A book featuring Charlie Hebdo satirical cartoons of Islam prophet Muhammad went on sale in Tokyo on Tuesday despite opposition from Muslim groups in Japan.
The 64-page book, published by Tokyo-based Daisan Shokan, contains 48 satirical cartoons formerly published in the French magazine Charlie Hebdo, which was the target of a murderous attack in Paris last month that left 12 of its editorial staff dead.
The book titled "Islam Heito Ka, Fushi Ka” (Anti-Islam Hate, or Satire?), is published by Daisan Shokan. It features 48 cartoons along with comments by cartoonists and researchers of Islam, TBS reported Wednesday. The face of Muhammad is blurred in the photos.
According to Daisan Shokan, 3,000 copies have been printed and will be distributed to 500 bookstores across Japan, though it is unclear how many stores will actually put it on sale.
Following the announcement of the book's publication, Islamic groups throughout Japan spoke up in protest against the book saying "To print a book with depictions of Muhammad's, blurred or not, is a direct affront to the religious beliefs of Islam." They said freedom of expression should not be used as a reason for insulting one's religious beliefs.
Daisan Shokan said its intention in publishing the book was to spark a discussion about free expression, and the importance and meaning of satire in the modern age.
Riot police have been deployed outside the Daisan Shokan offices in Shinjuku for the protection of its employees.© Japan Today