New Delhi -°C
Today in New Delhi, India

Nov 26, 2020-Thursday
-°C

Humidity
-

Wind
-

Select Country
Select city
ADVERTISEMENT
Home / World News / Anti-France sentiments rise in Muslim world, thousands protest French cartoons

Anti-France sentiments rise in Muslim world, thousands protest French cartoons

Major anti-France protests continued on Friday in several countries, including Pakistan and Afghanistan. The Muslim world is furious with French president Emmanuel Macron’s vow to protect the right to caricature Prophet Muhammad.

world Updated: Oct 30, 2020, 16:06 IST
Associated Press | Posted by Deepali Sharma
Associated Press | Posted by Deepali Sharma
Dubai
Protesters deface a picture of French President Emmanuel Macron during a protest over caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad they deem insulting and blasphemous, outside the French Embassy, in Baghdad, Iraq, Monday, October 26, 2020.
Protesters deface a picture of French President Emmanuel Macron during a protest over caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad they deem insulting and blasphemous, outside the French Embassy, in Baghdad, Iraq, Monday, October 26, 2020. (AP file photo)

Thousands of Muslims in Pakistan poured out of prayer services to join anti-France protests on Friday, as the French president’s vow to protect the right to caricature the Prophet Muhammad continues to roil the Muslim world.

An estimated 2,000 worshippers celebrating the Mawlid, the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad, took to the streets in the eastern city of Lahore. Crowds led by Islamic parties chanted anti-France slogans, raised banners and clogged major roads en route to a Sufi shrine. Dozens of people furiously stomped on French flags and cried for the boycott of French products. In Multan, a city in Pakistan’s eastern Punjab province, thousands burned an effigy of French President Emmanuel Macron and demanded that Pakistan sever ties with France.

More gatherings were planned for later Friday in Pakistan, including the capital, Islamabad, where police were out in force to prevent possible demonstrations outside the French Embassy. The atmosphere was tense as police positioned shipping containers to block the roads.

Other protests, largely organized by Islamists, are expected across the region, including in Lebanon and the Gaza Strip.

Also Read | Kremlin, after French attacks, says wrong to kill but wrong to insult religion too

In Afghanistan, members of the Islamist party Hezb-i-Islami set the French flag ablaze. Its leader, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, warned Macron that if he doesn’t “control the situation, we are going to a third world war and Europe will be responsible.”

The protests come amid rising tensions between France and Muslim-majority nations, which flared up earlier this month when a young Muslim beheaded a French schoolteacher who had shown caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad in class.

Those images, republished by the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo to mark the opening of the trial for the deadly 2015 attack against the publication, have stirred the ire of Muslims across the world who consider depictions of the prophet blasphemous.

A series of attacks that French authorities have attributed to Muslim extremism ensued. On Thursday, a knife-wielding Tunisian man carrying a copy of the Quran killed three people at a church in the Mediterranean city of Nice. That same day, a Saudi man stabbed and lightly wounded a security guard at the French consulate in Jiddah, Saudi Arabia, prompting France to urge its citizens there to be on “high alert.”

Also Read | France raises its alert level to maximum after Nice attack

Over the past week, protests and calls to boycott French products have spread rapidly from Bangladesh to Pakistan to Kuwait. Social media has been pulsing with anti-France hashtags. Muslim leaders, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in particular, have loudly criticized France for what they see as the government’s provocative and anti-Muslim stance.

ht epaper

Sign In to continue reading