International

Anti-France protests in Muslim countries

Protesters at a rally against French President Emmanuel Macron in Lahore.   | Photo Credit: AP

Thousands of Muslims, from Pakistan to Lebanon to the Palestinian territories, poured out of prayer services to join anti-France protests on Friday, as the French President’s vow to protect the right to caricature Prophet Muhammed continues to roil the Muslim world.

Demonstrations in Pakistan’s capital Islamabad turned violent as some 2,000 people who tried to march toward the French Embassy were pushed back by police firing tear gas and beating protesters with batons.

A few hundred demonstrators in Lebanon’s capital Beirut flocked toward the Palais des Pins, the official residence of the French Ambassador to Lebanon, but found their way blocked by lines of police officers in riot gear. Waving black and white flags with Islamist insignia, the Sunni Islamist activists cried, “At your service, oh prophet of God.”

 

The sight of anti-France protests in Lebanon is an embarrassment for Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri, who is trying to form a new government that would implement a French plan for reform.

In Jerusalem, hundreds of Palestinians protested against Macron outside the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest site in Islam, chanting, “With our souls and with our blood we sacrifice for our Prophet, Muhammed.”

Cries of “Death to France” rang out in Afghanistan’s capital of Kabul and several other provinces as thousands filled the streets. Demonstrators trampled on portraits of Mr. Macron and called on Afghan leaders to shut down the French Embassy, halt French imports and ban French citizens from visiting the country.

In Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka, tens of thousands marched through streets, chanting “boycott French products” and carrying banners calling Mr.Macron “the worlds biggest terrorist”.

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Printable version | Dec 5, 2020 11:48:45 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/anti-france-protests-in-muslim-countries/article32986083.ece

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