Muslims’ France protests surge

Source: AFP Published: 2020/10/28 15:33:41

Global anger mounts in Islamic world against Macron

Activists and supporters of the Islami Andolon Bangladesh hold a protest march calling for the boycott of French products in Dhaka, Bangladesh on Tuesday. Photo: AFP

Tens of thousands of protesters marched through the Bangladesh capital on Tuesday in the biggest anti-France rally since French President Emmanuel Macron defended cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad.

Muslims across the world have reacted furiously to Macron's robust defense of the right to mock religion following the murder of a French schoolteacher who had shown his pupils cartoons of the prophet.

In Syria, people burned pictures of France's leader, tricolor flags were torched in the Libyan capital Tripoli, while French goods have been pulled from supermarket shelves in Qatar, Kuwait and other Gulf states.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan even compared the treatment of Muslims in Europe to that of Jews before World War II, joining calls for a boycott of French goods which Paris said had had minimal impact so far.

Erdogan found himself the target of French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo which published an irreverent caricature of him on the front page of the magazine's latest edition.

The crude drawing showed the Turkish leader in T-shirt and underpants, drinking a can of beer and lifting up the skirt of a woman wearing a hijab to reveal her naked bottom.

Ankara accused the magazine of "cultural racism."

In Dhaka, protesters set alight an effigy of Macron during the march on Tuesday.

Hundreds of armed officers used a barbed wire barricade to stop the demonstrators, who dispersed without violence before they could get close to the French embassy.

The rally was called by Islami Andolon Bangladesh, one of the country's largest Islamist parties, and started at the biggest mosque in the nation.

"Boycott French products," demonstrators chanted.

Rahman called on the Bangladesh government to "kick out" the French ambassador, while another protest leader, Hasan Jamal, said activists would "tear down every brick of that building" if the envoy was not ordered out.

The October 16 beheading of high-school teacher Samuel Paty by a Chechen extremist had shocked France deeply.

Earlier in October, Macron unveiled a plan to defend France's secular values against a trend of "Islamist separatism," and described Islam as a religion "in crisis."



blog comments powered by Disqus