There has been a mixed reaction in the Arab world to the attack on Charlie Hebdo’s offices.
In Egypt Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry condemned the “terrorist” incident in a foreign ministry statement. Shoukry held a phone call on Thursday with his French counterpart Laurent Fabius to offer Egypt’s condolences to the French government and people over the attack.
President Abdel Fattah al Sisi extended condolences to his French counterpart Francois Hollande.
The Arab League and Al-Azhar University, the Sunni Muslim world’s premier Islamic institution, strongly condemned Wednesday’s deadly shooting attack on the office of French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo.
Former UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros Ghali and the Federation of Arab Journalists (FAJ) also added their voices to the condemnation.
Egyptian journalists were shocked. But some also said the satirical magazine had insulted Islam.
“We condemn this attack, and we are against it, but at the same time we reject the insulting of the Prophet Mohammed and the Islamic religion, as other religions are proud of their prophets like Moses for the Jews and Jesus for the Christians,” said journalist Khaled Hussein.
“This attack shocked all of us, regardless of whether the victim was a journalist or a civilian or any person belonging to any religion, and this attack damaged Islam far more so than the newspaper’s offensive cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed,” added another journalist, Mohammed Aljebali.
At least one Egyptian newspaper cast the blame on Charlie Hebdo itself.
Several suggested the self-proclaimed Islamic State was involved in the attack – one referring to extremists’ calls for French Muslims to carry out attacks on French soil.