Turkish Deputy PM slams French magazine for comic book biography of Muhammad
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
A special edition of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, between other publications in Paris, France, 02 January 2012. EPA photoA French magazine’s publication of a “halal” cartoon biography of the Prophet Muhammad is “a provocation,” Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ said today, while urging Muslim people not to give into such incitement that aims to defame Islam.
“Insulting Islam’s sacred notions and Muslims’ Prophet is a principle for this magazine. Here are some people who consider this within the framework of freedom of expression. But swearing, insulting and showing disrespect for people’s faith is not freedom of expression. I consider these as provocative efforts and steps of provocation,” Bozdağ said regarding the weekly satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.
The deputy prime minister also warned Muslims not to play into the hands of such provocateurs.
“The best thing is to ignore these,” Bozdağ said.
The magazine’s editor insists that “The Life of Muhammad,” whose cover shows a goofy-looking prophet leading a camel through the desert, is an educational work prepared by a Franco-Tunisian sociologist.
On Dec. 31, 2012, a senior political advisor to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan denounced the work.
“Turning the Prophet of Islam into a cartoon character is itself wrong,” İbrahim Kalin said in a Twitter message. “No matter what Charlie Hebdo people say, this is a provocation. My advice to Muslims: ignore it. Don’t give them what they want.”
In 2011, Charlie Hebdo’s offices were hit by a firebomb and its website was hacked after publishing an edition titled “Charia Hebdo” featuring several Muhammad cartoons.