Top Egyptian Islamic authority warns French magazine against provoking Muslims with new issue

One of Egypt's top Islamic authorities has warned the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo against publishing a new cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad on the cover of its first issue since Islamic extremists killed 12 people at its offices.

Egypt's Dar al-Ifta, which is in charge of issuing religious edicts, on Tuesday called the planned cover an "unjustified provocation" for millions of Muslims who respect and love their prophet. The magazine plans to print 1 million copies of its new issue.

The statement said the cartoon is likely to cause a new wave of hatred in French and Western societies and called on the French government and others to reject "the racist act" by Charlie Hebdo.

The magazine routinely sparks controversy by publishing gritty cartoons lampooning religious and political figures.