Muslims protest against Emmanuel Macron in Iraq, India and Pakistan

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French President Emmanuel Macron has said it’s ‘our duty to protect our freedoms’ as furious protests continue to rage across the Muslim world against his comments over the Charlie Hebdo cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed.   

Macron gave a long interview setting out his vision to Qatar-based TV channel Al-Jazeera today. 

‘I can understand that people could be shocked by the caricatures but I will never accept that violence can be justified,’ he said.

‘I consider it our duty to protect our freedoms and our rights,’ he added in an extract of the interview to be broadcast from 1600 GMT. 

Fury against French President Emmanuel Macron continues to rage across the Muslim world as protests were held today in India, Pakistan and Iraq over the premier’s stance on Charlie Hebdo cartoons.  

Macron has become the focal point of Islamic fury after defending Charlie Hebdo cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed which were used as justification for a teacher’s murder in the Paris suburbs two weeks ago.  

After three people were murdered in Nice Thursday in the latest in a long line of terror attacks in France, Macron said that France will not ‘give up on our values’ despite fury at the caricatures. 

Protests are being staged across the Muslim world, with demonstrations seen this morning in Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, and India.  

People chant slogans as they set fire to France's flag during a protest against the cartoon publications of Prophet Mohammad in France and comments by the French President Emmanuel Macron, in Karachi, Pakistan today

People chant slogans as they set fire to France’s flag during a protest against the cartoon publications of Prophet Mohammad in France and comments by the French President Emmanuel Macron, in Karachi, Pakistan today 

Protesters burn effigy of French President Emmanuel Macron during an anti-French protest in Karachi today

Protesters burn effigy of French President Emmanuel Macron during an anti-French protest in Karachi today 

People burn a picture of French President Emmanuel Macron during a protest against his comments about Prophet Muhammad caricatures, in Peshawar, Pakistan today

People burn a picture of French President Emmanuel Macron during a protest against his comments about Prophet Muhammad caricatures, in Peshawar, Pakistan today 

Demonstrators chant slogans as they march with a large banner calling for a boycott of French products and depicting French President Emmanuel Macron with the nose and ears of a pig, during a rally protesting against the comments of Macron over Prophet Mohammed cartoons in Yemen's country's third-city of Taez today

Demonstrators chant slogans as they march with a large banner calling for a boycott of French products and depicting French President Emmanuel Macron with the nose and ears of a pig, during a rally protesting against the comments of Macron over Prophet Mohammed cartoons in Yemen’s country’s third-city of Taez today 

Iraqis protest against comments by French President Emmanuel Macron defending cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in Halabja, Iraq today

Iraqis protest against comments by French President Emmanuel Macron defending cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in Halabja, Iraq today 

Muslim demonstrators hold a placard with a picture of French President Emmanuel Macron Macron with a footprint over his face during an anti-France protest near the French consulate in Kolkata today

Muslim demonstrators hold a placard with a picture of French President Emmanuel Macron Macron with a footprint over his face during an anti-France protest near the French consulate in Kolkata today 

In Dhaka, hundreds of Bangladeshi Muslims took to the streets of the capital for a third consecutive day of protests, chanting slogans such as ‘Boycott French products’ and burning effigies of Macron, who they described as an enemy of Islam. 

At a much larger protest on Tuesday in Dhaka thousands had turned out for a protest carrying banners such as ‘Stop Islamophobia’, ‘Boycott France’ and ‘Lay siege to the French Embassy in Dhaka’. 

In the Somalian capital Mogadishu, hundreds of mostly youthful demonstrators gathered at K4, a busy junction leading to the airport and started chanting anti-French slogans and burning French flags. 

They were responding to calls by clerics in various Somali regions to come out and condemn France and boycott French products.

‘We are going to use our muscles to defend Islam,’ a middle-aged man, Mohamed Ahmed, who was at the demonstration, told Reuters when asked why he was participating. 

