French President Emmanuel Macron drew the ire of Muslims around the globe as he vowed to protect the right to caricature the Prophet Muhammad.
Tens of thousands of Muslims protested in Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad, which turned out violent as some 2,000 people tried to march towards the French Embassy, and were welcomed by police who fired tear gas and beat protesters with batons.
Hundreds of Palestinians in Jerusalem protested outside the Al-Aqsa Mosque – the third holiest site in Islam, as they chanted, “With our souls and with our blood we sacrifice for our prophet, Muhammad.”
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister-designate of Lebanon Saad Hariri felt embarrassed by anti-France protesters, as he was trying to implement a new government following a French plan for reform.
Hundreds of protesters in Lebanon’s capital, Beirut, carrying black and white flags with Islamist insignia as they attempted to storm the official residence of the French ambassador to Lebanon, Palais des Pins.
In Dhaka, Bangladesh, some 50,000 people burned effigies of Macron while holding the signs that read, “Say no to Islamophobia,” “Stop racism,” and “Boycott French products.”
Members of the Islamist party Hezb-i-Islami in Afghanistan, set the French flag on fire, and threated Macron that if he does not “control the situation, we are going to a third world war and Europe will be responsible.”
The series of protests come as tension France and Muslim-majority nations rose when a young Muslim beheaded a French schoolteacher who showed the offensive caricatures of Prophet Muhammad in class.
The caricature, republished by the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, sparked the ire of Muslims across the world who found the image blasphemous, and opened the trial for the deadly 2015 attack against the publication.
Since then, a series of attacked attributed to Muslim extremists plagued France, including the knife-wielding Tunisian man who killed three people at a Notre Dame Basilica in Nice.