In Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka, police mentioned 20,000 protesters took to the streets after Friday prayers, rallying underneath the banner of two Islamist teams. The demonstrators carried indicators studying: “Cease Spiritual Defamation,” “Freedom of Speech isn’t Freedom to Abuse,” and “Boycott French Merchandise.” The protesters burned an effigy of Macron, however the demonstration finally ended peacefully.
Within the southern metropolis of Chittagong, a protest of practically 5,000 was organized by Hefazat-e-Islam, a hard-line Islamist group. The group’s spokesman Azizul Islam demanded that “Bangladesh and different Muslim nations finish their diplomatic relationship with France and boycott French merchandise.”
A number of non secular events known as for demonstrations throughout Pakistan following Friday prayers. In Islamabad, lots of of individuals marched towards the French embassy in a extremely secured a part of the town, and a few protesters, chanting “God is nice,” tried to take away boundaries across the enclaves’ s perimeter.
Police responded with tear fuel, and protesters hurled stones on the safety forces. The clashes lasted for greater than an hour.
France has been surprised by a collection of lethal knife assaults carried out by Muslim assailants in a number of cities. However the response to the violence by the French authorities, which included a crackdown on Islamist teams, has energized elements of the Arab and Muslim world like few points in latest reminiscence.
The tensions intensified two weeks in the past, after a suburban Paris instructor was beheaded for displaying the cartoons of Muhammad at school. The assailant, who was shot lifeless by police, was recognized as an 18-year-old Moscow-born immigrant of Chechen descent.
Anti-French protests have taken place in Bahrain, and shops in Kuwait and Qatar have eliminated French merchandise from cabinets. Macron’s portrait has been burned or trampled in Turkey and Libya.
Turkey’s authorities has led the calls to boycott French merchandise, whereas a number of different Muslim-majority states, together with Saudi Arabia, Iran and Egypt, have issued statements expressing remorse or condemnation over the continued promotion of the cartoons.
Within the Gaza Strip, the governing militant group Hamas organized protests at a number of areas all through the coastal enclave. Within the metropolis of Khan Younis, lots of of males and a few households gathered after Friday prayers. Many trampled posters of Macron, a pointy insult in Arab cultures, and a few carried posters of the French president stamped with a boot print. Males sat in socially-distant chairs, holding protests indicators and chanting anti-French slogans.
Following a cleric’s name for a “day of rage” directed at France, Palestinian protesters gathered in East Jerusalem and a number of other cities within the West Financial institution, together with Ramallah. A crowd of multiple thousand massed in East Jerusalem outdoors of the al-Aqsa Mosque, Islam’s third holiest web site and a frequent location of clashes between Palestinians and Israeli safety forces. There have been no early studies of violence.
In Lebanon, a rustic that enjoys pleasant relations with France, its former colonial ruler, a dozen buses sporting black and white flags headed on Friday to Beirut to affix others in a deliberate anti-French protest. Early on Friday, Lebanon’s inner safety power introduced highway closures and safety blocks across the French Embassy and Pine Residence, the official residence of the French ambassador, to thwart the gathering.
“Our chief endlessly, our grasp Muhammad,” males bellowed and chanted on a freeway close to the French embassy, their highway blocked by barbed wire and rows of riot police. Flags, each white and black, waved within the wind emblazoned with the phrases, “There isn’t a god however Allah.” Males sported head bands that learn the identical.
“Man, these assaults on faith are usually not proper,” mentioned a 35-year-old protester from Tripoli. “Freedom of expression doesn’t imply we must always insult prophets and messengers.” He declined to present his identify due to a typical regional wariness of being quoted within the press.
One other man, who gave the impression to be main the protest, yelled, ‘Muslims and non-Muslims refuse assaults on the prophet Muhammad … and on Islam.
“Those that don’t stand by what is correct and who stand by France … don’t characterize us. They don’t converse for us. For France is colonial, an infidel, a traitor!” he shouted. Applause adopted. Not lengthy after, protesters started throwing steel pipes and chunks of concrete on the safety forces, standing mere meters away.
Thursday marked the prophet Muhammad’s birthday, a day celebrated by many Muslims internationally as one among love and peace. The assaults have been condemned by many on the holy day, with Muslim politicians and leaders emphasizing that such brutality flies within the face of the prophet’s message of peace; others, nevertheless, have been additional infected, angered on the resurrection of the insulting cartoons. Added to the insult is that photographic depictions of any prophet are prohibited in Islam.
On Thursday, French International Minister Jean Yves Le Drian despatched a “message of peace” to the Muslim world. “France isn’t the nation of contempt. It is the nation of tolerance,” he mentioned, talking within the French Parliament. “The Muslim faith and tradition are a part of our historical past, French and European.”
Following Friday’s protests, Le Drian mentioned he had dispatched an emergency message the night time earlier than to all French nationals overseas and that the nation’s ambassadors have been instructed to take further precautions “in order that they reinforce safety programs” round French embassies and cultural websites worldwide.
“We’re shifting shortly from digital hatred to actual violence, and now we have determined to take all measures to make sure the safety of our pursuits, of our nationals,” Le Drian mentioned.
Fahim reported from Istanbul. Hazem Balousha within the Gaza Strip, Steve Hendrix in Jerusalem, Azad Majumder in Dhaka, James McAuley in Paris, Shaiq Hussain in Islamabad and Sufian Taha in Jerusalem contributed to this report.