Charlie Hebdo: Radical cleric Anjem Choudary calls cover depicting Mohamed an ‘act of war’

From the Independent

The cartoon of the Prophet Mohamed on the cover of Charlie Hebdo’s first edition since the massacre has been described as an “act of war” by a London-based Islamist cleric.

The cover depicts the Prophet with a tear falling down his cheek, holding a sign reading “je suis Charlie”, replicating the phrase used on banners, stickers, clothes and social media as a show of solidarity in the wake of last week’s attacks.

But radical preacher Anjem Choudary said “ridiculing” Mohamed is attacking his personality, calling the latest cartoon “extremely serious”. To depict Mohamed in this way is “attacking the honour of the Prophet” as most Muslims do not draw or depict him in any way because it is deemed to be sacrilegious, Mr Choudary said. 

He added that if the “act of war” was tried in a Sharia court it would carry capital punishment. 

Mr Choudary described Charlie Hebdo‘s cover as a “blatant provocation” and claimed insulting Islam and Muslims is “part of the war that is taking place”. People should be “sensible and sensitive to the emotions and the feelings of the Muslims”, he added, accusing authorities of refusing to “nip it in the bud”.