Saturday, 31 October 2020

Anti-Macron fury rages across the Muslim world, with thousands burning effigies and stamping on pictures of his face - after Erdogan issues string of inflammatory attacks

 The Muslim world renewed its anger at Emmanuel Macron today after the French president remained unbowed by Thursday's terror attack in Nice and vowed that 'we will not give any ground' on freedom of expression. 

Macron has become the focal point of Islamic fury after defending Charlie Hebdo cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed which led to a teacher's murder in the Paris suburbs two weeks ago. 

After three people were murdered in Nice yesterday in the latest in a long line of terror attacks in France, Macron said that France will not 'give up on our values' despite fury at the offensive caricatures.  

Today, thousands poured out of Friday prayer services to join anti-French protests in Pakistan while the French flag was set on fire in Afghanistan and others voiced their anger in India, Bangladesh and Indonesia by burning effigies of Macron and stamping on pictures of his face. 

Protesters also gathered outside the French embassies in Copenhagen and Moscow to denounce the French President, while posters of him were set alight in Istanbul, Turkey.

Turkey has led the condemnation of France in recent days, with President Erdogan suggesting that he needs 'mental checks', comparing European leaders to 'fascists', and suggesting that Muslims in Europe are now treated the same as Jews before the Second World War. 

Pakistani Sunni Muslims burn a French flag during a protest in Karachi, Pakistan, amid worldwide demonstrations against President Emmanuel Macron and his

Pakistani Sunni Muslims burn a French flag during a protest in Karachi, Pakistan, amid worldwide demonstrations against President Emmanuel Macron and his 

PAKISTAN: Protesters from the Muslim Students Association in Karachi burn a French flag next to defaced images of Emmanuel Macron during the latest demonstration against the French leader today

PAKISTAN: Protesters from the Muslim Students Association in Karachi burn a French flag next to defaced images of Emmanuel Macron during the latest demonstration against the French leader today 

BANGLADESH: Muslim protesters hold up an effigy of Emmanuel Macron after Friday prayers today as they take part in a protest calling for the boycott of French products amid fury at Macron's stance on blasphemous cartoons

BANGLADESH: Muslim protesters hold up an effigy of Emmanuel Macron after Friday prayers today as they take part in a protest calling for the boycott of French products amid fury at Macron's stance on blasphemous cartoons 

Tight security outside the French Embassy in Beirut as Lebanese protesters gather to decry Macron's remarks. Some at the rally are seen holding flags and symbols of Hizb ut-Tahrir, an international Islamic political organisation

Tight security outside the French Embassy in Beirut as Lebanese protesters gather to decry Macron's remarks. Some at the rally are seen holding flags and symbols of Hizb ut-Tahrir, an international Islamic political organisation

INDIA: Muslim protesters shout slogans as they tear a poster of Macron during a protest in Hyderabad on Friday

INDIA: Muslim protesters shout slogans as they tear a poster of Macron during a protest in Hyderabad on Friday 

Supporters of right-wing religious groups take part in a rally against French President Emmanuel Macron and republishing of caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad they deem blasphemous, in Lahore, Pakistan

Supporters of right-wing religious groups take part in a rally against French President Emmanuel Macron and republishing of caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad they deem blasphemous, in Lahore, Pakistan

Crowds gather in Lahore, Pakistan, to protests against French President Emmanuel Macron following Friday prayers

Crowds gather in Lahore, Pakistan, to protests against French President Emmanuel Macron following Friday prayers

Palestinians gather to protest against the French President, in the al-Aqsa mosque compound, in the Old City of Jerusalem

Palestinians gather to protest against the French President, in the al-Aqsa mosque compound, in the Old City of Jerusalem

Supporters of religious group take part in a rally against French President Emmanuel Macron and republishing of caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad they deem blasphemous, in Lahore, Pakistan

Supporters of religious group take part in a rally against French President Emmanuel Macron and republishing of caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad they deem blasphemous, in Lahore, Pakistan

AFGHANISTAN: Men hang an effigy of French President Emmanuel Macron during a protest over his comments on caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad as they celebrate Mawlid al-Nabi - the birth anniversary of the beloved prophet

AFGHANISTAN: Men hang an effigy of French President Emmanuel Macron during a protest over his comments on caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad as they celebrate Mawlid al-Nabi - the birth anniversary of the beloved prophet

An effigy of President Macron is burned in Herat, Afghanistan during a protest on Friday that coincided with the birth anniversary of the Prophet Muhammad

An effigy of President Macron is burned in Herat, Afghanistan during a protest on Friday that coincided with the birth anniversary of the Prophet Muhammad

