Demonstrations, Arab – Islamic Escalation Against Offensive Drawings Insulting to Prophet Mohammad (Pbuh)

Demonstrations, Arab – Islamic Escalation Against Offensive Drawings Insulting to Prophet Mohammad (Pbuh)

Protests have escalated in Arab and Islamic states against insolent attitude to Prophet Mohammad (Pbuh); official and popular calls have increased for boycotting French products.


In Kabul and several other provinces, the streets were filled with thousands of people. The demonstrators demanded Afghan leaders to confront and respond to these abuses, and also demanded that French citizens be prevented from entering the country. Also, The Afghan parliament strongly condemned the insults to the Prophet and Islam and called government to deal severely with the French authorities.


The Higher Islamic Council has denounced insulting Islam and its Messenger (Pbuh), considering insolence and vilifying religious symbols an insult to humanity in its entirety as well as extremism, especially if it is emanating from an official who considers himself a protector of the values of fraternity, liberty and equality.


Huge Bangladesh rally calls for boycott of French products. Tens of thousands of people have marched through the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka, demanding a boycott of French goods amid a row over France's tougher stance on radical Islam.


During a meeting held on Monday, 26 October, 2020, chaired by Al- Azhar Sheikh, Muslim Wise Men Council announced its determination to raise a law suit against the French comic magazine “Charlie Hebdo” for publishing caricatures of the prophet Mohammed, and against all those who insult Islam and its holy symbols.


The Foreign Minister Mrs. Ratino Marsodi, described in a statement, the action taken by the French magazine as “a provocative act” that sabotages tolerance among religious communities and disturbs millions of Muslims around the world. She confirmed that this action contradicts the principles and values of democracy.


President of Iran Mr. Hassan Rohani denounced the stand of the French government on the publishing of drawings offensive to the prophet (Pbuh), He stated, “international security and peace will not be realized without respecting the beliefs of others, and it is strange that the world is witnessing those who claim freedom and democracy incite violence and shedding of blood, even though indirectly. Two hundred and forty Iranian parliamentarians have condemned the statements made by the French President against Islam and described them as anti- Islam.


In its Monday session,(26 October, 2020), the Iraqi Parliament decried insulting the Prophet Mohammed (Pbuh) by the publishing of offensive caricatures in France. 25 members of the parliament of Kurdistan region, northern Iraq, representing different political blocs, handed a Note to the French Consulate in Erbil, in which they expressed concern over the recent statements delivered by Macron against Islam.


Jordanian Foreign Minister, Mr. Aymen Al Safadi informed the French Ambassador in Amman that the Kingdom refused to "continue" to publish the cartoons insulting to the Prophet Muhammad that "hurt the feelings of about two billion Muslims.”. According to a statement made by the Jordanian Foreign Ministry, Mr. Safadi affirmed to the Ambassador Veronique Vouland, Jordan’s stand rejecting continuation of publishing the drawings offensive to the prophet, and Jordan’s denunciation of insulting and hurting the sentiments of about two billion Muslims in the world.


In a statement the Foreign Ministry of Kuwait said that the state of Kuwait has followed with utmost indignation continuation of publishing of drawings offensive to the Prophet (Pbuh).

The Ministry declared its support to the OIC statement which “expresses for all the Islamic Ummah, and includes comprehensive contents that reject those abuses and practices. The Ministry warned against the “consequences thereof and continuation of insults, whether to all divine religions or Messengers (peace be upon them) made by some official political discourses.”


Lebanon’s Prime Minister Saad Hariri said insulting the Prophet Muhammad hurts feelings of Muslims around the world. "If the acts of murder and terrorism are a cause for denunciation, rejection and condemnation, then insulting the Prophet is also an attack on the feelings of Muslims worldwide," he said in a tweet. Protests were also held in Lebanon’s capital, Beirut.


At the call of the High Islamic Council of Mali (HCIM), a large gathering took place on Wednesday, October 28, at the great mosque of Bamako, capital of Mali, to denounce the publication of the cartoons of the prophet Muhammad. Thousands of Muslim worshippers and several Muslim religious leaders, including Imam Mahmoud Dicko, took part in the rally.

Kingdom of Morocco

Morocco’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that these acts “reflect the lack of maturity of their perpetrators. Freedom of an individual ends where the freedom of others and their beliefs begin,” the ministry stressed. Morocco’s foreign ministry said freedom of expression cannot justify provocation and offensive attacks on Islam under any reason or circumstances.


Mufti of the Sultanate of Oman Ahmed Bin Hamed Al- Khalili called for boycotting all products of those who have insulted Prophet Mohammed (Pbuh), and withdrawing Muslim funds from institutions managed by the “aggressors”.


The Foreign Ministery in Qatar issued a statement denouncing the “huge escalation in the populist rhetoric which incites on insulting religions”. It affirmed its total rejection of all forms of hate speech based on belief, race or religion.


Prime Minister of Pakistan, Omran Khan urged Islamic States to unite against rising Islamophobia in Europe. This came in a message made on Twitter addressed to leaders of the Islamic states asking them to act collectively to confront the escalating phenomenon of Islamophobia. In a new reaction, the Foreign Ministry of Pakistan recalled the French ambassador in Islamabad and handed him a strongly- worded message denouncing the drawings offensive to Prophet Mohammed (Pbuh).


The Minister of Religious Affairs, Zulkifil Bin Mohammad Al- Bakry, called on the French government to learn Islamic values and to study the life history of the Prophet. This came in a message addressed to the French Ambassador in Kuala Lumpur. Parties and non- governmental organizations have initiated a campaign to boycott French goods in Malaysia. Also representatives of the Islamic Party of Malaysia in Parliament delivered a protest Note to the French Embassy.

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

The kingdom of Saudi Arabia has denounced the caricatures insulting the prophet Mohammed (Pbuh), and stressed its rejection of any attempt to establish a link between Islam and terrorism. An official source at the Foreign Ministry stated that “the Kingdom rejects any attempts to link Islam with terrorism, and denounces the drawings offensive to the prophet of guidance, Messenger of Peace Mohammed Ibn Abdullah (Pbuh) or any of the Messengers (Peace be unpon him)

The official affirmed that the Kingdom “condemns any terrorist act, irrespective of its perpetrator”, and that “it calls for the intellectual and cultural freedom to be a beacon shining respect, tolerance and peace.”


The Front for Popular and Pan-African Anti-Imperialist Revolution (Frapp) called for a boycott of French products in Senegal, in reaction to "the insulting cartoons presenting the prophet of Islam as a terrorist, as well as a reaction to the Islamophobia of the 'French State". Le Frapp calls for a boycott of French products to denounce the indecent and insulting link between Islam and terrorism, "the activist movement urged in a statement.


In a statement issued on Wednesday, 28 October, 2020, the Foreign Ministry of Tunisia “expressed Tunisia’s deep indignation of the campaign led by some circles in the name of freedom of expression, which provokes the sentiments and sanctities of Muslims and hurts the greatest Messenger our Master Mohammed (Pbuh)”.


Four Turkish Parties represented in the Turkish Parliament have issued a joint statement calling upon leaders of thought, politicians, and artists in the West to take a stand against what they described as provocative and humiliating statements concerning Islam and its honorable Messenger.

Sources: Aljazeera, Anadolu Agency, France 24

29 October, 2020

Picture: Reuters

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