As the spat between France and majority of Muslim countries is deepening after French President Emmanuel Macron’s controversial statements on Islam, reactions continue to come in across the world.
British House of Lord’s Muslim member Lord Nazir Ahmed has become one of the latest influential figures who reacted to the latest disrespect to the prophet.
Lord Nazir Ahmed, the first Muslim appointed to the British Parliament’s upper house for life, has urged for respect for Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) in a message he wrote on Twitter.
#Prophet_OF_Compassion Mohammed peace upon him is our honour : nearly 2 billion Muslim people in the World love him more than their parents : Respect our prophet like we respect Moses and Jesus pic.twitter.com/fS2hjmYPeZ
— Lord Nazir Ahmed (@nazir_lord) October 26, 2020
“Prophet of Compassion Mohammed peace upon him is our honor: nearly 2 billion Muslim people in the World love him more than their parents: Respect our prophet like we respect Moses and Jesus,” he wrote.
Earlier this month, Macron described Islam as a religion “in crisis” and announced plans for tougher laws to tackle what he called “Islamist separatism” in France. “The problem is an ideology which claims its own laws should be superior to those of the republic,” he said.
The French president made the statements in the wake of the murder of teacher Samuel Paty in the outskirts of Paris. Paty was brutally murdered by Abdullakh Anzorov, an 18-year-old man of Chechen origin.
The teacher, during one of his classes on freedom of expression, had shown controversial cartoons depicting Prophet Muhammad, according to the reports. Anzorov was killed by police in the aftermath of the attack. An investigation is ongoing.
Macron also vowed that France would continue to allow cartoons of Prophet Muhammad which had sparked an outcry among Muslims across the world.
This coincided with a provocative move by Charlie Hebdo, a left-wing French satirical magazine infamous for publishing anti-Islamic caricatures which have drawn widespread anger and outrage across the Muslim world.
Earlier this year, it republished cartoons insulting Islam and Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). The caricatures were first published in 2006 by the Danish daily Jyllands-Posten, sparking a wave of protests.
Iraqis protest Macron comments outside French embassy
Dozens protested Monday outside the French embassy in Baghdad after a pro-Iran faction called on Iraqis to slam French President Emmanuel Macron’s defence of cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH).
A cleric at the rally, Aqil al-Kadhemi, demanded an “apology to all Muslims because the Prophet is a symbol of Islam and Muslims” and visual depictions of him are strictly forbidden in Islam.
“We are demonstrating to denounce and strongly disapprove” of Macron’s comments, Kadhemi told AFP at the protest that was heavily guarded by police. “We’re surprised that a country such as France, supposedly the bastion of culture and respect for others, continually disrespects more than 1.5 billion Muslims.”
Macron has drawn anger in parts of the Muslim world with his robust defence of the right to mock religion following the murder of a French school teacher who had shown his class cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH).
Rabaa Allah, a pro-Iran faction formed in recent months which urged Iraqis to show up at the embassy, said “we are ready anywhere and anytime to answer back to those who tarnish our beliefs”.
Earlier this month, supporters of Hashed al-Shaabi — an Iraqi paramilitary network dominated by Iran-backed factions — burned down the main Kurdish party’s headquarters in Baghdad after criticism from a Kurdish ex-minister.
Some of the men in the small demonstration Monday burned a French flag and posters of Macron. Several families and children held up placards with red crosses plastered on Macron’s face and others of him bearing a pig’s face.
“We denounce Macron who had the audacity to dishonour our blessed Prophet (PBUH),” said Aliaa al-Khafaji, a 40-year-old woman.
Other protesters called for a boycott of French products, like those already underway in supermarkets in Qatar and Kuwait and demanded by some in Jordan and Turkey. Several dozen protesters also rallied in the Palestinian enclave of Gaza for a second day in a row.
A banner outside the French cultural institute there was torn down and replaced by images of Macron’s crossed-out face and a poster stating “Our Prophet (PBUH) will be victorious”.
Anadolu with additional input by GVS News Desk