Protesters chant slogans as they wear headbands with Arabic that read: "We are your soldiers, Oh Muhammad," during a protest against French President Macron in Beirut, Lebanon

Protesters chant slogans as they wear headbands with Arabic that read: "We are your soldiers, Oh Muhammad," during a protest against French President Macron in Beirut, Lebanon

Muslim demonstrators burn a French flag during a protest against Emmanuel Macron in Guzargah, Afghanistan

Muslim demonstrators burn a French flag during a protest against Emmanuel Macron in Guzargah, Afghanistan

Palestinians shout slogans as they gather to protest against the French President, in the al-Aqsa mosque compound, in the Old City of Jerusalem

Palestinians shout slogans as they gather to protest against the French President, in the al-Aqsa mosque compound, in the Old City of Jerusalem

A protester chants slogans during a protest against French President Macron's comments over Prophet Muhammad caricatures, near the Pine Palace, which is the residence of the French ambassador, in Beirut

A protester chants slogans during a protest against French President Macron's comments over Prophet Muhammad caricatures, near the Pine Palace, which is the residence of the French ambassador, in Beirut

Lebanese riot police hit a protester during a protest outside the Pine Palace, which is the residence of the French ambassador, in Beirut

Lebanese riot police hit a protester during a protest outside the Pine Palace, which is the residence of the French ambassador, in Beirut

Police confront a protester during clashes outside the French ambassador's residence in Beirut on Friday

Police confront a protester during clashes outside the French ambassador's residence in Beirut on Friday

Lebanese riot police deploy amid clashes with demonstrators protesting French President Emmanuel Macron's comments in Beirut on Friday

Lebanese riot police deploy amid clashes with demonstrators protesting French President Emmanuel Macron's comments in Beirut on Friday

A police officer fires tear gas shell to disperse protesters marching to the French Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan

A police officer fires tear gas shell to disperse protesters marching to the French Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan

A police officer fires tear gas shell to disperse protesters marching to the French Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan

A police officer fires tear gas shell to disperse protesters marching to the French Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan

A protester runs for shelter after police fired tear gas shells to disperse them in Islamabad

A protester runs for shelter after police fired tear gas shells to disperse them in Islamabad


Erdogan's press aide, Fahrettin Altun, condemned the Nice attack but said that 'such senseless violence has nothing to do with Islam or Muslims'. 

'We will continue to confront any politician who insults our religion and values,' he said. 

'We feel we owe no apology to anyone for expressing our strong opposition to racism and xenophobia. We categorically deny any effort to associate us with any kind of violence.'

Macron has launched an impassioned defence of freedom of expression and described teacher Samuel Paty as a 'quiet hero' after he was murdered for showing the Prophet Mohammed cartoons to his class. 

But Muslim leaders have said that the caricatures are taking free speech too far and accused France of promoting an anti-Islam agenda.  

Tens of thousands of Muslims protested in Bangladesh on Friday, chanting slogans such as 'boycott French products' and carrying banners calling Macron 'the world's biggest terrorist' as they marched in Dhaka.   

In Pakistan, thousands of Muslims in Pakistan poured out of prayer services to voice their anger at Macron after celebrating the Mawlid, the festival marking the birthday of the Prophet. 

An estimated 2,000 worshippers took to the streets in the eastern city of Lahore where crowds led by Islamic parties chanted anti-France slogans and clogged major roads en route to a Sufi shrine. 

In Multan, a city in Pakistan's eastern Punjab province, thousands burned an effigy of Macron and demanded that Pakistan sever ties with France.

More gatherings were planned for later Friday in Pakistan, including the capital, Islamabad, where police were out in force to prevent possible demonstrations outside the French embassy.  

In Afghanistan, members of the Islamist party Hezb-i-Islami set the French flag ablaze.

Its leader, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, warned Macron that if he doesn't 'control the situation, we are going to a third world war and Europe will be responsible.' 

There were also protests among the Muslim minority in India, despite a statement by the country's government saying that 'we strongly deplore the personal attacks in unacceptable language on President Emmanuel Macron'. 

Other protests, largely organized by Islamists, are expected across the region, including in Lebanon and the Gaza Strip. 

On Thursday, knife-wielding Tunisian terrorist Brahim Aoussaoui killed three people after bursting into a Catholic church in Nice, wounding several others before he was shot and arrested.   

France's chief anti-terrorism prosecutor said the attacker had arrived in Europe on September 20 in Lampedusa, the Italian island off Tunisia that is a main landing point for migrants from Africa. 

Also on Thursday, a Saudi man stabbed and lightly wounded a security guard at the French consulate in Jiddah, Saudi Arabia, prompting France to urge its citizens there to be on 'high alert.' 

