It's almost as if someone is actively trying to force the Muslim world to launch an all out war against the "developed" west. A week ago, it was a film mocking Mohammad which led to the death of the US ambassador in Libya. Today, it is a French magazine which has ridiculed the Prophet Mohammad by portraying him naked in cartoons, which, as Reuters logically adds, "threatens to fuel the anger of Muslims around the world who are already incensed by a film depiction of him as a womanizing buffoon." It is as if the anti-Iran strategy of antagonizing the country to its breaking point, merely so the first attack comes from them in response to endless provocations, and a defensive retaliation can be spun to the "free world", has now been adopted against the entire Muslim world now, and all the insolvent Western countries are praying they get attacked just so the media spin will coalesce the sheep around the "developed" democracies in an all out "retaliatory" assault, which among other things, liberates tens of millions of barrel of oil equivalents, even as it spreads democracy and unlimited credit cards.
Naturally, just as in the case of Nakoula Basseley Nakoula video, where the US government promptly washed its hands but not before condemning the response, so here too, the French administration has promptly bashed the cartoon. Of course, it is just this "freedom" that the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo had, that the Muslim world supposedly "hates us for." Needless to say, the damage has already been done and the second major provocation against the Muslim world by the west, with a mass response that will be no surprise to anyone, has been launched. One of these days the desired reaction to the endless battery of provocations will finally take place.
The French government, which had urged the magazine not to print the images, said it was temporarily shutting down premises including embassies and schools in 20 countries on Friday, when protests sometimes break out after Muslim prayers.
Riot police were deployed to protect the Paris offices of satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo after it hit the news stands with a cover showing an Orthodox Jew pushing the turbaned figure of Mohammad in a wheelchair.
On the inside pages, several caricatures of the Prophet showed him naked. One, entitled "Mohammad: a star is born", depicted a bearded figure crouching over to display his buttocks and genitals.
Initial reaction from Muslim countries was critical.
"Of course it will anger people further. It will raise tensions that were already dangerously high," said Sheikh Nabil Rahim, a leading Salafist cleric in Lebanon.
"We will try to keep things managed and peaceful, but these things easily get out of hand. I fear there could more targeting of foreigners, and this is why I wish they would not persist with these provocations."
In Egypt, Essam Erian, acting head of the powerful Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party, told Reuters: "We reject and condemn the French cartoons that dishonor the Prophet and we condemn any action that defames the sacred according to people's beliefs."
Charlie Hebdo has a long reputation for being provocative. Its Paris offices were firebombed last November after it published a mocking caricature of Mohammad, and Charbonnier has been under police guard ever since.
Speaking outside his offices in an eastern neighborhood with many residents of North African origin, Charbonnier said he had not received any threats over the latest cartoons. In a message on its Twitter account, Charlie Hebdo said its website had been hacked, but referred readers to a blog it also uses.
The French Muslim Council, the main body representing Muslims in France, accused Charlie Hebdo of firing up anti-Muslim sentiment at a sensitive time.
"The CFCM is profoundly worried by this irresponsible act, which in such a fraught climate risks further exacerbating tensions and sparking damaging reactions," it said.
Well, as long as their hatred of our freedoms continues, all shall be well.