Saudi called for staying “away from sedition and grudges against Islam and Muslims and against any divine religions in addition to not insult the prophets and messengers,” expressing its condemnation of “the continuation of Charlie Hebdo magazine in mocking Islam and the personality of the prophet of guidance and mercy – peace be upon him,” according to an official source at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) quoted the source saying: “The Kingdom does not find any justification for such deliberate abuse of Islam, which provokes 1.5 billion Muslims around the world.”
“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia stresses that responsible freedom of opinion and expression does not justify insulting religious beliefs.”
“For this reason, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia calls people to stay away from sedition and grudges against Islam and Muslims and against any divine religions in addition not to insult the prophets and messengers,” he added.
SPA highlighted the Kingdom’s “refusal of all forms and manifestations of terrorism, whatever its motives or those who stand behind it”, and its “denunciation and condemnation of the heinous terrorist attack on the French magazine Charlie Hebdo.”
It also stressed Saudi’s “keenness to participate in the march of solidarity against terrorism in Paris within the framework of international solidarity to confront terrorism which is rejected by Islam and the principles and legislations of all international laws.”
SPA quoted the Saudi Foreign Ministry official as saying, “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia emphasises its firm stance in combating the phenomenon of terrorism and deviant thought, expressing its understanding of the procedures taken by the French government to maintain France’s national unity.”
Earlier this month, in its first edition after the attack on its Paris offices, Charlie Hebdo published a cartoon depicting Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) holding a banner reading “Je Suis Charlie” under the headline, “All is forgiven”.
Twelve people were killed, including a policeman and eight journalists, and 11 were injured in an attack on the magazine’s Paris office. The attack was followed by other attacks that killed five people, in addition to the death of three suspects.