Macron, 42, has deployed thousands of soldiers to protect important sites such as places of worship and schools, and the country's security alert is at its highest level.   


Protesters gather outside the French embassy in Moscow to protest against caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad, in Russia

Protesters gather outside the French embassy in Moscow to protest against caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad, in Russia

Russian police attempt to break up a demonstration against Emmanuel Macron outside the French embassy in Moscow

Russian police attempt to break up a demonstration against Emmanuel Macron outside the French embassy in Moscow

Demonstrators stand in front of Russian law enforcement officers during a protest against the publications of a cartoon of Prophet Mohammad in France

Demonstrators stand in front of Russian law enforcement officers during a protest against the publications of a cartoon of Prophet Mohammad in France

Protesters with flags and symbols of Hizb ut-Tahrir, an international Islamic political organisation, demonstrate in front of the French Embassy in Copenhagen

Protesters with flags and symbols of Hizb ut-Tahrir, an international Islamic political organisation, demonstrate in front of the French Embassy in Copenhagen

GERMANY: Muslim protesters hold up a banner outside the French embassy in Berlin saying 'it's not Islam that's in crisis, but France', referring to Macron's statement that Islam is 'a religion that is in crisis all over the world'. Another poster says 'Macron is the crisis'

GERMANY: Muslim protesters hold up a banner outside the French embassy in Berlin saying 'it's not Islam that's in crisis, but France', referring to Macron's statement that Islam is 'a religion that is in crisis all over the world'. Another poster says 'Macron is the crisis' 

A protester hold a sign urging President Macron to 'spread love not hate' at a protest outside the French Embassy in London on Friday

A protester hold a sign urging President Macron to 'spread love not hate' at a protest outside the French Embassy in London on Friday 

Muslims in London hold Friday prayer outside French Embassy as they gather to protest comments made by French President Emmanuel Macron defending cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, which are deeply offensive to Muslims

Muslims in London hold Friday prayer outside French Embassy as they gather to protest comments made by French President Emmanuel Macron defending cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, which are deeply offensive to Muslims

Iran: Protestors burn Emmanuel Macron photos outside embassy
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Palestinian protestors set on fire a doll of French President Emmanuel Macron and France flag during a protest in Qalandia near the west bank city of Ramallah

Palestinian protestors set on fire a doll of French President Emmanuel Macron and France flag during a protest in Qalandia near the west bank city of Ramallah

INDONESIA: People stand on Macron portraits defaced with footprints in Medan in Indonesia's North Sumatra province - in the country with the world's largest Muslim population

INDONESIA: People stand on Macron portraits defaced with footprints in Medan in Indonesia's North Sumatra province - in the country with the world's largest Muslim population 

INDONESIA: A man holds a defaced poster of French President Emmanuel Macron calling for a boycott of French goods in response to Macron's stance on caricatures of Islam's revered Prophet Muhammad

INDONESIA: A man holds a defaced poster of French President Emmanuel Macron calling for a boycott of French goods in response to Macron's stance on caricatures of Islam's revered Prophet Muhammad

Palestinian Hamas supporters attend a protest against French President Macron, following his comments over Prophet Muhammad Caricatures

Palestinian Hamas supporters attend a protest against French President Macron, following his comments over Prophet Muhammad Caricatures

Palestinians in Gaza carry banners during a protest against Macron in the enclave on Friday as Muslims around the world gathered to decry Macron's defence of cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad

Palestinians in Gaza carry banners during a protest against Macron in the enclave on Friday as Muslims around the world gathered to decry Macron's defence of cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad

People gather to protest against comments by French President Emmanuel Macron defending cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in Herat, Afghanistan

People gather to protest against comments by French President Emmanuel Macron defending cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in Herat, Afghanistan

Afghans shout slogans during a protest against French President Macron's comments over Prophet Muhammad caricatures, in Kabul, Afghanistan

Afghans shout slogans during a protest against French President Macron's comments over Prophet Muhammad caricatures, in Kabul, Afghanistan

Palestinian protestors set on fire a doll of French President Emmanuel Macron during a protest in Qalandia near the west bank city of Ramallah

Palestinian protestors set on fire a doll of French President Emmanuel Macron during a protest in Qalandia near the west bank city of Ramallah

People gather during a protest against the publications of a cartoon of Prophet Mohammad in Tripoli, Libya

People gather during a protest against the publications of a cartoon of Prophet Mohammad in Tripoli, Libya

Palestinians shout slogans as they gather to protest against the French President, in the al-Aqsa mosque compound, in the Old City of Jerusalem

