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CAIRO — An influential Muslim institution in Egypt has warned the French satirical magazine that was attacked by Islamist militants last week against publishing its new issue, which features a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad on its cover. Egypt's official Religious Edict Authority, known as Dar El Ifta, said the magazine, Charlie Hebdo, is "unnecessarily provoking the feelings of 1.5 billion Muslims worldwide who love and respect the Prophet." Millions of mainstream Muslims throughout Egypt, the largest Muslim nation in the Arab world, follow Dar El Ifta's religious edicts.
Dar El Ifta called on the "French government, parties and organizations" to reject the publication of the new issue, saying it "encourages religious division, deepens hatred and ignites conflict." The group also condemned recent attacks on mosques in Frances in the wake of last week's terror strike on the magazine.
Charlie Hebdo's new issue, which was sent to the presses Monday night, features on its cover a cartoon of a bug-eyed Prophet Muhammad shedding a tear and holding a sign that says "Je Suis Charlie," the now-popular phrase of solidarity with the magazine. Muhammad is shown holding a sign that says "All is forgiven."
The normal run for Charlie Hebdo magazine is 50,000 copies and only in French — but the new issue will have a run of 3 million copies in 16 languages.
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