France to close 20 premises over cartoons By REUTERS LAST UPDATED: 09/19/2012 13:50 Schools to close after magazine 'Charlie Hebdo' publishes caricatures of Muslim Prophet; Muslims decry insult to faith. PARIS - France said it would temporarily close its embassies and schools in 20 countries on Friday after a French magazine published cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad, a move it fears will further inflame tensions over a film mocking the prophet. "We have indeed decided as a precautionary measure to close our premises, embassies, consulates, cultural centers and schools," a Foreign Ministry spokesman said of the shut-down on Friday, prayer day across the Muslim world. The French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo published cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad on Wednesday, a move criticized by the French authorities which sent riot police to protect the magazine's offices. In response, Muslim leaders criticized the publication of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad as another Western insult to their faith and urged France's government to take firm action against it. "We reject and condemn the French cartoons that dishonor the Prophet and we condemn any action that defames the sacred according to people's beliefs," the acting head of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party, Essam Erian, said. Issues of the magazine hit newsstands with a front cover showing an Orthodox Jew pushing a turbaned figure in a wheelchair with several caricatures of the Prophet on its inside pages, including some of him naked. The rough translation is "You must not mock us".