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European rights court asked to rule on Muhammad cartoons

[JURIST] The European Court of Human Rights [official website] based in Strasbourg announced Thursday that it has received an application [official backgrounder] from French Muslims asking it to declare the publication of caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad [JURIST news archive] in French newspapers an infringement of the non-discrimination provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights [official text].

The complaint, originally filed in February by the Regional Council for the Muslim Faith in the Champagne Ardenne region of the country, a subsidiary body of the French Council for the Muslim Faith (CFCM) [Wikipedia backgrounder], came on the heels of other abortive efforts by French Muslim groups to get legal satisfaction in the French courts; a suit brought by five Muslim organizations - including the moderate Paris Mosque [mosque website] and the fundamentalist Union of Islamic Organizations of France - to stop a French weekly from republishing the cartoons was thrown out on procedural grounds [JURIST report] in early February because the public prosecutor's office was not properly notified, and later threats by the CFCM to sue the papers that actually published the drawings [JURIST report] do not seem to have materialized. The ECHR must now decide whether it will hear the case. AFP has more.

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