Muslims protest in B'desh against French President

31-10-2020

Dhaka, (UNI) Tens of thousands of Muslims protested in Bangladesh on Friday, after killings by a Tunisian in a French Church promoted a vow by President Emmanuel Macron to hold his ground against attacks on his country's values and freedom of belief.

France, home to Europe's largest Muslim community, was engaged in a war against Islamist ideology and more militant attacks were likely, Interior Minister Gerald Damarnin had warned earlier in the day.

Protesters marching through the streets of Dhaka, the capital of Muslim-majority Bangladesh, chanted 'Boycott French products' and carried banners calling Macron 'the world's biggest terrorist'.

'Macron is leading Islamophobia. He doesn't know the power of Islam. The Muslim world will not let this go in vain. We'll rise and stand in solidarity against him,' said demonstrator Akramul Haq.

France raised its security alert to the highest level on Thursday, after a knife-wielding man shouting "Allahu Akbar" (God is Greatest) beheaded a woman in a Church and killed two more people, before being shot and taken away by police.

'We will not give any ground,' Macron said outside the church in the city of Nice, vowing to deploy thousands more soldiers to guard sites such as places of worship and schools.

France had been attacked "over our values, for our taste for freedom, for the ability on our soil to have freedom of belief,' he added.

A judicial source in France said a 47-year-old man had been taken into custody on Thursday evening on suspicion of having been in contact with the perpetrator of the attack.

The violence has come at a time of growing Muslim anger over France's defence of the right to publish cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammad, and protesters have denounced France in street rallies in several Muslim-majority countries.

Several leaders in Asia expressed support for France after the attacks on Thursday, the birthday of the prophet.