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French Muslims to take legal action against the Prophet cartoons


PARIS, (Xinhua): A French Islamic organization will sue satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo over the publication of cartoons mocking Prophet Mohammed, local media reported Thursday.

The Union of Islamic Organisations of France announced it would take legal actions "against the weekly, probably for incitement to racial hatred," Radio France Internationale said in its website report.

The French magazine on Wednesday portrayed the Prophet naked in cartoons, a move that could fuel further Muslims furor over the broadcast of a U.S. anti-Islam movie that triggered deadly protest in some Muslim countries.

French police arrested a young Islamist who intended to attack the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo for publishing the offensive cartoons.

Muslim academic Tariq Ramadan called for calm on Thursday. He told Europe 1 radio that "the only worthy attitude faced with the provocation of those who want to spread Islamophobia in France or with Charlie Hebdo, which wants to ride this wave, is to ignore these attacks and look beyond them, saying we're French we are for the future of France."

French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault on Wednesday pointed out that "anyone really offended in their beliefs" could take legal action if they feel the law has been broken, but he also stressed that "freedom of express is guaranteed" in France.

European Affairs Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said those who benefit from free speech should also have a spirit of ethics and responsibility.

Local media reported that French police have banned demonstrations against the cartoons and the controversial film Innocence of Muslims as a precautionary measure after calls circulated on social networks to protest over the movie.

Authorities also ordered the closure of its diplomatic offices and schools in 20 countries on Friday, fearing violent demonstrations after Muslim prayers.

In November 2011, the French satirical weekly's office was set on fire after publishing a caricature ridiculing Prophet Mohammed. Muslims consider any representation of Allah or Prophet Mohammad as highly offensive.

Editor: Liu

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