Interior Minister Manuel Valls said prefects throughout the country had orders to prohibit any protest over the issue and to crack down if the ban was challenged.
"There will be strictly no exceptions. Demonstrations will be banned and broken up," he told a news conference in the southern port city of Marseille.
The main body representing Muslims in France appealed for calm as the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo put a new print run of the cartoons featuring a naked Mohammad on the newsstands.
The drawings have stoked a furore over an anti-Islam film made in California that has provoked sometimes violent protests in several Muslim countries, including attacks on U.S. and other Western embassies, the killing of the U.S. envoy to Libya and a suicide bombing in Afghanistan.
France - you still have the power to surprise me!
This is pretty ... decisive.
When Valls, the Interior Minister, confirmed the ban on protests over the cartoons, he also said: "Neither will I allow street prayers, which have no place in this republic. And naturally the law will apply to anyone who wears the full face veil."
France has banned women from wearing full face veils in public.
France is probably the most secular country I know (in policies- it actually has the largest population of Muslims and Jews in Europe) - and in many ways I respect them for that. On the other hand... are they starting to go too far?
This is not just about the right to religious freedom - this is surely about the right to protest about WHATEVER you believe in? Surely a right to peaceful assembly is fundamental to both the EU and UN - and by not allowing these protests, France are in breach of both the UN declaration of human rights, and the EU equivalent of same?