Thousands of Indonesian Muslims marched to the French Embassy in Jakarta on Nov 2 (Monday). The demonstration is to protest France’s president Emmanuel Macron and his staunch support of secular laws that deem caricatures depicting the Prophet Muhammad as protected speech.
More than 2,000 demonstrators filled a major thoroughfare in Jakarta. They were wearing white Islamic robes and waving white flags bearing the Islamic declaration of faith. The protesters also chanted “God is Great” and “Boycott French products” as they marched.
The Indonesian Muslims protested outside of the French Embassy carrying banners calling Emmanuel Macron “The Real Terrorist”. Besides, they demanded the Indonesian government to expel the country’s ambassador immediately.
Authorities blocked streets leading to the embassy. More than 1,000 police and soldiers were deployed around the French Embassy building which barricaded with razor wire.
Charlie Hebdo Cartoons
Macron has become the focal point of Islamic fury since he defended Charlie Hebdo cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. The cartoon was used as justification for the murder of a teacher in Paris two weeks ago.
France’s President has sparked protests across the Muslim world after the murder of a teacher Samuel Paty.
Samuel Paty had shown his class some cartoons of Prophet Muhammad by saying France would never renounce its laws permitting blasphemous caricatures. The cartoons are related to the massacre of 12 people at Charlie Hebdo in 2015.
The high school teacher was then murdered by a Chechen extremist.
After the tragedy, Macron issued a passionate defence of free speech and France’s secular way of life, vowing that France “will not give up cartoons.”
Macron said he understands the feelings of Muslims who are shocked by the cartoons of Prophet Muhammad. However, he then added that the “radical Islam” he is trying to fight is a threat to all people, especially Muslims.
Depictions of the Prophet Muhammad are seen as offensive by many Muslims, but in France, such cartoons have become identified with a proud secular tradition dating back to the Revolution and the issue of freedom of expression.
Protests Across Muslim World
Meanwhile in Bangladesh, at least 50,000 people joined the biggest demonstration yet over Macron’s remarks defending the controversial cartoons.
Besides, demonstrations are being staged across the Muslim world, with demonstrations seen in Iraq, Pakistan and Yemen.
Mahathir: “Muslims have a right to kill millions of French.”
Mahathir Mohamad has caused an uproar in social media after the tragedy. He claimed that Muslims have “a right to be angry and kill millions of French people for the massacres of the past”.
In his Twitter post under the title of “Respect Others”, Mahathir said he did not approve the beheading of the French high school teacher, Samuel Paty. He then added that the killing was “not in keeping with the teachings of Islam”.
“But irrespective of the religion professed, angry people kill. The French in the course of their history has killed millions of people. Many were Muslims,” he mentioned.
Mahathir’s post was immediately criticized by foreign and local netizen, saying he was encouraging violence. Twitter has removed his tweets which containing his latest remarks after deeming it violated its rules.
Mahathir’s post was criticized by foreign and local netizen, saying he was encouraging violence
More Information About:
- Indonesian Muslims protest France’s defense of cartoon
- Macron says he understands Muslims’ shock over Prophet cartoons
- Muslims ‘have right to kill millions of French’: Malaysia’s Mahathir sparks uproar with his response to Macron