Hizbullah on Wednesday condemned as a “dangerous insult” the publication of new Prophet Mohammed cartoons by French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo that was attacked by jihadists last week, describing the move as a “major provocation against the sentiments of more than 1.5 billion Muslims.”
In a statement, the party said the cartoons carried “an insult to the Prophet Mohammed, Islam, religions and the sanctities of humanity in general.”
The first issue of Charlie Hebdo to be published since the attack in Paris that decimated its staff and sent shockwaves around the world was sold out within minutes at kiosks across France. The issue features a cartoon of a tearful Prophet Mohammed on its cover, holding a "Je Suis Charlie" sign under the headline "All is forgiven."
“This act is certainly unacceptable and it cannot be justified under any consideration that the ones behind this heinous act might be hiding behind,” Hizbullah said.
“What the French magazine has committed once again is a major provocation against the sentiments of more than 1.5 billion Muslims, and against all the followers of monotheistic religions and those who are keen on dialogue and unifying common values,” the party added.
It warned that the move “directly contributes to shoring up terrorism, extremism and extremists.”
Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah had on Friday said that Sunni jihadists have caused more offense to Muslims than any “book, cartoon or film.”
"Through their shameful, heinous, inhumane and cruel words and acts, (these groups) have offended the prophet, religion... the holy book and the Muslim people more than any other enemy," said Nasrallah.
He did not specifically mention Charlie Hebdo's cartoons, but said the "authors of offensive books and cartoons that were insulting to the prophet" are among Islam's enemies.
Nasrallah was indirectly referring to "The Satanic Verses" by Salman Rushdie, against whom Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa, or religious order, to have him killed.
Nasrallah also alluded to a video entitled "The Innocence of Muslims," which was distributed online in 2012 and caused an uproar among Muslim communities all over the world.
A series of cartoons showing Mohammed were published in a Danish newspaper in 2005 and Charlie Hebdo was among the media that reprinted them.
At the time, Hizbullah joined a string of other Islamist parties and movements and called for demonstrations against the cartoons.
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