Tens of thousands of Muslims protested in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Palestinian territories on Friday 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.
French Interior Minister Gerald Damarnin said France – home to Europe’s largest Muslim community and hit by a string of militant attacks in recent years – 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”.