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Al-Quds Mufti denounces Charlie Hebdo cartoon as ‘insult’

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Grand Mufti of al-Quds (Jerusalem) has condemned the depiction of Prophet Mohammad on the cover of the latest edition of the French satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo as insulting.

Muhammad Ahmad Hussein on Wednesday said the new cartoon is an insult to nearly two billion Muslims living all over the world.

The respected cleric, who serves as the custodian of the al-Aqsa Mosque in East al-Quds, said the depiction and other forms of insult will damage the relationship between followers of various religions.

He said the release of the drawing was an insult to the Prophet Mohammed and a disregard for the feelings of Muslims.

Other religious leaders across the world have also denounced the French magazine’s new move, calling it a direct insult to all Muslims.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has also condemned the cartoon, saying that “respect for the sanctities facilitates establishing respectful relations.”

“If we begin to disrespect the values and sanctities of each other, we would never be able to initiate serious dialog,” Zarif said in a meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry in Geneva on Wednesday.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham also condemned the release of the drawing on Wednesday, describing the cartoon as “sacrilegious” and saying that “misusing the freedom of expression in the West is unacceptable.”

Afkham also stated that the desecration could provoke the sentiments of the Muslims around the world.

A January 7 attack on the office of the satirical magazine, which had in the past published cartoons insulting Islamic sanctities, left 12 people killed. The incident was followed by a series of other sieges and shootings across Paris, resulting in the killing of more people and an extensive sense of insecurity in the country.

The al-Qaeda branch in Yemen on Wednesday claimed full responsibility for the attack on Charlie Hebdo. The group said it chose and supported Said and Cherif Kouachi, the two brothers who allegedly carried out the deadly assault.

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