• Thursday, Feb 25, 2021
  • Last Update : 07:38 am

Bangladesh heats up with protests against Macron

  • Published at 04:29 pm October 30th, 2020
Anti-France Protest Bangladesh 30.10.20
Members of several Islamic organizations, including Hefazat-e-Islam, Jamaat-e-Islami and Islami Andolon Bangladesh, chant slogans and hold banners as they call for the boycott of French products and denouncing French President Emmanuel Macron for his comments over Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) caricatures, during a procession to mark Eid-e-Miladunnabi in Dhaka, Bangladesh after Jumma prayers on Friday, October 30, 2020 Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

Several leaders in Asia expressed support for France after the attacks on Thursday

Tens of thousands of Muslims protested in Bangladesh on Friday after killings by a Tunisian migrant in a French church prompted a vow by President Emmanuel Macron to hold his ground against attacks on his country's values and freedom of belief.

France, home to Europe's largest Muslim community, was engaged in a war against Islamist ideology and more militant attacks were likely, Interior Minister Gerald Damarnin warned.

Protesters marching through the streets of Dhaka, the capital of Muslim-majority Bangladesh, chanted "Boycott French products" and carried banners calling Macron "the world’s biggest terrorist."

 Also read: Tunisian man beheads woman, kills 2 people in Nice church

"Macron is leading Islamophobia," said demonstrator Akramul Haq. "He doesn't know the power of Islam. The Muslim world will not let this go in vain. We'll rise and stand in solidarity against him."

France raised its security alert to the highest level on Thursday after a knife-wielding man shouting "Allahu akbar" (God is Greatest) beheaded a woman in a church and killed two more people before being shot and taken away by police.

Protesters hold up a banner depicting French President Emmanuel Macron, with the message 'Boycott France,' as they demonstrate in front of Baitul Mokarram National Mosque in Dhaka, Bangladesh after Jumma prayers on Friday October 30, 2020. They launched protests denouncing the French president for his comments over Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) caricatures | Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune 

"We will not give any ground," Macron said outside the church in the city of Nice, vowing to deploy thousands more soldiers to guard sites such as places of worship and schools.

France had been attacked "over our values, for our taste for freedom, for the ability on our soil to have freedom of belief," he added.

A judicial source in France said a 47-year-old man had been taken into custody on Thursday evening on suspicion of having been in contact with the perpetrator of the attack.

The violence has come at a time of growing Muslim anger over France's defence of the right to publish cartoons depicting Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), and protesters have denounced France in street rallies in several Muslim-majority countries.

Protesters from various Islamic organizations, including Hefazat-e-Islam and Jamaat-e-Islami, hold up an effigy of French President Emmanuel Macron during their demonstration in front of Baitul Mokarram National Mosque in Dhaka, Bangladesh, after Jumma prayers on Friday, October 30, 2020 | Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

Several leaders in Asia expressed support for France after the attacks on Thursday, the birthday of the prophet.

"It is just the most callous and cowardly and vicious act of barbarism by terrorists and should be condemned in the strongest possible way," said Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

Morrison had expressed his support to Macron, he told media on Friday.

Morrison also condemned as absurd comments by former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad that Muslims had a right to be angry and kill "millions of French people for the massacres of the past."

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi also voiced support for Macron's position and condemned the violence.

"I strongly condemn the recent terrorist attacks in France," Modi said on Twitter on Thursday. "India stands with France in the fight against terrorism."

Thursday's attack came less than two weeks after a middle-school teacher in a Paris suburb was beheaded by an 18-year-old assailant who was apparently incensed that the teacher had shown a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammad in class.

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