Palestinians shout slogans as they gather to protest against the French President, in the al-Aqsa mosque compound, in the Old City of Jerusalem

SOMALIA: A man holds a machete aloft during protests against Macron's comments in support of caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad in the streets of Mogadishu on Friday

SOMALIA: A man holds a machete aloft during protests against Macron's comments in support of caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad in the streets of Mogadishu on Friday

Members of Pakistan minority protest in Quetta following French President Emmanuel Macron's comments over the Prophet Mohammed caricatures

Members of Pakistan minority protest in Quetta following French President Emmanuel Macron's comments over the Prophet Mohammed caricatures


Over the past week, protests and calls to boycott French products have spread rapidly from Bangladesh to Pakistan to Kuwait. Social media has been pulsing with anti-France hashtags. 

Muslim leaders, Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan in particular, have loudly criticised France for what they see as the government's provocative and anti-Muslim stance. 

Erdogan took particular exception after he himself was lampooned in a Charlie Hebdo cartoon which showed him lifting a woman's skirt to look at her naked backside.  

The Turkish president called the cartoonists 'scoundrels' and accused the West of wanting to 'relaunch the Crusades' by attacking Islam after the image appeared on the front of this week's magazine. 

Iran's president Hassan Rouhani also took aim at France by warning that insulting the Prophet would encourage 'violence and bloodshed'.  

Meanwhile Pakistan's PM Imran Khan called for an end to 'attacks on Islam', saying the West should be willing to treat blasphemy in the same way as Holocaust denial. 

And in Cairo, Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi said freedom of expression should stop if it offended more than 1.5billion people, referring to the number of Muslims.

European leaders have come to Macron's defence in his row with Erdogan, with Britain's foreign secretary Dominic Raab this week calling on NATO allies to stand together in defence of tolerance and free speech. 

'The UK stands in solidarity with France and the French people in the wake of the appalling murder of Samuel Paty,' Raab said in a veiled rebuke to Turkey. 

German chancellor Angela Merkel had defended Macron after Erdogan suggested he needed 'mental checks'. 

'They are defamatory comments that are completely unacceptable, particularly against the backdrop of the horrific murder of the French teacher Samuel Paty by an Islamist fanatic,' Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert said. 


BANGLADESH: A banner with a cross through a French flag and a slogan saying 'to insult is not freedom' is held up during a march watched by police in Dhaka today

BANGLADESH: A banner with a cross through a French flag and a slogan saying 'to insult is not freedom' is held up during a march watched by police in Dhaka today 

BANGLADESH: A Macron effigy goes up in flames to the delight of Muslim protesters during a demonstration in Dhaka today

BANGLADESH: A Macron effigy goes up in flames to the delight of Muslim protesters during a demonstration in Dhaka today

BANGLADESH: A crowd of Muslim worshippers chant slogans after Friday prayers as they call for the boycott of French goods

BANGLADESH: A crowd of Muslim worshippers chant slogans after Friday prayers as they call for the boycott of French goods

BANGLADESH: Protesters attack a Macron effigy as they take part in a protest in Dhaka a day after a terror attack in Nice

BANGLADESH: Protesters attack a Macron effigy as they take part in a protest in Dhaka a day after a terror attack in Nice

PAKISTAN: Security personnel put up barbed wire on a road that leads to the French embassy in Islamabad, a day after a guard was stabbed at a French consulate in Saudi Arabia amid high tensions between France and the Muslim world

PAKISTAN: Security personnel put up barbed wire on a road that leads to the French embassy in Islamabad, a day after a guard was stabbed at a French consulate in Saudi Arabia amid high tensions between France and the Muslim world

INDIA: A child looks at a defaced image of Emmanuel Macron, one of several identical portraits lying on a street in Mumbai

INDIA: A child looks at a defaced image of Emmanuel Macron, one of several identical portraits lying on a street in Mumbai 

INDIA: People shout slogans during protests in Hyderabad today as tensions continue to rise after Thursday's terror attack

INDIA: People shout slogans during protests in Hyderabad today as tensions continue to rise after Thursday's terror attack 

INDONESIA: Protesters voice their anger at the offensive cartoons in Medan today, with one holding a placard celebrating Abdullah Anzorov, the Chechen terrorist who murdered school teacher Samuel Paty near Paris

INDONESIA: Protesters voice their anger at the offensive cartoons in Medan today, with one holding a placard celebrating Abdullah Anzorov, the Chechen terrorist who murdered school teacher Samuel Paty near Paris 

INDONESIA: Protesters hold up pictures of Macron's face covered in a footprint during a demonstration in Bandung today

INDONESIA: Protesters hold up pictures of Macron's face covered in a footprint during a demonstration in Bandung today 

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