Posted on March 23, 2007

Court Rules Muhammad Cartoons Not Abusive

AP, March 23, 2007

A French court cleared a satirical weekly newspaper yesterday in a case brought by Muslims angered by its publication of caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad.

The newspaper Charlie-Hebdo and its director, Philippe Val, were accused of “publicly abusing a group of people because of their religion.”

Val had risked a six-month prison sentence and a fine equivalent to $34,000.

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The case drew massive attention from politicians and the media in France, which has Western Europe’s largest Muslim population—five-million people—and a deep commitment to secularism and free speech.

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Lhaj Thami Breze of the fundamentalist Union of Islamic Organizations of France, one of the groups that brought the suit, said he would appeal the decision.

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