The Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya (CIPK) has condemned the ridiculation of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) by the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo.

Speaking to The New Dawn,the CIPK officials led by the national organising secretary Sheikh Muhammad Khalifa said that  he cartoons and the depiction of the Prophet is not in good faith and that publishing a caricature of the Prophet is considered blasphemous by  Muslims. He warned that publishing more cartoons of the Prophet will anger Muslims and stressed that all religions must be respected. “We don’t  want to see people misusing freedom of expression and religious to provoke and offend others for nothing,” said Sheikh Khalifa. On January 7, two  masked gunmen forced their way into Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris, killing 12 people and injuring 11 others.

The French magazine published a record three million copies of newspapers in 16 languages that attracted attention for its depictions of Muhammad   week after the attack. On his part, Secretary General of Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims (Supkem) Adan Wachu condemned the  publication terming it as “highly offensive” and could dampen efforts of mutual understanding between the Muslims and non-Muslims. Wachu termed  he depiction as a clear provocation to Muslims as it is against Islamic teachings to make a photographic representation of the Prophet,  peace be upon him (SAW). “This action is terrible, unethical and deserves to be condemned in the strongest terms possible, it is a clear provocation  of Muslims the world over,” said Wachu. “We equally condemn the killing of the cartoonist by extremist groups but there is no justification for this  publication. The publication is meant to avenge the killings by evoking the emotions of Muslims.” Wachu added. He further took issue with a section  of the local press for republishing the caricature from the Charlie Hebdo magazine saying that the action was done in bad faith and it was deliberately made to offend Muslims.

Sheikh Khalifa however called for calm among Muslims concerning the release of the copies of the paper. Its green cover features a cartoon of the Prophet, who is shedding a tear and holding a sign reading, “Jesuis Charlie”…It also says’’All is Forgiven’’.

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