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 were 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.
Other protesters in London held up signs depicting the French President as a demonic creature, while others held up a portrait of Macron with a boot mark across his face.
A Metropolitan Police spokesperson confirmed that the demonstrations outside the London embassy had now dispersed. They added: ‘Officers engaged and encouraged those protesting to disperse, the majority left without issue. Those who didn’t comply were dealt with by enforcement.
‘Officers made a total of three arrests. Two people for Covid breaches and one for possession of pyrotechnics.
’13 people have also reported for consideration of a fixed penalty notice.’
On Twitter, the French Embassy in London released a statement saying: ‘France is the target of terrorist attacks against our freedom of expression, to believe or not to believe, to live in the Fraternity. We will remain what we are, a free, tolerant country, proud of its humanist values of democracy.’
‘We will not tolerate disrespect of our beloved prophet’: Demonstrators gather in London outside the French Embassy
‘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
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
Protesters hold signs saying ‘Hands off my hijab’ and ‘My hijab is NOT a threat’ – as demonstrators gather in London to voice their fury over cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed
‘We condemn killing of innocent people’: One protester holds a sign decrying the murder of innocents in London today as another states that ‘Islam is the religion of love and peace’
The outraged response to Macron’s defence of free expression has been global.
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.
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.
Protesters are sen gathering outside the French Embassy in London following President Macron’s defence of free expression
People holding banners gather to protest against comments by French President Emmanuel Macron defending cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed
‘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.
Police take a protester into custody as people holding banners gather in front of a popular French brand in London
Police on the scene of a protest in London today as demonstrators gather to voice their opposition to Macron’s defence of freedom of expression
A protester holds a sign asking the French President to ‘Spread love not hate’ amid protests over Macron’s comments renewing France’s commitment to freedom of speech
People burn an image of French President Emmanuel Macron as they gather to protest against his comments
‘Respect our Prophet’: People holding banners 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
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
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, in London
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.
Global outrage: Pakistani Sunni Muslims burn a French flag during a protest in Karachi, Pakistan, amid worldwide demonstrations against President Emmanuel Macron and his
PAKISTAN: Protesters from the Muslim Students Association in Karachi burn a French flag next to defaced images of Emmanuel Macron during the latest demonstration against the French leader today
BANGLADESH: Muslim protesters hold up an effigy of Emmanuel Macron after Friday prayers today as they take part in a protest calling for the boycott of French products amid fury at Macron’s stance on blasphemous cartoons
INDIA: Muslim protesters shout slogans as they tear a poster of Macron during a protest in Hyderabad on Friday
Supporters of right-wing religious groups take part in a rally against French President Emmanuel Macron and republishing of caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad they deem blasphemous, in Lahore, Pakistan
Crowds gather in Lahore, Pakistan, to protests against French President Emmanuel Macron following Friday prayers
Palestinians gather to protest against the French President, in the al-Aqsa mosque compound, in the Old City of Jerusalem
Supporters of religious group take part in a rally against French President Emmanuel Macron and republishing of caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad they deem blasphemous, in Lahore, Pakistan
Protesters chant slogans as they wear headbands with Arabic that read: ‘We are your soldiers, Oh Muhammad,’ during a protest against French President Macron in Beirut, Lebanon
Muslim demonstrators burn a French flag during a protest against Emmanuel Macron in Guzargah, Afghanistan
Palestinians shout slogans as they gather to protest against the French President, in the al-Aqsa mosque compound, in the Old City of Jerusalem
A protester chants slogans during a protest against French President Macron’s comments over Prophet Muhammad caricatures, near the Pine Palace, which is the residence of the French ambassador, in Beirut
Lebanese riot police arrest a protester during a protest outside the Pine Palace, which is the residence of the French ambassador, in Beirut
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.