Anti-France protests grow in Muslim world
Thousands of Muslims have staged rallies in different countries across the world, including Bangladesh, Pakistan, Lebanon, Palestine, and India, to condemn France’s anti-Islam stance.
Earlier this month, French President Emmanuel Macron publicly attacked Islam in defense of the publication of derogatory cartoons of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) by the magazine Charlie Hebdo.
He made the remarks at a national memorial for a French school teacher who had been murdered by a teenager of Chechen origin after he showed his students the caricatures of the Prophet (PBUH) earlier published by Charlie Hebdo.
‘The Muslim world will not let this go in vain’
About 50,000 protesters took to the streets of Bangladesh’s capital of Dhaka on Friday, chanting “Boycott French products!” and holding banners calling Macron “the world’s biggest terrorist.”
“Macron is leading Islamophobia,” said Dhaka demonstrator Akramul Haq. “He doesn’t know the power of Islam. The Muslim world will not let this go in vain. We’ll rise and stand in solidarity against him.”
The demonstrators also burned effigies of Macron and carried signs that read “Stop racism!”
“France is insulting the world’s two billion Muslims. President Macron must apologize for his crimes,” said Gazi Ataur Rahman, a senior leader of Islami Andolan Bangladesh, one of the political parties that called the demonstrations.
‘Expel the French dog!’
In Pakistan’s Islamabad, some 2,000 protesters tried to march toward the French Embassy, shouting “Expel the French dog!” but were prevented by police forces, who used teargas and batons to block and disperse them.
Protests were not limited to the Pakistani capital and took place elsewhere in the country as well.
About 10,000 people marched through Pakistan’s biggest city, Karachi, after Friday prayers in what was organized as a procession to mark the birthday of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), also filled with anti-France outrage.
Anti-France slogans were also chanted by thousands of worshipers who took to the streets of the city of Lahore to celebrate the occasion.
Thousands more set an effigy of Macron ablaze in the city of Multan, in Pakistan’s Punjab Province, and called on the Islamabad government to sever ties with France and boycott French products.
Israeli forces attack anti-France protesters in Palestine
Palestinians also staged protests against the French president outside the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem al-Quds.
“We hold the French president responsible for acts of chaos and violence that are taking place in France because of his comments against Islam and against Muslims,” said Ikrima Sabri, the preacher who delivered the sermon at al-Aqsa.