DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Iran summoned the French ambassador on Wednesday to sentence the publication of offensive caricatures of the nation’s Supreme Chief Ayatollah Ali Khamenei within the French satirical journal Charlie Hebdo.
The journal has an extended historical past of publishing vulgar cartoons mocking Islamists, which critics say are deeply insulting to Muslims. Two French-born al-Qaida extremists attacked the newspaper’s workplace in 2015, killing 12 cartoonists, and it has been the goal of different assaults through the years.
Its newest problem options the winners of a current cartoon contest through which entrants had been requested to attract probably the most offensive caricatures of Khamenei, who has held Iran’s highest workplace since 1989. The competition was billed as a present of assist for anti-government protests rocking Iran.
One of many finalists depicts a turbaned cleric reaching for a hangman’s noose as he drowns in blood, whereas one other reveals Khamenei clinging to an enormous throne above the raised fists of protesters. Others depict extra vulgar and sexually specific scenes.
Iran’s Overseas Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian vowed a “decisive and efficient response” to the publication of the cartoons, which he stated had insulted Iran’s non secular and political authorities.
The French authorities, whereas defending free speech, has rebuked the privately-owned journal prior to now for fanning tensions.
Iran has been gripped by nationwide protests for almost 4 months following the demise in mid-September of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old lady who had been detained by Iran’s morality police for allegedly violating the nation’s strict Islamic gown code.
Ladies have taken the lead within the protests, with many stripping off the obligatory Islamic headband in public. The protesters have known as for the overthrow of Iran’s ruling clerics in one of many largest challenges to their rule because the 1979 Islamic Revolution that introduced them to energy.
Charlie Hebdo, which has printed equally offensive cartoons about lifeless baby migrants, virus victims, neo-Nazis, popes, Jewish leaders and different public figures, presents itself as an advocate for democracy and free expression. Nevertheless it routinely pushes the boundaries of French hate speech legal guidelines with typically sexually specific caricatures that focus on almost everybody.
The paper drew hearth for reprinting caricatures of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad that had been initially printed by a Danish journal in 2005. These cartoons had been seen as sacrilegious and deeply hurtful to Muslims worldwide, lots of whom however condemned the violent response to the drawings.