Jordan's Salafi Jihadis Deliberate French Cartoon Reaction

[9/19/2012 12:00:00 AM]

By Eyad Jaghbeer

AMMONNEWS - Jordan's Salafi Jihadi Current is holding an urgent meeting on Wednesday to discuss the cartoons published by a French weekly that is deemed offensive to Islam's Prophet Muhammad.

A source within the movement told Ammon News that members of the current are deliberating how to respond to the offensive cartoons, less than a week after the movement held a protest near the U.S. Embassy in Amman in protest of a film trailer posted online that ridiculed Islam and its Prophet.

Leader of the Salafi Jihadi current in Jordan, Abu Muhammad Al Tahawi, confirmed that the meeting will take place, and renounced the French magazine's move to publish the offensive cartoons.

The move comes after French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo published cartoons of Prophet Muhammad in its latest issues that hit the newsstands on Wednesday, a move that was criticized by the French authorities which had also simultaneously sent riot police to protect the magazine's offices.

"The West aims to offend Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) through methodological plans and using the pretexts of democracy and freedom of expression," the Salafi Jihadi movement said.

"If the West considers offending the Prophet as freedom of expression, then let them be open to the reaction of Arabs and Muslims," he added.

The movement did not give details on the time and place of the meeting.

The publication of the cartoons came amid widespread outrage in the Muslim world over a film trailer, made with private funds in the US, and stirred violent protests in various Muslim-majority countries.

Foreign Minister of France Laurent Fabius criticized the magazine's publishing of the cartoons and considered it a 'provocation,' and French authorities called for restraint over the cartoons, yet reiterating France's policy of free speech, urged those who are offended by the cartoons to resort to the courts.

Fabius and French authorities ordered increased security presence at French embassies and diplomatic missions in Muslim-majority countries, in a move to prepare for potential backlash from protestors.

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