A protester carries an effigy of French President Emmanuel Macron during an anti-French protest in Karachi on October 31, 2020

A protester carries an effigy of French President Emmanuel Macron during an anti-French protest in Karachi on October 31, 2020

A protester jumps on an effigy of French President Emmanuel Macron during an anti-French protest in Karachi today

A protester jumps on an effigy of French President Emmanuel Macron during an anti-French protest in Karachi today 

Protesters throw an effigy of French President Emmanuel Macron during an anti-French protest in Karachi today

Protesters throw an effigy of French President Emmanuel Macron during an anti-French protest in Karachi today 

Protesters hold a placard and banner depicting French President Emmanuel Macron during a protest against Macron's comments considered insulting to Muslims, in Makassar, South Sulawesi Province, Indonesia today

Protesters hold a placard and banner depicting French President Emmanuel Macron during a protest against Macron’s comments considered insulting to Muslims, in Makassar, South Sulawesi Province, Indonesia today 

Iraqis protest against comments by French President Emmanuel Macron defending cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in Halabja, Iraq today 

Demonstrators stand on defaced posters of France's President Emmanuel Macron on a road during a protest against the publications of a cartoon of Prophet Mohammad in France and Macron's comments, outside a French consulate in Kolkata today

Demonstrators stand on defaced posters of France’s President Emmanuel Macron on a road during a protest against the publications of a cartoon of Prophet Mohammad in France and Macron’s comments, outside a French consulate in Kolkata today 

Demonstrators chant slogans as they march with banners during a rally protesting against the comments of French President Emmanuel Macron in Taez today

Demonstrators chant slogans as they march with banners during a rally protesting against the comments of French President Emmanuel Macron in Taez today 

‘We ask people to burn every product of France they come across.’  

Turkish President Erdogan said Wednesday that Western countries mocking Islam wanted to ‘relaunch the Crusades’, heightening a confrontation with France over cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad that have stirred anger in Muslim-majority countries.

In a speech to lawmakers of his AK Party in parliament, President Tayyip Erdogan also said that standing against attacks on the Prophet was ‘an issue of honour for us’, suggesting Ankara may be digging in for a prolonged standoff.

The row with France flared after a French teacher who showed pupils cartoons of the Prophet published in the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo was beheaded in France this month. 

The caricatures are considered blasphemous by Muslims.

In a sign of spreading anger at France’s defence of the right to publish the cartoons, demonstrators denounced France in street protests in several Muslim-majority countries.

Demonstrators chant slogans as they march with banners during a rally protesting against the comments of French President Emmanuel Macron over Prophet Mohammed cartoons in Yemen's third-city of Taez today

Demonstrators chant slogans as they march with banners during a rally protesting against the comments of French President Emmanuel Macron over Prophet Mohammed cartoons in Yemen’s third-city of Taez today 

A placard and banner depicting French President Emmanuel Macron are seen during a protest against Macron's comments considered insulting to Muslims, in Makassar, South Sulawesi Province, Indonesia today

A placard and banner depicting French President Emmanuel Macron are seen during a protest against Macron’s comments considered insulting to Muslims, in Makassar, South Sulawesi Province, Indonesia today 

Protesters hold placards during a protest against comments of French President Emmanuel Macron considered insulting to Muslims, in Yogyakarta, Indonesia today

Protesters hold placards during a protest against comments of French President Emmanuel Macron considered insulting to Muslims, in Yogyakarta, Indonesia today 

Placards reading "The yellow Devil is in Paris" hang in a window as a mark of a protest against the publications of a cartoon of Prophet Mohammad in France and French President Emmanuel Macron's comments, in Almaty, Kazakhstan today

Placards reading ‘The yellow Devil is in Paris’ hang in a window as a mark of a protest against the publications of a cartoon of Prophet Mohammad in France and French President Emmanuel Macron’s comments, in Almaty, Kazakhstan today 

‘France down, it insulted our Prophet,’ shouted protesters in the Somali capital Mogadishu.

Erdogan sharply criticised Macron at the weekend, saying the French leader needed a mental health check, prompting France to recall its ambassador from Ankara. On Monday, Erdogan urged a boycott of French products.

