Hard-line Muslim protesters march on French Embassy, hang Macron in effigy


Tens of thousands of hard-line Muslims from Pakistan to Lebanon participated in anti-French protests Friday that included hanging an effigy of French President Emmanuel Macron, The Associated Press reported.

The demonstrations came in response to Macron defending the right to caricature the Prophet Muhammad and a day after a deadly stabbing at a Catholic church in France.

Hundreds of demonstrators in Lebanon’s capital Beirut attempted to march to the residence of the French ambassador but were met by police blockades.

Some 2,000 demonstrators in Pakistan’s capital Islamabad marched toward the French Embassy before police blocked their movement using violent force and tear gas.

An estimated 10,000 followers of the radical Islamic Tehreek-e-Labbaik party took to the streets of Pakistan’s eastern city of Lahore, chanting anti-French slogans.

“There’s only one punishment for blasphemy,” shouted Khadim Hussain Rizvi, a cleric who was leading the march in Lahore.

“Beheading! Beheading!” the protesters yelled in unison.

Hundreds of Palestinians demonstrated against Macron at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem chanting, “With our souls and with our blood we sacrifice for our prophet, Muhammad.”

Muslims in Bangladesh also participated in anti-French protests, carrying banners decrying Macron as “the world’s biggest terrorist.”

The demonstrations came a day after a stabbing in the French city of Nice left three people dead at a Catholic church. The incident is being investigated as a terrorist attack.

Macron later deployed thousands of soldiers to protect schools and religious sites in the country.

“If we are attacked another time, it’s because of our values,” our freedoms and the ability to believe freely without giving in to terrorism, Macron said, according to NPR.

Tensions were already high before the attack in Nice following the beheading of a French teacher earlier this month after he showed his class caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad.

The attack came five years after 12 employees of Charlie Hebdo were killed after the satirical magazine published caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad.

The magazine republished the caricatures earlier this year ahead of the first court trial for 13 suspects charged in connection with the deadly attack.

Tags Emmanuel Macron Islam and blasphemy Islamism Pakistan Religion
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