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Prophet Muhammad’s cartoons kindle protests in Islamic nations

The demonstrators are also demanding a boycott of French goods over the cartoons.

• October 30, 2020
Photo of Shias procession used to illustrate the story (Credit: International Shia News Agency)

On Friday, a number of protests broke out in some Islamic nations as anger spread over France’s handling of cartoons of Islam’s prophet Muhammad, deemed offensive by many Muslim countries.

Demonstrators marched in protest after Friday Juma’at prayers in several areas of the Gaza Strip, with the extremist Hamas movement calling for demonstrators to join a rally in the densely-populated Jabalia refugee camp.

Fathi Hammad, a Senior Hamas leader from Jabalia, called on rally attendees to join together to confront what he called a “criminal assault” against the prophet.

A rally also took place after prayers outside the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem’s Old City, with participants shouting “we answer your call Muhammad,” and “a nation led by Muhammad will not kneel.”

Protests also broke out in South Asia, with thousands joining demonstrations in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Rallies were held across Pakistan’s major cities, with protestors chanting anti-French slogans, burning pictures of French President Macron and demanding Pakistan’s ambassador to France to be recalled.

Jamiat Ulama-e-Islam, the country’s largest Islamic political party, pledged to continue holding protests for the next week.

Pakistan, a 220-million strong nation with an overwhelmingly Muslim population, had seen deadly protests in the past when a movie deemed insulting to Prophet Muhammad was uploaded to YouTube.

Meanwhile, witnesses said some 2,000 people joined a rally in the Afghan capital Kabul, while thousands more marched in the western Herat province.

The demonstrators are also demanding a boycott of French goods over the cartoons.

Earlier, a French teacher was beheaded in a Paris suburb after showing the cartoon to his students in a lesson about freedom of speech. 

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