The Turkish leader again questioned Macron’s state of mind on Wednesday and, in remarks addressed to ‘the West’, described colonial powers as ‘murderers’ for their record in Africa and the Middle east.

‘They literally want to relaunch the Crusades. Since the Crusades, the seeds of evil and hatred have started falling on these (Muslim) lands and that’s when peace was disrupted.’

Turkish officials said separately Ankara would take legal and diplomatic steps in response to a caricature of Erdogan in Charlie Hebdo, which officials called a ‘disgusting effort’ to ‘spread its cultural racism and hatred’.

The cartoon on the cover of Charlie Hebdo showed Erdogan sitting in a white t-shirt and underpants, holding a canned drink and lifting the skirt of a woman wearing an Islamic hijab to reveal her naked bottom.

Muslim activists of different organizations stage a protest against French President Emmanuel Macron, near the French Consulate in Kolkata, India today

Muslim activists of different organizations stage a protest against French President Emmanuel Macron, near the French Consulate in Kolkata, India today 

Muslim activists from various organizations participate in a protest against France, near the French Consulate, in Kolkata, India today

Muslim activists from various organizations participate in a protest against France, near the French Consulate, in Kolkata, India today 

Muslim demonstrators shout slogans during an anti-France protest near the French consulate in Kolkata today

Muslim demonstrators shout slogans during an anti-France protest near the French consulate in Kolkata today 

‘Our battle against these rude, ill-intentioned and insulting steps will continue until the end, with reason but determination,’ Turkey’s Communications Directorate said.

State media reported that Turkish prosecutors had launched an investigation into Charlie Hebdo’s executives.

The row has its roots in a knife attack outside a French school on Oct. 16 in which a man of Chechen origin beheaded Samuel Paty, a teacher who had shown pupils cartoons of the Prophet in a civics lesson. 

The French government, backed by many citizens, saw the beheading as an attack on freedom of speech, and said it would defend the right to display the cartoons.

Macron has said he would redouble efforts to stop conservative Islamic beliefs subverting French values.

Students of Jamaat-e-Islami party shout slogans during an anti-France protest in Lahore today

Students of Jamaat-e-Islami party shout slogans during an anti-France protest in Lahore today 

Students of Jamaat-e-Islami party shout slogans during an anti-France protest in Lahore today

Students of Jamaat-e-Islami party shout slogans during an anti-France protest in Lahore today

Somalis march during a protest against the publications of a cartoon of Prophet Mohammad in France and French President Emmanuel Macron's comments, along the streets of Mogadishu, Somalia yesterday

Somalis march during a protest against the publications of a cartoon of Prophet Mohammad in France and French President Emmanuel Macron’s comments, along the streets of Mogadishu, Somalia yesterday 

France’s foreign ministry on Tuesday issued safety advice to French citizens in Indonesia, Turkey, Bangladesh, Iraq and Mauritania, advising them to exercise caution. They should stay away from any protests over the cartoons and avoid any public gatherings.

In Cairo, Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi said freedom of expression should stop if it offended more than 1.5 billion people.

The Grand Imam of Egypt’s al-Azhar university, one of the world’s most eminent seats of Sunni Muslim learning, urged the international community to criminalise ‘anti-Muslim’ actions.

Indonesian president Joko Widodo today condemned what he called ‘terrorist’ attacks in France, but also warned that remarks by President Macron had ‘insulted Islam’ and ‘hurt the unity of Muslims everywhere.’

Conservative Islamic organizations in Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim-majority country, have called for protests and boycotts against France, sharing an image of Macron as a red-eyed devilish snail.

‘Freedom of speech that injures the noble purity and sacred values and symbol of religion is so wrong, it shouldn’t be justified and it needs to stop,’ the Indonesian leader, who is known by his popular name Jokowi, said in a televised address.

He added, however, that ‘linking religion to acts of terrorism is a massive mistake. Terrorists are terrorists.’

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