Against the wishes of France’s government, the current issue of the French magazine Charlie Hebdo contains cartoons depicting the Mohammed naked.
The magazine was released yesterday, and is just now showing up on many news stands and at magazine outlets.
Subsequently, the French government will close 20 embassies throughout the Muslim world on Friday, in anticipation of the likelihood of protests over the weekend.
Riot police have already been deployed to protect the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo. These same offices were firebombed last year when the magazine released an issue they claimed was “guest-edited” by the Prophet Mohammed.
Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault has voiced his disapproval. But the editor of Charlie Hebdo is standing his ground: “Freedom of press, is that a provocation? I’m not asking strict Muslims to read Charlie Hebdo, just like I wouldn’t go to a mosque to listen to speeches that go against everything I believe.”