Update November 2, 2020

Dhaka 4-41 am, 23-September, 2021

Police foil attempt by Muslim activists to besiege French Embassy

Online Desk

Police foiled an attempt by Hefajat-e-Islam Bangladesh-led Somomona Islami Dal, a platform of the Islamist parties, to besiege France Embassy protesting the recent remarks made by President Emmanuel Macron against Islam.

Several hundred activists and leaders of the Islamist parties gathered near the Baitul Mukarram National Mosque around 11 am to stage protests.

As they started marching towards the France Embassy through Malibagh Mouchak area, police obstructed them, forcing them to return.

They also staged demonstrations there after being obstructed by police.

Vehicular movement from Baitul Mukarram Mosque, Paltan, Mouchak, Malibagh, Kakrail to Shantinagar areas remained suspended since morning, causing immense sufferings to the commuters.

However, the traffic movement in the areas came to normal around 1:45 pm.

Condemning the satirical cartoons, insulting Prophet Mohammad (Pbuh), in France, BNP on Sunday expressed solidarity with the protests by people of all races and religions and the Muslim Ummah against such a dreadful crime.

“BNP expresses solidarity with angry reactions and protests by around two crores of Muslims and different countries against the defaming of sacred religion Islam and the greatest Prophet Mohammad (Pbuh) and France President’s position in favour of it,” said BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Almgir.

Speaking at a press conference at BNP chairperson’s Gulshan office, Fakhrul also said BNP, which is respectful to all religions, thinks disrespecting any religious leader in the name of freedom of expression cannot be accepted in any way.

Earlier this month, Macron pledged to fight “Islamist separatism”, which he said, was threatening to take control in some Muslim communities around France.

He also described Islam as a religion “in crisis” worldwide and said the government would present a bill in December to strengthen a 1905 law that officially separated church and state in France, reports Qatar-based Al Jazeera.

His comments, in addition to his backing of satirical outlets publishing caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad, has led to a social media campaign calling for the boycott of French products from supermarkets in Arab countries and Turkey.

Hashtags such as the #BoycottFrenchProducts in English and the Arabic #ExceptGodsMessenger trended across countries, including Kuwait, Qatar, Palestine, Egypt, Algeria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

On October 23, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) condemned what it said was France’s continued attacks against Muslims by insulting religious symbols.

The secretariat of the Jeddah-based organisation said in a statement it is surprised at the official political rhetoric issued by some French officials that offend French-Islamic relations and fuels feelings of hatred for political party gains.

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