CAIRO: Egypt has banned editions of two French and German newspapers, Le Figaro and the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, because of articles deemed insulting to Islam, the state news agency MENA said on Sunday. Under a decree issued by Information Minister Anas El-Feki, the two editions will not be able to enter the country, it said. They published articles which disparaged Islam and claimed that the Islamic religion was spread by the sword and that the Prophet … was the prophet of evil, it added. The edition of Le Figaro, dated Sept. 19, contains an opinion piece on Islam and the Prophet Mohammed by French philosopher and high school teacher Robert Redeker. Merciless warrior, pillager, murderer of Jews and polygamist – that is how Mohammed portrays himself in the Quran … Hatred and violence live in the book by which every Muslim is educated, the Quran, Redeker wrote. The edition of the German newspaper, dated Sept. 16, contains an article by German historian Egon Flaig looking at how the Prophet Mohammed was a successful military leader. Flaig presents other arguments supporting the view that Islam has had a violent history. The Egyptian agency said: The minister of information said that he would not allow any publication that insults the Islamic religion or calls for hatred or contempt of any religion to be distributed inside Egypt. It did not link the articles to Pope Benedict s speech in Germany on Sept. 12, in which he quoted a Byzantine emperor as making similar remarks about Islam and the Prophet Mohammed.
The lecture sparked days of protests in Muslim countries, prompting the pontiff to say he was deeply sorry for any offence taken and attributing Muslim anger to an unfortunate misunderstanding . The Egyptian government rarely bans mainstream European newspapers or magazines. Agencies