine Charlie Hebdo Wednesday, saying his stature was too lofty to be harmed by cartoons.
The first issue of the satirical magazine to be published since a jihadist attack decimated its staff last week was sold out within minutes at kiosks across France on Wednesday.
The issue features a cartoon of a tearful Prophet Mohammed on its cover, holding a "Je Suis Charlie" sign under the headline "All is forgiven".
Al-Azhar, Sunni Islam`s most prestigious seat of learning, denounced the new edition but called on Muslims to ignore it.
"Al-Azhar calls on all Muslims to ignore this hateful frivolity," it said in a statement.
"The stature of the prophet of mercy and humanitarianism is greater and more lofty than to be harmed by cartoons that are unrestrained by decency and civilised standards," it added.