Paris / Dhaka / Ankara
In the controversy over the Prophet Muhammad cartoons, the differences between Muslim countries and France take on serious form. The biggest objection from Muslim countries to French President Emmanuel Macron’s statement in which he said Islam is in “crisis”. Meanwhile, around 10,000 people belonging to an Islamist group took part in a procession in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, to protest the display of the prophet’s caricatures and urged Muslims around the world to boycott French products.
Turkish President Tayyip Recep Erdogan criticized the French president’s statement and said the French needed a mental exam. This statement by the French president is criticized in Muslim countries around the world. It also includes Saudi Arabia and Iran, considered anti-Turkish. Malaysia has said it is openly concerned about the growing aggression against Muslims. Pakistan also strongly condemned France.
Meanwhile, around 10,000 people from an Islamic group demonstrated in Dhaka to protest the execution of the Prophet Muhammad cartoon. Protesters and placards from the “Bangladesh Islamic Movement”, a group advocating for the application of Islamic law in Muslim-dominated Bangladesh, carried banners and placards that read “Unite All Muslims Around The World” and “Boycott France”.
Protesters also brought a large cutout of the photo of French President Emmanuel Macron with shoes hung around his neck. Macron’s remarks angered majority Muslim countries last week, in which he declined to condemn the publication or display of caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad. Let me tell you that on October 18, an 18-year-old man of Chechen origin is accused of beheading a French teacher near Paris who was showing drawings of the Prophet Muhammad.
France considers religious satire to be one of the underlying elements of free speech, while many Muslims consider any alleged satire on the Prophet to be a serious offense. Rezaul Karim, the leader of the Islamic movement in Bangladesh, urged France to refrain from displaying satirical images of the Prophet Muhammad. On the other hand, France took vigorous action against radical Islamic groups after the death of the teacher.