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French Muslims suing papers over cartoons as Danes pull endangered envoys

[JURIST] The French Council of the Muslim Faith (CFCM) [Wikipedia backgrounder], an umbrella organisation of French Muslim groups, said Friday it will sue several French newspapers that republished controversial caricatures of Muhammad [JURIST news archive] which were originally printed in a Danish newspaper in September. Although the Council has taken lawyers' advice, the legal basis for its suit is not yet clear. Five French newspapers - Liberation, Le Figaro, Le Parisien, France Soir, and Charlie-Hebdo - have so far published the drawings, but a CFCM official said the suit will likely focus on the daily France Soir and the satirical weekly Charlie-Hebdo. Jacques Lefranc, the former editor of France Soir, was fired last week [BBC report] following his decision to republish the cartoons. Aljazeera has more.

Meanwhile Denmark's Foreign Ministry [official website; special drawings website] announced Saturday that it would temporarily pull its ambassadors from Syria [press release], Iran, and Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim country, because of threats to the envoys' safety and the inadequacy of available local protection. Mobs have targeted the Danish embassy buildings in each of the countries. The governments of Germany, Finland, and the Netherlands will take over Denmark's consular services in Syria, Iran, and Indonesia respectively for the time being. AP has more.

3:29 PM ET - Top Saudi cleric Sheik Abdul Rahman al-Seedes has also demanded that the authors and publishers of the caricatures be put on trial. In his weekly sermon at the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, al-Seedes called for laws to be enacted that would condemn insults against Muhammad and holy sites. AP has more.

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