Despite official health guidelines banning mass gatherings during the pandemic, Muslims in South Asian countries have continued to organize nationwide protests to condemn blasphemous cartoons in France.
Protesters also chanted slogans against French President Emmanuel Macron for his controversial remarks claiming Islam was “in crisis”.
On Friday, mosque imams also gave special sermons and directions on how to respond to Islamophobia in the Western world, particularly in France, calling on Muslims “to obey the teaching of the prophet to respect the religious faith of others and to maintain peace and order in society ”.
Bangladesh’s largest procession came from the Baitul Mukarram National Mosque in Dhaka, joined by hundreds of thousands of Muslims from neighboring mosques.
Angry protesters carried banners and placards that read “Boycott France and its goods”, “Muslims of the world united”, “Macron will pay a high price”, “Stop Islamophobia” and “Macron is Satan”.
“We urge the government to convey our anger to France and boycott French products until France issues a public apology for what it has done to Muslims,” Akramul Haque, a protester, told the ‘Anadolu agency.
Eid Milad-un-Nabi, the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad, gave momentum to the protests.
Anger in Pakistan
In Pakistan, thousands of people celebrating Eid Milad-un-Nabi took to the streets across the country. Many cities, including Lahore, Karachi and Multan, have seen huge crowds chanting anti-French slogans, holding placards and furiously trampling French flags.
In many cities, people have also burned effigies of the French president and called on Muslim countries to boycott all French products and cut diplomatic relations with France.
Addressing a conference, Prime Minister Imran Khan said: “It is the failure of the leaders of Muslim countries who cannot tell the West what feelings we have for our prophet. I will ask all leaders of Muslim countries to answer this question to we can educate the world about Islamophobia. ”
Macron’s words defending blasphemous cartoons sparked outrage among Muslims around the world, sparking a campaign to boycott French products. His controversial statement came after a French teacher was killed by a teenager of Chechen descent for showing the cartoons in a free speech class.
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