The Prophet is deeply revered by Muslims and any kind of visual representation is prohibited in Islam. The cartoons in question are seen by them as offensive and Islamophobic because they are seen as linking Islam to terrorism.
French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo reissued cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in early September and a French teacher, who was showing them to his students in class, was beheaded by an assailant on October 16.
The developments have sparked a war of words between French authorities and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has backed growing calls to boycott French goods.
Today, in a sign of growing anger, demonstrators from several countries denounce the European country in street demonstrations.
There have been recent protests in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Palestine, Iran and Afghanistan, among other countries.
Here is a timeline of recent events:
September 1 – Republication of the cartoons of prophets
Charlie Hebdo has announced that he will republish cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad to mark the start of the trial of the alleged accomplices in the 2015 deadly attack.
Among the cartoons, most of which were first published by a Danish newspaper in 2005 and then by Charlie Hebdo a year later, is one of the prophets wearing a bomb-shaped turban with a lighted wick protruding. .
French President Emmanuel Macron said it was not for him to judge Charlie Hebdo’s decision to reprint the cartoons.
“It is never for a President of the Republic to pass judgment on the editorial choice of a journalist or a newsroom, never. Because we have freedom of the press, ”said Macron.
September 2 – Trial of the 2015 attack begins
Fourteen people have been tried in Paris for aiding the gunmen who attacked Charlie Hebdo, killing 12 people and injuring 11 others.
Twelve people, including some of the magazine’s best-known cartoonists, were killed when two men stormed Charlie Hebdo’s Paris offices and sprayed the building with automatic gunfire.
September 25 – Attack in front of the old Charlie Hebdo office
A man armed with a meat cleaver attacked and injured two people who were smoking outside the former Charlie Hebdo office in Paris, where the 2015 attack took place.
The main suspect, an 18-year-old man of Pakistani origin, was captured near the scene. Home Secretary Gerald Darmanin said it was “clearly an act of Islamist terrorism”.
Charlie Hebdo left its offices after the 2015 attack and is now in a secret location.
October 2 – Macron calls Islam a “religion in crisis”
Macron unveiled a plan to defend France’s secular values against what he called “Islamist radicalism”, saying religion was “in crisis” around the world.
In a nationwide speech, Macron said “no concessions” would be made in a new campaign to push religion out of education and the public sector in France.
He announced that the government would introduce a bill in December to strengthen a 1905 law that officially separated church and state in France.
October 16 – Beheading of a French teacher
An 18-year-old man of Chechen descent beheaded Samuel Paty, a 47-year-old teacher who had shown students cartoons of the prophet during a civic education lesson on free speech.
Paty was attacked on his way home from high school where he was teaching in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, about 30 kilometers northwest of Paris.
October 20 – Paris Mosque closed
French authorities have said they will close a mosque in Paris as part of a crackdown on “radical Islam” after Paty’s beheading.
The mosque in a densely populated suburb northeast of Paris posted a video on its Facebook page days before Friday’s gruesome murder, denouncing the teacher’s choice of material for a class discussion on freedom of movement. expression, said a source close to the investigation.
October 22 – “We will not give up cartoons”
Macron paid tribute to Paty, calling him a “quiet hero” dedicated to instilling the democratic values of the French Republic in his students.
“We will not give up cartoons,” Macron said during a nationally televised ceremony at the Sorbonne University in Paris in the presence of Paty’s family.
The president presented France’s highest civilian honor, the Legion of Honor, to Paty and declared that he had been killed by “cowards” for representing the secular and democratic values of the French Republic.
“He was killed because the Islamists want our future,” Macron said. “They’ll never get it.”
October 24 – Erdogan: Macron needs mind control
Turkish Erdogan said Macron needed “mental health treatment” because of his attitude towards Muslims, which prompted France to recall its ambassador.
“What’s wrong with this person called Macron with Muslims and Islam?” he said.
Erdogan added: “What else can be said to a head of state who does not understand freedom of belief and behaves in this way to millions of people living in his country and belonging to a different religion? “
October 24 – Growing calls to boycott French products
Social media users in many Muslim countries are joining calls to boycott French products. Street protests emerged and Erdogan days later supported the movement to stop buying French products.
October 28 – Charlie Hebdo publishes Erdogan’s cartoon
Charlie Hebdo published a cartoon of Erdogan, which was criticized by Turkish authorities as a “disgusting effort” to “spread his cultural racism and hatred”.
Erdogan said later in the day that Western countries mocking Islam wanted to “revive the Crusades”, adding that standing up against attacks on the Prophet was “a matter of honor for us”.
October 29 – Knife attack in Nice, armed man killed in Avignon, Arabia stabs a guard at the embassy
An attacker armed with a knife killed three people in a church in the French city of Nice at noon.
Hours after the Nice attack, in another incident, police killed a man who threatened passers-by with a handgun in Montfavet, near the city of Avignon, in southern France.
On Thursday in Saudi Arabia, state television reported that a Saudi man had been arrested in the city of Jeddah after attacking and injuring a guard at the French consulate.