Backlash over The Independent’s article over the removal of the Prophet’s grave

The Independent newspaper published an article claiming that the grave of the Prophet Muhammad could be destroyed and this plan will spark huge controversy throughout the Muslim world. The newspaper claimed that “hard-line Saudi-clerics” who preach a strict version of Islam called “Wahhabism” believe that worshipping at the grave is an act of idolatry and therefore want the grave removed.

This article has caused a backlash amongst those who know Saudi’s internal politics and have refuted the entire piece claiming that it is “not only out of context, but embellished or completely untrue.” They call for higher standards in journalism, especially as this is not the first time the Independent has published a similar article on Saudi Arabia using the same untenable sources.

French Magazine Strikes Back After Firebombing

News Agencies – November 9, 2011

Last week, the offices of French magazine Charlie Hebdo were firebombed after printing a controversial cartoon of the Muslim Prophet Muhammad with the headline, “100 lashes if you don’t die of laughter!” Hebdo’s website was also hacked and left with a message reading, “No God but Allah.” Now, the satirical publication is back on the attack. This week’s cover depicts an editor of Charlie Hebdo making out with Muhammad under a banner that reads, “Love is stronger than hate.”

The recent events surrounding Charlie Hebdo have proved to be divisive to say the least. Muslim groups in France have been up in arms over what they perceive to be continued provocation and discrimination by the French media, while the extremist acts have played into the skepticism of Islam held by members of the French far-right community.

The French Muslim Council, an organization that had previously sued Charlie Hebdo over cartoons of Muhammad in 2006, have denounced the attacks. More support has come from smaller liberal organizations with large Muslim constituencies. Sihem Habchi, head of the women’s group Ni Putes Ni Soumises (Neither Whores nor Submissives) said that the bombing was “a great hurt for the image of Islam.”

Cartoonist’s attacker charged with terrorism

Kurt Westergaard, the Danish cartoonist who is known for his depiction of the Muslim Prophet Muhammad wearing a turban shaped like a bomb with a fuse, was attacked in his home January 1st by a Somali man armed with a knife and an axe. The 28 year old Somali man is now charged with the most severe paragraph of terrorism according to Danish law. The so-called ‘terror-paragraph’ is rarely used and the Minister of Justice has to approve the use of it. He has done so in the case of the attack on Westergaard
The Somali man will not only be indicted on the assault with intent to kill Westergaard but also on assault with intent to kill a police officer who was keeping guard outside Westergaards home.

Danish cartoonist attacked in his home Jan. 1, 2010

Kurt Westergaard, the Danish cartoonist who is known for his depiction of the Muslim Prophet Muhammad wearing a turban shaped like a bomb with a fuse, was attacked in his home January 1st by a Somali man armed with a knife and an axe.

In February 2008 the Danish Security and Intelligence Service arrested two Tunisian citizens and a Danish citizen who they suspected of planning to kill Westergaard. Since then Westergaard’s house has been heavily fortified and is under close police protection. Police officers were also attacked by the intruder and shot him in the right leg and left hand. He was hospitalized, but not seriously injured, police said.

The 28-year-old Somali man will probably be charged not only with trying to kill Westergaard and attacking police officers but also with planning terror-related activities. Danish intelligence officials said the suspect is connected to the radical Islamist al-Shabaab militia, sympathizes with al-Qaida, and has been under surveillance by the Danish Intelligence Service for some time.

The Danish-Muslim Union condemns the attack and every form of extremism. Also the Muslim Council of Denmark condemns the attack on Kurt Westergaard and says “violence is by no means acceptable. Actions of this sort are irreconcilable with Islam”.