[JURIST] A Turkish court on Wednesday banned access to websites showing the new cover of the French magazine Charlie Hebdo [media website], which features a caricature of the Prophet Muhammad. The court’s prohibition of access to the sites is reportedly in response [AP report] to a petition filed by a lawyer who said that the sites posed a danger to public order. The picture shows the Prophet Muhammad holding up a sign reading “Je suis Charlie” (“I am Charlie”) with a headline that says “All is forgiven.” The release of the cover was met by appeals for calm [Guardian report] by French Muslim leaders. Turkish police have adhered to the order by inspecting newspapers to see if they have printed the cartoon.
Caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad have sparked controversy across the globe. In 2012 a Norwegian court convicted [JURIST report] two men accused of planning an attack against a Danish newspaper that published a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad, becoming the first conviction under Norway’s anti-terror laws. In May 2010 the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority [official website] ordered [JURIST report] Internet service providers to block social networking site Facebook [website] in response to a competition created by a group of the website’s members entitled “Draw Muhammad Day.” In 2007 a French court cleared [JURIST report] Charlie Hebdo magazine and director Philippe Val of defamation in the prior year’s republication of caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad originally published in a Danish newspaper in 2005. Then French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy prepared a statement defending the right of the newspaper to publish the cartoons that the defense read during opening statements [JURIST report].