Police clashed with Muslim protesters demanding ‘respect for the Prophet’ in London today outside the French Embassy over Emmanuel Macron’s stance on Charlie Hebdo cartoons.
Demonstrators gathered in the capital holding signs that bore the words ‘We will not tolerate disrespect of our beloved prophet’, ‘The Earth’s biggest terrorist is Macron’ and ‘Insult is not freedom of speech’ as the Muslim world renewed its anger at the French president.
Macron has become the focal point of Islamic fury after defending Charlie Hebdo cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed which was used as justification for a teacher’s murder in the Paris suburbs two weeks ago.
After three people were murdered in Nice yesterday in the latest in a long line of terror attacks in France, Macron said that France will not ‘give up on our values’ despite fury at the caricatures.
Today, thousands poured out of Friday prayer services to join anti-French protests in Pakistan while the French flag was set on fire in Afghanistan and others voiced their anger in India, Bangladesh and Indonesia by burning effigies of Macron and stamping on pictures of his face.
Protesters also gathered outside the French embassies in Copenhagen and Moscow to denounce the French President, while posters of him were set alight in Istanbul, Turkey.
‘Insult is not freedom of speech’: People holding banners gather in front of a popular French brand to call for a boycott and to protest against comments by French President Emmanuel Macron
‘Protest against the disrespect of our beloved Prophet Muhammad’: Demonstrators gathered outside London’s French embassy
People holding banners gather to protest against comments by French President Emmanuel Macron defending cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed, outside of the French Embassy in London
‘We will not tolerate disrespect of our beloved prophet’: Demonstrators gather in London outside the French Embassy
Boot mark: One demonstrator holds a picture of someone holding a picture of Macron with a shoe mark on his face. Beneath that, the French President is depicted as a demonic orc-type creature
Police are seen speaking with protesters in London following Emmanuel Macron’s defence of the right to free expression
Turkey has led the condemnation of France in recent days, with President Erdogan suggesting that he needs ‘mental checks’, comparing European leaders to ‘fascists’, and suggesting that Muslims in Europe are now treated the same as Jews before the Second World War.
Erdogan’s press aide, Fahrettin Altun, condemned the Nice attack but said that ‘such senseless violence has nothing to do with Islam or Muslims’.
‘We will continue to confront any politician who insults our religion and values,’ he said.
‘We feel we owe no apology to anyone for expressing our strong opposition to racism and xenophobia. We categorically deny any effort to associate us with any kind of violence.’
Macron has launched an impassioned defence of freedom of expression and described teacher Samuel Paty as a ‘quiet hero’ after he was murdered for showing the Prophet Mohammed cartoons to his class.
But Muslim leaders have said that the caricatures are taking free speech too far and accused France of promoting an anti-Islam agenda.
Tens of thousands of Muslims protested in Bangladesh on Friday, chanting slogans such as ‘boycott French products’ and carrying banners calling Macron ‘the world’s biggest terrorist’ as they marched in Dhaka.
In Pakistan, thousands of Muslims in Pakistan poured out of prayer services to voice their anger at Macron after celebrating the Mawlid, the festival marking the birthday of the Prophet.
‘Respect our Prophet’: People holding banners gather to protest against comments by French President Emmanuel Macron
‘We condemn killing of innocent people’: One protester holds a sign decrying the murder of innocents in London today
People perform Friday prayer outside of the French Embassy as they gather to protest against comments by French President Emmanuel Macron
People perform Friday prayer outside of the French Embassy as they gather to protest against comments by French President Emmanuel Macron defending cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed
One demonstrator exercises his right to protest by holding up a portrait of the French President with a boot mark on his face
People gather to protest against comments by French President Emmanuel Macron defending cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed, outside of the French Embassy in London
London: Macron has become the focal point of Islamic fury after defending Charlie Hebdo cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed which led to a teacher’s murder in the Paris suburbs two weeks ago
Police clashed with Muslim protesters demanding ‘respect for the Prophet’ in London today outside the French Embassy over Emmanuel Macron’s stance on Charlie Hebdo cartoons
An estimated 2,000 worshippers took to the streets in the eastern city of Lahore where crowds led by Islamic parties chanted anti-France slogans and clogged major roads en route to a Sufi shrine.
In Multan, a city in Pakistan’s eastern Punjab province, thousands burned an effigy of 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.
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.’
There were also protests among the Muslim minority in India, despite a statement by the country’s government saying that ‘we strongly deplore the personal attacks in unacceptable language on President Emmanuel Macron’.
Other protests, largely organized by Islamists, are expected across the region, including in Lebanon and the Gaza Strip.
On Thursday, knife-wielding Tunisian terrorist Brahim Aoussaoui killed three people after bursting into a Catholic church in Nice, wounding several others before he was shot and arrested.
France’s chief anti-terrorism prosecutor said the attacker had arrived in Europe on September 20 in Lampedusa, the Italian island off Tunisia that is a main landing point for migrants from Africa.
Also on Thursday, 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.’
Macron, 42, has deployed thousands of soldiers to protect important sites such as places of worship and schools, and the country’s security alert is at its highest level.