Members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) popularly called Shi’ites on Tuesday November 3, burnt the French flag in the federal capital territory (FCT) over “anti-Islamic” comment linked to President Emmanuel Macron.
Recall that there’s been heightened tensions between the French government and the Muslim world over cartoons, which Muslims consider to be blasphemous. This is centered on the republications of Mohammed’s caricatures by Charlie Hebdo magazine to mark the opening of the trial for a deadly attack against its staff in 2015 when the Paris-based publication’s cartoons were cited as a reason for the assault.
Also French President Emmanuel Macron paid tribute to “quiet hero” Samuel Paty, the teacher who was beheaded on Friday October 16.
Mr Paty was targeted close to his school near Paris for showing cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in class.
His killer, 18-year-old Abdullakh Anzorov, was shot dead by police.
Speaking at a televised memorial service on Wednesday, October 28, Mr Macron told viewers that France “will not give up our cartoons”.
According to BBC, Macron said Mr Paty had tried to teach his pupils how to become citizens.
“He was killed precisely because he incarnated the Republic”, Mr Macron said. “He was killed because the Islamists want our future. They know that with quiet heroes like him, they will never have it.
Also, the president had defended the “right to blaspheme” under free speech rights at the time of the republication in September, weeks before he prompted backlash from Muslim activists on October 2 when he claimed in a speech that Islam was “in crisis globally” and announced his plan “to reform Islam” in order to make it more compatible with his country’s republican values.
During their march which ended at Wuse market, the IMN members burnt France’s flags while chanting songs. A member of the Islamic state, Sidi Munir described the publication as an attack on Muslims.
“We set France flag on fire in a reaction to the attack on Islam and Muslims by the President of France Emmanuel Macron since the heinous crime of publishing cartoons of the Prophet by the magazine Charlie Hebdo.
“Hence we applaud the current campaign across Muslim and all lovers of peace and humanity.”
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