* Security tight in Paris and at French premises abroad
* Fears cartoons could compound worldwide fury over film
PARIS, Sept 21 The main agency representing
Muslims in France appealed for calm on Friday as a new print run
of cartoons featuring a naked Prophet Mohammad hit newsstands,
raising fears of protests on prayers day around the Islamic
The drawings in satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo risk stoking
a furore over a film mocking the Prophet, which provoked the
storming of U.S. and other Western embassies, the killing of the
U.S. envoy to Libya and a suicide bombing in Afghanistan.
French embassies, schools and cultural centres were shut in
some 20 Muslim countries, on orders issued from Paris after the
cartoons were first published.
In the French capital, police were on alert after protests
planned by some Muslim groups were banned.
Mohammed Moussaoui, leader of the French Muslim Council
(CFCM), described both the film and the cartoons as "acts of
aggression" but appealed to French Muslims not to take to the
streets for wildcat protests.
"I repeat the CFCM's call not to protest - any protest could
be hijacked and counterproductive," Moussaoui told French radio
Charlie Hebdo, an anti-establishment weekly whose Paris
offices are under police protection, defied critics to rush out
another run of the publication that caused outrage and sold out
in minutes last Wednesday. It says the cartoons are designed
simply to poke fun at the uproar over the film.
The cartoons have sparked little street anger in France so
far, but French authorities are concerned they could compound
the worldwide fury over the privately funded, California-made
video depicting Prophet Mohammad as a lecher.
French media showed TV footage of an embassy protected by
soldiers and masses of barbed wire in North African former
colony Tunisia, where the Islamist-led government has also
decreed a ban on protests over the cartoons.
About 100 Iranians protested outside the French embassy in
Tehran on Thursday.