Thousands of Bangladeshi Muslims rally against France

Elias Hubbard
October 28, 2020

Macron vowed that France would stick to its secular traditions and laws guaranteeing freedom of speech which allow publications such as the virulently anti-religion Charlie Hebdo to produce cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed.

The images of the Prophet were first published years ago by a French satirical magazine, whose editorial offices were attacked in 2015 by gunmen who killed 12 people.

Mr Erdogan, who has a history of fraught relations with Mr Macron, said France was pursuing an anti-Islam agenda.

But the French leader's stance has sparked a backlash in Muslim-majority countries, with people burning pictures of Macron in Syria and setting fire to French flags in the Libyan capital Tripoli.

French diplomats are trying to quell anger in Turkey and Arab nations amid anti-French protests and calls for boycotts of French goods in response to President Emmanuel Macron's firm stance against Islamism in the wake of the October 16 beheading.

They also carried a large cut-out of a photo of French President Emmanuel Macron and hung shoes around its neck.

The gruesome beheading of a French teacher - who showed caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad during a lesson on freedom of speech to teenage students - further heightened debate over Islam in France. But this new spat has quickly spread to other countries in Europe and the Muslim world.

Al-Issa went on to say that insulting Muhammed should not be tolerated, even as free speech.

"What problem does this person called Macron have with Muslims and Islam?"

Asked by Reuters to comment, an official in the French presidential administration said: "We won't be intimidated and we put on notice those who sow hatred, which, in Kadyrov's case, is unacceptable".

Last week, Erdogan suggested his French counterpart needed mental health treatment.

France's foreign ministry said in a statement issued at the weekend that the criticism of France was being driven by a radical minority and urged foreign governments to dissociate themselves from boycott calls.

The protesters from Islami Andolon Bangladesh, a group that advocates for the introduction of Islamic law in the Muslim-majority country, carried banners and placards reading "All Muslims of the world, unite" and "Boycott France".

One of those present, Mohamed Moussaoui, President of the French Council for the Muslim Faith, said delegates told Macron they opposed the boycott.

"Never give credit to French-labeled goods". "Personal invective does not help the positive agenda that the European Union wants to pursue with Turkey".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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