Muslims around the world rally against Macron’s “Islamophobia”

Tens of thousands of Muslims protested in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Palestine after killings in a French church prompted a vow from President Emmanuel Macron to stand firm against attacks on French values and freedom of belief.

Mr Macron has called Islam a religion “in crisis” and defended the right of a magazine to publish cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammed.

French Interior Minister Gerald Damarnin said France was engaged in a war against Islamist ideology and more attacks were likely.

In Pakistan, police briefly fired tear gas at protesters who broke through security blockades in Islamabad in a failed attempt to demonstrate at the French Embassy against the printing in France of images depicting the Prophet Mohammad.

Protests and gatherings marking the occasion were also held in the Pakistani cities of Karachi, Lahore and Peshawar.

In Bangladesh, tens of thousands marched through Dhaka, the capital, chanting “Boycott French products” and carrying banners calling Macron “the world’s biggest terrorist”.

Some Bangladeshi demonstrators also burned effigies of Macron and carried cutouts of the president with a garland of shoes around his neck, a severe insult according to Islam.

Over 40,000 join a march in Bangladesh

In India’s financial hub Mumbai, some 100 posters showing Macron with a boot on his face and calling him a “demon” were pasted on pavements and roads.

In another city Bhopal, a huge gathering of thousands demanded the Indian government to protest against anti-Muslim stand of France.

Macron with a boot on his face pasted on pavements and roads, Mumbai, India

In Lebanon, security forces fired tear gas to drive back some 300 protesters including supporters of a local Sunni Islamist party who marched from a mosque in the capital Beirut to the official residence of the French ambassador.

Thousands of Palestinian worshippers rallied after Friday prayers at Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest site in Islam, in Jerusalem’s walled Old City to condemn the republication of Mohammad caricatures in France.

In Ramallah, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, Palestinians trampled on a large French flag and burned other French flags.

In Gaza, ruled by Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, hundreds of Palestinians took part in anti-France rallies, chanting: “With our souls and blood we will redeem the Prophet.”

Palestinians gather in the al-Aqsa mosque compound, in the Old City of Jerusalem

Thousands in Somalia turned up for Friday prayers in mosques where sermons were dominated by curses and condemnation of Macron and his government.