The situation is tense in Pakistan yet again as hundreds and thousands of Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) supporters descended on the streets of Rawalpindi in protest against French President Emmanuel Macron for defending people’s right to draw cartoons of prophet Muhammad. The protesters had taken to the streets after Khadim Hussain Rizvi gave the call for a demonstration against ‘blasphemy’ in France.
The demonstration began on Sunday and continued on Monday. Slogans such as ‘Gustakh-e-Rasool ki ek hi sazaa, Sar tan se Juda, Sar tan se Juda’ (Only one punishment for blasphemy against the prophet, separation of head from the body) were raised by the unruly mob.
Protest rally of Tehrik-e-Labbaik against France in Rawalpindi today: pic.twitter.com/8XLLjgbdDJ— Naila Inayat नायला इनायत (@nailainayat) November 15, 2020
Clashes were reported between the Police and the protesters armed with sticks on Monday. “Heavy teargas shelling also affected residents of the adjoining areas with many complaining of difficulty in breathing,” one local resident was quoted as saying by Dawn. Dozens of police officials and |TLP Islamists were injured during the clashes and shifted to hospitals.
Videos of the clashes and protests are all over social media. TLP is calling it the ‘worst shelling’ on the ‘lovers of the prophet’ and in history.
TLP is also releasing videos where Muslims are saying that the ‘Badmash’ (naughty) Imran Khan government is instigating the ‘Kalma’ reading forces against the ‘Kalma’ reading Muslims of Rawalpindi when Muslims of Srinagar and Kashmir are hoping that these same forces will rescue them. He also lamented the fact that the Pakistani forces are taking action against Namazis instead of “fighting Hindus”.
The man in the video lamented the fact that they are being punished ‘only for saying that the punishment for blasphemy is beheading’.
The TLP is also saying that the guns should be pointed at the French instead of Muslims of Rawalpindi.
جن بندوقوں کا رخ فرانس کے گستاخوں کی جانب ہونا چاہئیے ہے حکومت الٹا اپنی عوام پر اس کا استعمال کر رہی ہے تمام مسلمانوں کے لمحہ لمحہ فکریہ تمام غیور مسلمان جلد از جلد فیض آباد پہنچیں اور اپنے نبی سے وفاداری کا ثبوت دیں#WorstShellingOnTLPmarch pic.twitter.com/z7vbyyFQer— TLP Punjab (@TLPPunjabMarkaz) November 16, 2020
Smoke can also be seen billowing in the air in other videos that have been shared by TLP.
The protesters are demanding that the French embassy be shut down in the country and all diplomatic ties be snapped with France for the crime of blasphemy. The protesters are attempting to reach the Faizabad interchange that connects Rawalpindi with Islamabad and shut it down.
Meanwhile, ‘millennial feminist journalist’ Gharidah Farooqui ranted on social media, “Where is the government? Where is the state and its writ and power? A few thousand extremists, miscreants, opponents of the law have been making the lives of millions of law-abiding citizens of Islamabad-Pindi miserable for two days. The state is just watching a spectacle. Shame on you. Formerly contractors of Islam, now contractors of foreign policy.”
Muslims in Pakistan protest against France
Pakistani Muslims have been protesting against France for quite some time. Towards the end of the last month, the Police had to fire tear gas and resort to baton to prevent an Islamist mob from reaching the French embassy. Protestors had suffered injuries then as well as the Police blocked the way to the embassy.
Meanwhile, others have been urging Pakistanis to resort to ‘Digital Jihad’ against Emmanuel Macron.