Around 5,000 people rallied against French magazine Charlie Hebdo in Pakistan’s eastern city of Lahore on Sunday, and the founder of a group banned for militant links urged protesters to boycott French products.
Hafiz Saeed, who founded Lashkar-e-Taiba, an organization banned for launching attacks in neighboring India, told protesters: “We will launch a movement against the insulting caricatures of our beloved prophet.”
French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo published a picture of the Prophet Muhammad weeping on its cover last week after two gunmen stormed its offices and killed 12 people. The gunmen said their attack was revenge for previous cartoons the magazine had published mocking Islam.
Saeed urged traders to stop importing French products and for Pakistani leaders to try to get an international law against blasphemy passed.
Blasphemy is punishable by death in Pakistan.
On Friday, protesters trying to storm the French consulate in the southern city of Karachi shot and injured a photographer working for French news agency AFP.
Saeed called for more rallies next Friday. He says he has no links to militancy these days and only runs a charity, which is banned by the U.S. government for suspected militant links. The U.S. government has offered $10 million for information leading to Saeed’s conviction.
via Anti-Charlie rally in Pakistan draws 5,000 – Yahoo News.
A prominent Saudi Arabian cleric has whipped up controversy by issuing a religious ruling forbidding the building of snowmen, described them as anti-Islamic.
Asked on a religious website if it was permissible for fathers to build snowmen for their children after a snowstorm in the country’s north, Sheikh Mohammed Saleh al-Munajjid replied: “It is not permitted to make a statue out of snow, even by way of play and fun.”
Quoting from Muslim scholars, Sheikh Munajjid argued that to build a snowman was to create an image of a human being, an action considered sinful under the kingdom’s strict interpretation of Sunni Islam.
“God has given people space to make whatever they want which does not have a soul, including trees, ships, fruits, buildings and so on,” he wrote in his ruling.
Thanks to Brian F. for the tip!
Source: Saudi cleric condemns snowmen as anti-Islamic | Reuters
The Associated Press has removed an image of Andres Serrano’s 1987 photograph “Piss Christ” from its image library following Wednesday’s attack against the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.
“It’s been our policy for years that we refrain from moving deliberately provocative images. It is fair to say we have revised and reviewed our policies since 1989,” AP spokesperson Erin Madigan told POLITICO, referring to the year the AP first posted the photograph.
Until today, the AP’s policy allowed for Serrano’s photograph, which depicts a statue of Christ submerged in urine and has repeatedly caused controversy when exhibited. “Piss Christ” was once vandalized, and both Serrano and gallery owners have received death threats over the years.
Following Wednesday’s attack, the photo has been replaced on the AP’s website with a note that reads, “Oops! This image is not part of your portfolio. Please contact customer support.”
The AP was one of several news organizations to either blur or crop photos featuring a Charlie Hebdo cartoon depicting the Islamic prophet Mohammed. In an email earlier today, AP spokesperson Paul Colford cited the “longstanding policy” as its reason for not showing the cartoons.
Both the cropping of the Hebdo cartoons and the decision to remove Serrano’s photo have been interpreted by many as a capitulation to the attackers’ efforts to limit the freedom of expression. Though there identity is as yet unknown, the masked gunmen are believed to be Islamic terrorists.
via AP pulls ‘Piss Christ’ after Paris attack.