AMU students hold protest march, demand apology from Macron

Scores of Aligarh Muslim University students took out a protest march on Thursday, demanding an “apology” from French President Emmanuel Macron for hurting the feelings of Muslims across the world.

Raising slogans signifying universal brotherhood, the students demanded a boycott of French products. “We are also planning to lay siege to the French Embassy in Delhi,” said Farhan Zuberi, a student leader — who has recently joined the youth wing of All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM).

“Since 2011, Islam is being deliberately maligned in France. Be it banning the naqab [head cover] or publishing satirical cartoons of the Prophet, Muslims are not being allowed to practise their religion freely. Respecting the sentiments of other religions is the crux of democracy. But in France, the feelings of Muslims are being deliberately hurt,” said Mr. Zuberi.

He said AMU students would boycott French products. “We made a poster where the names of such products were listed and later it was burnt. I appeal to the well-wishers of the AMU to boycott French products,” he added.

Reacting to killings in a French church, Mr. Zuberi said: “It was a personal reaction of somebody who was hurt by the policies of the French government. We are nobody to justify it. It is for the judges to decide. His act should not be associated with the entire Muslim world. He took a violent step. We are non-violently putting our point across.”

Ansab Aamir, former secretary of the University Literary Club, who was not part of the protest, said most students condemned the French government for how it reacted to the killing of the teacher. He said religious extremism of all kinds was bad and students of AMU had been condemning violence of all forms, including religiously motivated, from the very beginning. “However, the way the French government tried to fuel religious extremism further rather than finding a common ground between the two civilisations is not acceptable to many people.”

Ali Nadeem Rezavi, professor of History in AMU, said Muslims have been hurt: “Certainly, France has been selectively provocative but it does not provide a reason for any type of violence. The killing of innocents is reprehensible and has to be unequivocally condemned as well,” he said.

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Printable version | Nov 29, 2020 5:19:47 PM |

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