Egypt to ban foreign publications offensive to religion: report

Egypt’s biggest Islamic institutions have criticized Charlie Hebdo's decision to publish the cartoon of the Prophet Mohammad

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Egypt’s president has authorized the government to ban any foreign publication deemed offensive to religion, Egypt’s Ahram Online reported on Wednesday.

According to the daily, President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi issued a decree giving the head of the government, Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab, the right to ban foreign publications found to be offensive.

The daily said the decree delegated the prime minister the president’s powers stipulated in articles 9 and 10 of the law regulating the publishing of printed media in Egypt.


“To maintain order in the society, publications issued abroad can be banned in Egypt by an order from the cabinet to ban its re-publish and dissemination in the country,” article 9 of the law stipulates.

“The cabinet has the right to ban publications offensive to religion or publications promoting erotica in a way that can disturb the public peace,” article 10 states.

The move came a day before Charlie Hebdo, the French satirical magazine that was attacked last week by Islamist gunmen in Paris, published its first issue since the deadly incident with a cover depicting the Prophet Mohammad, seen as offensive by most Muslims.

Egypt’s biggest Islamic institutions have criticized the decision to publish the cartoon of the prophet.

Egypt’s Dar El-Ifta has described Charlie Hebdo’s decision to go ahead with the publication of the cartoon as “an act unjustifiably provocative to the feelings of a billion and a half Muslims worldwide who love and respect the Prophet.”

Ten members of the magazine’s staff and two police officers were killed on Jan. 7 when three Islamist gunmen stormed its headquarters in Paris, in the worst attack in France in decades.

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