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News > Bangladesh

Mass Protest in Bangladesh Calls for Boycott of French Products

  • Members of the Islami Andolan Bangladesh party burn an image of French President Emmanuel Macron as they take part in a march towards the French Embassy in Dhaka, Bangladesh, October 27, 2020.

    Members of the Islami Andolan Bangladesh party burn an image of French President Emmanuel Macron as they take part in a march towards the French Embassy in Dhaka, Bangladesh, October 27, 2020. | Photo: EFE/EPA/Monirul Alam

Published 27 October 2020
Opinion

The mobilization took place as a rejection by the Muslim world of statements made by the French president on Islam.

Tens of thousands of demonstrators marched through the capital of Bangladesh, Dhaka, calling for a boycott of French products in protest of recent French President Emmanuel Macron's comments on Islam.

Protesters burned Macron's effigy during his march the Dhaka on Tuesday, chanting "Boycott French products!"

Macron has provoked outrage throughout the Muslim world by describing Islam as a "religion in crisis."

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The French leader also announced a plan "to reform Islam" in order to make the 6,000,000 Muslims in France more compatible with France's Republican values.

Tensions rose further after the murder of Samuel Paty, a school teacher who showed his students satirical drawings of the Prophet Muhammad during a discussion of freedom of expression.

Muslims believe that the cartoons were produced with the deliberate intention of mocking their community as a whole. 

The images of the Prophet Muhammad were first published years ago by the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, whose editorial offices were attacked by armed men in 2015, killing 12 people.

The demonstration was led by the Islamist party Islamic Movement of Bangladesh and, according to police figures, began around 10:30 a.m. (04:30 GMT) at the northern gate of the Baitul Mukarram mosque in the capital.

In Dhaka, police estimated that more than 40,000 people joined the march organized by the Andolan Islamiyah Bangladesh (IAB), one of the country's largest Islamist parties.

The protest was stopped before it could approach the French embassy in the city, as hundreds of police officers set up barricades with barbed wire to block the protesters, who dispersed without violence.

The march began in front of the Baitul Mukarram, the main mosque in Bangladesh, a country whose population is mostly Muslim.

Similar protests have occurred in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Pakistan, Jordan, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia, among other Arab nations.

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