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Islamic scholar threatens Irish publications with legal action if they publish offending cartoon


Dr Ali Selim of the Islamic Cultural Centre

Dr Ali Selim of the Islamic Cultural Centre

Dr Ali Selim of the Islamic Cultural Centre

A senior Islamic cleric in Ireland has issued a warning against reproducing Charlie Hebdo's front page depiction of the Prophet Muhammad, after the massacre of journalists and police at the magazine's offices.

Dr Ali Selim of the Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland threatened legal action against Irish journalists who post pictures of the page to their Twitter accounts and warned media not to reproduce it. The page contained a picture of Muhammad kissing another man, with the line "love is stronger than hate".

Speaking to Niall Boylan on Classic Hits 4FM, Dr Selim said that posting the picture would not put the presenter's life in danger, but he would pursue legal action.

"No, your life will not be in danger, but definitely we will check the Irish law, if there is any legal channel against you, we'll take it," the Islamic scholar said. He added that the message that love is stronger than hate was acceptable but not if it was accompanied by a cartoon of the prophet. Speaking to the Herald after the interview, Dr Selim reiterated his position. "This [The image] is offensive," he said.

He described the Paris incident as an atrocity and insisted that he believed in freedom of expression and speech. However, he said that the image was offensive to equality.