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» 05.08.2009 - IFJ condemns seizure of magazines in Morocco
» 22.04.2009 - Arabic network condemns sentencing of journalist
» 19.09.2008 - Moroccan blogger freed
» 10.09.2008 - Moroccan blogger jailed
» 16.01.2008 - afrol News apologises for publishing Moroccan propaganda
» 26.11.2007 - Moroccan agent: "Plans to assassinate Lmrabet"
» 07.01.2004 - Ali Lmrabet pardoned by Moroccan King
» 07.09.2003 - Sahara (editorial): On counterproductive solidarity

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Media | Society

Morocco bans French magazine

afrol News, 3 November - Moroccan authorities have banned French Magazine L'Express International for allegedly insulting Islam religion.

The cover story of Magazine published on 30 October - 5 November carries a headline "The shock: Christ-Mohamed, their career, their message, their vision of the world", which Moroccan government regard it to be derogatory to religion and the king.

Information Minister Khalid Naciri announced that he had no choice but to ban current issue because of offensive nature of articles it contained. The minister said the kingdom's press code allows government to shut down or ban any publication deemed to offend Islam or the king.

Mr Naciri criticised publication saying Morocco should not be used by anyone to spread articles that could be prejudicial or undermine public order.

A statement on L'Express' Internet site said the magazine did not understand Morocco's reaction, particularly because pains had been taken to adhere to Islamic norms, notably by covering the face of Muhammad with a white veil in side-by-side cover portraits of Jesus and Islam's prophet, in line with Islamic law.

According to local media reports, weekly magazine said series of articles was inspired by a meeting planned in Rome between Christian and Muslim scholars, indicating that is intended to help dialogue between Islam and Christianity.

The articles provide broad outlines of two religions, comparing Jesus and Muhammad, quotes verses from the Quran that it says show that the Muslim holy book "justifies violence toward those who refuse to obey Muslim law.

Many members of the liberal elite in North Africa follow the French media because they have retained close cultural ties to France, the former colonial power in the region.

Morocco has shown sensitivity to how Islam is treated in the past. In 2006, Islamist parties and associations staged huge protests throughout Morocco after a Danish newspaper published a series of cartoons deemed offensive to the Prophet Muhammad. The cartoons caused protests across the Muslim world.

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