"As far as our organization is concerned, we do not believe it correct to insult the Prophet Moses, Jesus Christ or any other [religious figure]. In Europe, laws exist prohibiting anti-Semitism, and if someone were to offend a Jewish person, he would be penalized in court. By analogy with this law, another should be adopted –to prohibit the defamation of religion," Breeze said.
The official stated his view that the attack on the office of Charlie Hedbo was predictable, since the staff was regularly called upon to stop publishing material which Muslims found provocative.
"This is the view shared not only by Muslims," Breeze said. "Here in France, many intellectuals had warned the magazine against such actions [the publication of inflammatory cartoons]. French philosopher Edgar Morin wrote an article for Le Monde in 2009, in which he had called on Charlie Hebdo to stop the publication of offensive cartoons and [other] materials. He had added that the freedom of speech has its limits," Breeze noted.
When asked about the work that is being done by Islamic associations in France to prevent future terrorist attacks, Breeze noted that efforts are aimed first and foremost at the integration of believers into French society.
Hours prior to the attack, the magazine had posted a caricature of the leader of the Islamic State militant group on its Twitter page. The satirical magazine has been known for decades for its unrestrained literary and artistic criticism of every conceivable topic, including religion. Its editors had received several death threats in years past for its publication of cartoons featuring the Prophet Muhammad; its offices were firebombed in 2011.