Egyptian-French legal team to act against French cartoon publication: Brotherhood lawyer

Ahram Online , Thursday 20 Sep 2012

In response to offensive cartoons published by French magazine Charlie Hebdo, the Muslim Brotherhood announces the formation of a joint Egyptian-French legal team to seek redress and censure

French cartoon
Two Egyptian policemen stand guard in front of the French embassy in Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2012(Photo: AP)

The Muslim Brotherhood's lawyer, Abdel-Moneim Abdel-Maqsoud, stated Thursday that a legal team consisting of both Egyptian and French lawyers is being formed at the moment to take action against the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo for its publication of offensive cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed.

In a press release circulated Thursday, Abdel-Maqsoud stated that those in charge of publishing the cartoons have "abused the rights of freedom of speech and thought."

Consequently, they have also carried out a clear violation of international human rights treaties, which prohibit the abuse of religious figures and holy sites, he added.

"I greatly object to these offenses carried out for the primary purpose of garnering attention and gaining popularity," he asserted.

He warned that such actions could lead to an increase of violence and instill sectarian strife to an unforeseeable extent.

While freedom of speech and thought is guaranteed for all, the principles of mutual respect and not infringing on the rights and freedoms of others sets some limits to what can be said or expressed, he added.

Abdel-Maqsoud further called on the need for the United Nations to draw up a charter that criminalises the abuse of religious figures and holy sites.

The lawyer's statements come a day after the French magazine published nude cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed, which were deemed offensive by many Muslims.

A number of Islamist and religious figures Wednesday denounced the publication.

Essam El-Erian of the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party called on the French government to act in the same way it did by passing a court order to halt the circulation of topless photographs of the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton.

The grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Sheikh Ahmed El-Tayeb, also rejected "these messages of hate," Wednesday, saying they "merely aim to instigate hate in the name of freedom."


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