TEHRAN, Iran — Iran condemned the publication Wednesday of a defiant special edition of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo featuring a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad on its cover. The front page of the magazine, whose offices were attacked on January 7, leaving 12 dead, "breeds extremism," according to an article the website of IRID, Iranian state television. The article also said that both the cover of the magazine and ISIS extremists were "insults to Islam."
Meanwhile, a spokeswoman for the country's foreign minister condemned the attack on Charlie Hebdo, but added that the magazine's new cover "insults Islam and also causes extremism between religions." On Tuesday, an influential Muslim institution in Egypt warned the magazine against publishing, saying it unnecessarily provoked the feelings of "1.5 billion Muslims worldwide."
In the past such events would have sparked harsh high-level condemnations and demonstrations. In 1989, Supreme leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a fatwa ordering Muslims to kill author Salman Rushdie, whose book "The Satanic Verses" was deemed blasphemous.
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— Ali Arouzi and F. Brinley Bruton