Pakistan witnessed protests by tens of thousands of Muslims on Friday after Charlie Hebdo decided to reprint cartoons mocking prophet Mohammad, which prompted Islamic terrorists to launch a terror attack against them in 2015. “Death to France” was chanted and the protesters called for a boycott of French products.
The protesters also demanded that the French ambassador to the country be expelled. “We need to send a strong message to the French that this disrespect to our beloved prophet will not be tolerated,” said one protester. The protests were largely led by the Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan and were witnessed in several cities across the country. There were protests in Karachi, Rawalpindi, Peshawar, Lahore and Dera Ismail Khan.
The reprinting of the cartoons on prophet Mohammad also led the Foreign Ministry of Pakistan to issue a condemnation of Charlie Hebdo. “Decapitation is the punishment of blasphemers,” one placard at the protests said. Razi Hussani, TLP district leader in Karachi, stated, “It (re-printing of prophet Mohammad cartoons) amounts to big terrorism; they repeat such acts of blasphemy against Prophet Mohammad every few years. It should be stopped.”
Earlier, Charlie Hebdo had announced that it will republish cartoons of prophet Mohammed that had caused Islamic Terrorists to launch a terror attack against them in 2015 as trial against the perpetrators gets underway. “We will never lie down. We will never give up,” its director Laurent “Riss” Sourisseau said in an editorial to be published along with the cartoons in the latest edition.
The terror attack led to the deaths of twelve people and in subsequent days, a policewoman and four Jews were murdered. The trial will involve the allegations against the accomplices, accused of supplying the weapons and putting the terrorists in touch with ISIS apart from various other crimes. Some of France’s most renowned cartoonists were killed in the terror attack.