15:01 - October 27, 2020
News ID: 3472953
TEHRAN (IQNA) – Tens of thousands of protesters marched through the Bangladesh capital on Tuesday in the biggest anti-France rally since French President Emmanuel Macron defended offensive cartoons about Prophet Mohammed (PBUH).


Muslims across the world have reacted furiously to Macron's robust defense of “the right to mock religion” following the murder of a French schoolteacher who had shown the cartoons to his pupils.

In Syria people burned pictures of France's leader, tricolour flags were torched in the Libyan capital Tripoli, while French goods have been pulled from supermarket shelves in Qatar, Kuwait and other Persian Gulf states.

Protesters in Dhaka set alight to an effigy of Macron during Tuesday's march in which police said 40,000 people took part, AFP reported.

Hundreds of armed officers used a barbed-wire barricade to stop the demonstrators, who dispersed without violence before they could get close to the French embassy in the Bangladeshi capital.

The rally was called by Islami Andolon Bangladesh (IAB), one of the country's largest Muslim parties, and started at the biggest mosque in the nation, which is around 90 percent Muslim.

"Boycott French products", demonstrators chanted as they called for Macron to be punished.

Ataur Rahman, a senior Islami Andolon member, told the rally at the Baitul Mukarram national mosque: "Macron is one of the few leaders who worship Satan."

Rahman called on the Bangladesh government to "kick out" the French ambassador while another protest leader, Hasan Jamal, said activists would "tear down every brick of that building" if the envoy was not ordered out.

"France is the enemy of Muslims. Those who represent them are also our enemies," said Nesar Uddin, a young leader of the group.

Even after the rally was halted, demonstrators marched down other streets chanting "Boycott France" and "Macron will pay a high price".

The October 16 beheading of high-school teacher Samuel Paty by a Chechen extremist caused deep shock in France.

Paty had shown his students some of the cartoons over which 12 people were massacred at the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in 2015.

In the aftermath of Paty's murder, Macron issued a passionate defense of “free speech” and France's secular way of life, vowing that the country “will not give up cartoons”.


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