Satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo has released its first edition since the terrorist attacks last week that left 10 of their staff dead. The cover is a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed weeping.
The image has already generated threats from militant Islamists and criticism from the Islamic world.
However, going back to the 13th century, Islam once had a rich heritage of images and icons of Mohammad. Sheikh Dr Muhammad Al-Hussaini, a fellow in Islamic Studies at Westminster Institute, joined Headline London to discuss why images of the Prophet have become a sensitive subject in recent years.
Dr Al-Hussaini says there are “extraordinary double standards in the way Muslims respond to these issues”.
He added: “I’ve experienced years and years of bullying and intimidation because of expressing disagreement with Muslim leadership.”
He said Muslims need to make certain allowances in their willingness to tolerate opinions they find troubling in order to be free to defend the rights of individuals. Dr Al-Hussaini cites the example of "battered Muslim women".
Watch the rest of the compelling interview below, in which he explains why he considers the cartoons of Charlie Hebdo to be far less offensive than the opinions of dissenting Muslims being silenced.
He says: “I would always defend the right of publications and of individuals to express their views, even if they are deeply inappropriate, because as a religious person, I think there is a far higher premium that needs to be given to the right to disagree.”
Earlier in the program, London Live spoke to the President of Muslim Association of Britain, Dr. Omer El-Hamdoon, who said that he does not support the distribution of Charlie Hebdo's images of Mohammed.