(JTA) — The president of the representative body of France’s Jewish communities condemned the new publication of caricatures of the Muslim Prophet Muhammad.
The weekly published the caricatures in a defiant move that it said was meant to celebrate freedom of speech after deadly riots that broke out in Muslim countries over the recent release of an anti-Muslim film titled "Innocence of Muslims."
The front-page cartoon of Charlie Hebdo showed a haredi Orthodox Jew and a Muslim saying "No mocking." It was titled "Untouchables 2," a reference to a French film.
"Considering the fatalities [in riots connected with the film], we disapprove of the initiative of Charlie Hebdo," Prasquier said. "The critics of religion must themselves heed criticism — not of their principles but of the timing of their actions."
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius criticized the publication as a provocation and said he had ordered security beefed up at French diplomatic offices in the Muslim world.
Charlie Hebdo’s Paris offices were firebombed last November after it published a mocking caricature of Muhammad.
More than 30 people have been killed in the violent backlash over a 14-minute YouTube trailer for "Innocence of Muslims," which was believed to have been produced by a small group of extremist Christians in the United States.
In 2005, Danish cartoons of Muhammad sparked a wave of violent protests across the Muslim world that killed at least 50.