France govt to ban protest over anti-Islam film
PARIS (AP) - France's leadership is barring a planned protest by people angry over a film produced in the United States that insults the Prophet Muhammad, but are defending a newspaper's right to publish caricatures of the prophet.
France's foreign minister said security is being stepped up at some French embassies amid tensions in France and elsewhere around the film The Innocence Of Muslims. French authorities and Muslim leaders urged calm in the country with western Europe's largest Muslim population.
Riot police took up positions outside the Paris offices of a satirical French weekly that published crude caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad on Wednesday that ridicule the film and the furore surrounding it. The provocative weekly, Charlie Hebdo, was firebombed last year after it released a special edition that was "guest edited" by the Prophet Muhammad and took aim at radical Islam. The investigation into that attack is still under way.
Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said that organisers of the planned demonstration on Saturday against the film Innocence Of Muslims won't receive police authorisation for the protest.