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Hundreds of Muslims hold anti-France protest in Bangladesh

The protesters from the conservative Islami Oikya Jote party carried banners calling President Emmanuel Macron “the world's biggest terrorist" and burned and beat an effigy of him.

Published: 28th October 2020 07:32 PM  |   Last Updated: 28th October 2020 07:32 PM   |  A+A-

Supporters of Islami Oikya Jote, an Islamist political party, protest against the publishing of caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad they deem blasphemous, in Dhaka, Bangladesh. (Photo | AP)

By PTI

DHAKA: Hundreds of activists from an Islamist political party protested in Bangladesh's capital on Wednesday against the French president's support of secular laws that deem caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad as protected under freedom of speech.

The protesters from the conservative Islami Oikya Jote party carried banners calling President Emmanuel Macron “the world's biggest terrorist" and burned and beat an effigy of him.

They also criticised the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, saying it should condemn Macron and France.

Hasina has yet to officially comment.

The party supports the introduction of Islamic law in the Muslim-majority South Asian nation, which is governed by a legal system largely based on British common law.

Wednesday's protest at the national Baitul Mokarram Mosque in downtown Dhaka came a day after about 10,000 Muslims from another Islamist group, Islami Andolon Bangladesh, demonstrated in Dhaka to call for a boycott of French products.

Muslim-majority countries across the world have been outraged by Macron's refusal last week to condemn the publication or display of caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad.

In Islam, any depiction of the prophet is prohibited.

The issue has come to light again in recent days following the gruesome beheading near Paris of a French teacher who showed caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad in class.

The 18-year-old Chechen refugee who carried out the attack was later shot dead by police.

Abul Hasnat Amini, acting chairman of the Islami Oikya Jote, said they would not hesitate to call themselves terrorists if they are so accused for favouring Islam.

“If speaking for Islam and the prophet is considered terrorism, 90% of the Muslims in Bangladesh will identify themselves as terrorists. We are prepared to become terrorists in order to protect the honour of our Prophet Muhammad,” Amini told his supporters.



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