France is fearing anti-French riots on Friday as the United States had last week. So they will be closing their Embassies and schools in 20 countries this Friday because a French Weekly Magazine published cartoons that insulted the Prophet Muhammad.
French authorities said they feared the cartoons published in satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo on Wednesday could cause more outrage in the Muslim world, days after a video denigrating the Prophet Muhammad sparked violent protests at U.S. and other Western embassies in several Muslim countries.
Paris’s decision to pre-emptively close its embassies highlights how Western governments are grappling to respond to a wave of protests fueled by events—the video in the U.S., or potentially the caricatures in France—largely out of their control.
The French government said that although freedom of speech rules applied in France, the magazine’s decision to publish the cartoons was ill-timed.
"It is dangerous, even irresponsible, when we know the general climate, to pour oil on fire," French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said at a news conference in Paris on Wednesday.